Use Too Many Tamales
, by Gary Soto, to build comprehension skills with your 1st through 4th grade students. Build prior knowledge, work on sequencing and summarizing skills, reinforce vocabulary words and definitions, and review "how to" directions.
I’ve provided several activities for you to choose from.
Non-Fiction Text Passages
: Before reading, read this non-fiction text passage (in color or black and white) to build prior knowledge about tamales. Later, have students re-read to strengthen their comprehension and fluency.
Sequencing Cards and Summarizing Strips
: Use these sets of cards and story summary strips in groups or as a center activity in which students sequence the events of the story. There are six half page cards displaying scenes from the story. Print and laminate the cards, then have the students work together to put them in order, and match the summary strips to the story scenes.
: Have student cut and color the story pages (black and white version of the sequencing cards) and put them into order. Next, choose from one of two pre-written (different levels) sets of summary strips, or have students write their own. Have students match the summary strips to the story scenes and glue in the space provided. Illustrate the booklet cover. Assemble the entire set in order and staple together.
How to Make Tamales Word and Picture Cards
: Print and laminate the word and picture cards. Have students match the pictures to the word cards.
: Gary Soto uses rich language in this story. Introduce the meanings of the words, and during retellings, encourage the students discuss the words to build familiarity with them. I’ve designed the vocabulary and meaning cards to be printed back-to back, but you can use them however they best meet your needs. I’ve also included a list of ideas for building comprehension through vocabulary instruction with your kids.
Please note: The picture book is not included with this unit. If you don’t have it in your collection, you can check it out from your local library.
Check out my other winter literature links units:
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell
Bear Stays Up for Christmas
Thanks for visiting! I love all things literacy and I'm delighted to share this Literature Links Unit with you and your students.
A little about me...
I am a National Board Certified Teacher/Librarian in Albuquerque, NM. I have been working in education for over 20 years. I am also a literacy specialist and have a master's degree in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. My passion is developing thematic, literature-based curriculum units that build early reading, writing and math skills through science and social studies themes.
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