Authentic Literature in TL

Elizabeth Berry
Douglas County High School
[email protected]
• If I could pick one concept that was the most difficult for me to
teach from the beginning, it has been authentic literature.
• They can’t do that!!
• It’s too difficult.
• They won’t understand it.
• I will just have to result to English anyway.
• It’s boring.
• Successful teachers expect their students to succeed.
• Students can do no better than the assignments they
are given.
• Literature teaches them:
• More vocabulary
• More grammar
• History
• Culture
Step 1 : Choose Level Appropriate Literature
•Make sure it aligns with your unit content,
vocabulary, and grammar goals.
•Authentic Literature Spotlights in Textbooks
•En Primera Persona
•The internet
• Level III
• Unit: Welcome to my World
(Spanish I and II Review)
• Poetry of José Martí
• Unit: The World of my Childhood
(Imperfect Tense)
• La casa embrujada – Peruvian
• Unit: The World of my Past (Preterit
• Una carta a Dios - Gregorio López y
• Unit: The World of my Experiences
(Preterit vs. Imperfect)
• El Iztaccíhuatl y el Popocatépetl –
Aztec Legend
• Level V
• Unit: Immigration
• Selections from …Y no se lo tragó la
tierra – Tómas Rivera
• Unit: Technology
• Los mutantes – José Ruibal
• Unit: World Health
• Instantes - Jorge Luis Borges?
• Unit: Enviroment
• La guerra de los yacarés – Horacio
• Unit: Literature/ShortStories
• El fantasma - Enrique Anderson Imbert
Step 2: Identify Key Vocabulary
• Make a list of words you know students will not
• Put all verbs in the infinitive form.
• For homework or in class have students look up
those words.
• Have students highlight those words in the text.
If time permits: create simple activities using words (Fill in the
blank, definitions, charades, synonyms and antonyms, etc…)
Step 3: Pre-Reading
• Use Pre-Reading activities from texts
• Introduce genre/literary terms
• Introduce/Talk about Author
• Discuss Historical Background if necessary
• Review grammar concepts if necessary
• Predict the Plot
• Have students skim/read the texts using vocabulary
individually for homework, extra class time, etc…
Step 4: Read
• General recommendations:
• Spilt up text into sections and have different activities
to do for each section.
• For beginners read as a class, then move on to group
reading, then to pair reading, and finally individual
reading. (Think about how you learned to read in your
first language!!)
• Sometimes students need to “Pre-read” beforehand.
“Pre-read” to me means they read using the
vocabulary they have looked up, but don’t necessarily
read for total comprehension.
Whole Class reading ideas:
• Have each student read one sentence at a time. Teacher
stops to check for comprehension every once in a while.
Ask questions, act out certain words , verbs, use props,
etc…BE ENTHUSIASTIC! (Better for shorter texts,
Have each student read one sentence at a time. Teacher draws what is
going on. Ask students what needs to be drawn, added, erased, etc…. The
worse the drawing the better! (Pre-Reading recommended)
Whole Class reading ideas:
• Read, Draw, Share: Have a student read a pre-determined
amount of the text while one student has to draw what is
going on. Then another student has to summarize based off
the drawing. Great for total class participation. (Pre-reading
• TPR/Modified TPR: Create a TPR lesson/modified TPR lesson
for the text. Use cut-out pictures for characters, create actions
to act out important words/characters, etc… (Better for
shorter texts)
Group/Pair reading ideas:
• Always read the text out loud in groups/pairs.
• Teachers identifies key sentences/plot points in the text and
students have to draw them out (like a comic strip).
Modify the previous activity to where the students have to
identify the key sentences/plot points and create the comic.
Text is spilt into sections and each group is assigned a section.
Group must draw out the section of the text and summarize
what happened in their own words in two-three sentences.
Teacher checks sentences and then each group presents their
drawings and sentences for a summary of the text. (Pre-reading
Group/Pair reading ideas:
•Modify previous activity and have students
create dialogue/act out scene instead.
Teacher gives pre-made pictures created for the text.
Students have to put them in the correct order and write a
sentence for each picture.
Step 5: Comprehension Questions
• Boring but necessary!
• Tell students not to attempt them until after
finishing reading activities.
• By spending time doing reading activities versus
just reading the text plainly, I have found
students do not fear comprehension questions
and usually get them all correct because they are
more prepared and ACTUALLY understand the
• Don’t always need to be short answer. Use
true/false, fill in the blank, character matching,
Step 6: Application/Assignment
• Should always have a written
• Give students choices.
• Can be done in same
groups/pairs or individually if
• What happens next?
• Alternative ending
• What would have happened
• Write your own_________
• Create skit/video for text
• Pretend you are…
• Use different formats for the
writing components:
• Dialogue
• Movie script
• Police Report
• Letter/Email
• Poem
• Newspaper Article
• Postcard
• Brochure

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