Sunday, August 3, 2014

Novels for Spanish 1 through Spanish 5

At my school district, we stress the importance of reading in the target language with our students.  In each level of Spanish, from the introductory course at the middle school, to level 5 at the high school, we read novels with our students. In Spanish 1 through Spanish 5, we read a minimum of 2 novels.  In levels 4 and 5, students are also required to read a novel on their own (outside the class time) per marking period, for a total of 2 additional books per level.

Several teachers have asked what novels others read with their students.  The purpose of this post is to share what we've found to work at our school.  As we constantly review our curriculum and our students' needs, we sometimes need to make changes and adjustments at which level the books are read.  Also, with the growing number of writers publishing new books, the choices are even greater and sometimes we find a new book is a better fit with our curriculum. In order words, our curriculum is a living, changing documents; an aspect I appreciate!

Also, please note that there is a variety of authors represented in the books.  I believe the students benefit from the different writing styles of each author and I look forward to even more new authors publishing books in the future. (Ahem - maybe that will be YOU!)
We are working on updating our Spanish 1 curriculum and during that process we will decide which two books ALL Spanish 1 teachers will read with their students.

Under the photos of the Spanish 2 books, I listed (some of) the major themes in each book.  Our "units" are built around the books and the themes/subjects. 
 
 
There may be changes in level 3 when we update our curriculum.


Last year I read Esperanza with my Spanish 4 class. The publisher of "Esperanza" lists the book as a level 1 book, but it also easily fits into higher levels because:
1) It can be very beneficial for students to read a book that is "below their level". I like to begin the semester with a book that all students feel successful when reading it.
2) This book deals with immigration and Spanish 4 students are better equipped linguistically to hold meaningful discussions in Spanish regarding this issue.
We did not read La Hija del Sastre in Spanish 4 last year, but we will be reading it in both Sp4 and Sp5 this school year.


Last year I had a mixed Spanish 4 and Spanish 5 class. Since the Spanish 5 students had already read the Spanish 4 novels, I read La Guerra Sucia which we usually read in Spanish 5, and added Felipe Alou and La Calaca Alegre.  

This year, some of the students now in Spanish 5 that were in the mixed Spanish 4/5 class last year, have already the Spanish 5 novels, but since I piloted a book last year in Spanish 5, we didn't read La Hija del Sastre (as we usually do in Spanish 4).  My plan is for the Spanish 5 students to read La Hija del Sastre and La Llorona, along with other legends and short stories, (i.e. Chac Mool, La Conciencia, Cartas de amor traicionado),  so as not to repeat the books they have read before.  

The above books and teacher's guides can be purchased at the following:
I recommend visiting these sites to discover other books available to use with your students. 

There are so many great books not listed above that I would love to read with my students, but the limited time does not allow me to do that.  My dream is to have a Spanish reading club, but...somehow I doubt that would attract a crowd. :-)

Please note: In my school district, each Spanish level consists of 90 days of 70 minute classes.  Final exam days, interruptions and short or missed classes due to state testing, weather delays, and assemblies, are included in those 90 days.  The reason I mention that is to make you aware that when students complete Spanish 5, they actually have LESS hours of instruction in the classroom than most students, at other schools that finish Spanish 4, with 4x4 block schedules or the traditional schedules.  In reality, our level 5 is level 4, our level 4 is level 3, etc. Our level 5 is NOT an AP class.

1 comment:

  1. You blog is awesome! This is such a great resource! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete