It is time for another libro lunes, telling you about a great addition to your classroom library. If you implement FVR, or Free Voluntary Reading, make sure you also check out the game changer.
The book today is another gem from the talented Craig Klein Dexemple of Spanish Cuentos. You can purchase La famila de Federico Rico here or on Amazon below using Prime.
To see many of my classroom library recommendations all in one place, you can visit My Amazon Store book list!
La famila de Federico Rico is a level 1 reader that is very similar in style to El ratón Pablito, also from Craig. There are tons of pictures and it is much closer to the style of a graphic novel with over 200 illustrations. Like all of my favorite novelas it has dictionary in the back, as well as footnotes. It also has some small cultural notes in English, which aid in the background knowledge to better understand the stories.
You will want to make sure to get multiple for FVR, since my level 1 students are all about this novel, as well as El ratón Pablito. The illustrations and goofy humor help even the most reluctant readers enjoy free reading. Also, even though all of the stories are connected, each chapter could be understood as its own mini story. This helps students feel accomplished, and makes picking the book up another day and continuing it more enjoyable for the students. The picture below was taken the first day these books were added to the shelf. As you can see it was a hit in Spanish 1.
With the pictures, this book would actually make a great read aloud for Kindergarten day style reading, with the teacher reading to the students. While I usually do not suggest stretching a novel over time, the individual stories could even be a treat that the teacher reads on certain days, or as a class fast finisher activity. If you are tied to an existing curriculum, individual stories from the book could could be added.
Novel Study or Literature Circles
If I am able to get funding, I would love to get a class set, to be able to do this as a class novel. Until then, I am highly considering the option of doing a lower level Literature Circle using these lower level graphic novels. In the past, I have only ever done Literature Circles in levels three and four, but I think late in the year we might try it with my level two class, using this novel as one of the options. Stay tuned!
There are SO many cultural elements weaved into this book that could be expanded on to create a full unit. It is based around an immigrant family living in New York, and while it never says where his family immigrated from, the cultural elements included could come from a variety of countries in Latin America.
Some of the culture includes:
- el martes 13
- el chupacabra
- Day of the Dead
- family unity
Other cultural notes mentioned more briefly include:
- cats having 7 lives
What is really awesome is there is an animated Video for EACH of the chapters in this book as well. So not only can your students hear someone else besides you read, but there are images as well to aid in comprehension. These would be especially great on days when you just can’t or your voice just is not there.
Overall, you should get this book! While my fellow Iowan Craig did send me it, all opinions are my own.