This novel is a great example of magical realism but due to difficulty and content should be reserved for older students. Reading an entire novel in a high school language class is very challenging so I divide my class into groups of 3-4 and provide each member of the group with a copy of the novel in Spanish. Each group also gets 1 copy of the novel in English. Students take turns reading aloud in English while the rest of the group follows along in Spanish. All worksheet questions are in Spanish. They do all the literature circles, reading, and worksheets in class and the discussion board work is done outside of class. Throughout the process of this unit, I see huge leaps in reading and writing ability.
1. background info on Mexico history, magical realism, and Laura Esquivel
2. Discussion board questions, instructions, and rubric
3. literature circle instructions
4. guided reading questions for each chapter
5. quizzes (1 every 3 chapters)
6. Essay Exam
7. "study guide" break down of each chapter which includes quotes, character analysis, examples of magical realism and symbolism, and possible critical thinking questions for literature circles