Begin the day with a story or use this as an additional story for students to read independently in a learning center. Spanish teachers can use the story as a supplementary story to read on a Friday, for example. Students can draw pictures of their favorite scenes and teachers can guide students through the vocabulary and comprehension/critical thinking questions.
Carlos’ Truck – El Camion de Carlos is a story, (translated version included) with literacy based activities presented in both in both English and Spanish that can be used across all grade levels in either English language development classes or in Spanish language classes. Each section includes 10 vocabulary development and 10 comprehension/critical thinking questions. I have also included a ‘Drawing Box’ where students can illustrate an image the story creates for the learner, thereby providing added evidence of comprehension. In this story, Carlos perseveres, notwithstanding various interferences, interruptions and personality conflicts, pursuing his goal to provide a needed transportation service to his community. His serviceable disposition continues within his family as a loyal, industrious and committed father and husband. The theme of the story is the importance and overall benefits of self-sacrifice, humility, focused efforts, sustained motivation, perseverance, endurance and devotion.
The story, additionally, lends itself to extended practice of critical thinking activities. Through analysis of the stories and characters, teachers can help students identify themes, develop individual strength of character, integrity, responsibility, identify character traits and extend comprehension into writing through varied writing prompts that can enhance students’ proficiency in expression through the target language as well as expository writing skills.