I wrote here about what I’ve done with the book Ciudad de las bestias by Isabel Allende in my AP class. I recently put all of the chapter guides with their “palabras claves” in one streamlined document, public on the web. They’re not perfect -my students and I often find mistakes (like incorrect page numbers)- but they’ve helped me teach this book for several years now. If you have any suggestions or comments, as always those are welcome.
A few notes about the guides/words:
– The guides get longer because 1) the students become more capable and less in shock and 2) the chapters get more complicated in regards to the plot
– I use a “did you read” question at the end of every guide, worth at least 10 points, more according to the length of the chapter
– sometimes there’s a ¿? instead of a definition of a “palabra nueva” because while the phrase itself is new, it’s related to words the students know, and so I think they should be able to figure it out (e.g. desangrar).
– at this level my students read mostly on their own but we try to make time for it in class, and the day it’s due they come in with questions and we read through tough sections together – this lessens their frustration
Have you thought about writing guides to literature for your own class– and sharing them for other teachers? Collaboration is the 21st-century skill. 🙂
**Edit August 2013**
I frequently get requests to “share” this document on Google Drive. This is not a document I share for editing. It’s now available as a pdf that you are welcome to download or copy and paste for editing. Please let me know if you have trouble accessing it.
I plan to release soon two guides for this book as an ebook available through this website. It will include more critical thinking questions, more focused vocabulary, cultural comparison ideas, connections to core content, and technology integration tips. The first version will make it so students can get the key content of the plot without having to read the whole book, ideal in a class where we’re pressed for time for everything. The second version incorporates the questions from all the chapter guides, but eliminates shallow, irrelevant questions, adds some more important ones, and includes all the features mentioned above. If you’d like to be notified when this ebook becomes available, use the contact form to let me know.