Using Felipe Alou novel

We are currently reading the novel Felipe Alou, desde los valles a las montañas in Spanish 2.   It is a great novel about baseball, discrimination, the Dominican Republic, and more.   Here is what I did for the first few chapters:

1) First of all, before we even started reading the novel, we watched the movie In the Time of the Butterflies.  It is a good movie that goes great with the novel.  It was an awesome introduction to the themes of the novel.

2) There are a lot of great activities in the teacher’s guide.  It is a must buy!!  Here is a link to purchase the teacher’s guide.

3) Chapter 1:  I pre-taught THIS VOCABULARY.  They already knew some of those words.  I did not give the the vocab list until we had done all of the words.   I have been to the DR and I showed them pictures that I took of the Punta Cana area where it is ritzy with many resorts.  I also showed them photos of the poverty.  We watched this video and this video to show the rich  and poor side.  I read the chapter to them and clarified parts where they needed help.   We did the crossword puzzle that is in the teacher’s guide the next day as a review.

4) Chapter 2: Once again, I pre-taught the needed vocabulary using PQA, gestures, and just using them in context.  During our PAT Friday game day, we played BINGO with words from the first 2 chapters.  When we were ready to read the chapter, we read it popcorn style.  One student read at least one sentence outloud in English.  When they are done reading their part, they call someone’s name and they continue reading outloud in English.  Most of the class liked popcorn reading.  I like it a lot because it keeps them engaged, they have to follow along, and it helps me know what words they struggle with.

5) Chapter 3:  I pre-taught THIS VOCABULARY.  We did the venn diagram activity that is in the teacher’s guide.  I read the chapter to them and paused where needed to ask questions or to translate.  We also did some reader’s theatre with this chapter.  There is a great part to act out where Mayor Vicioso talks to the team and to one athlete.  It got intense!

6) Chapter 4: I pre-taught THIS VOCABULARY and asked them the personalized questions.  I taught entendió, se sentía, and entrenador and my class came up with THIS STORY.  After we read the chapter, we did the activity that is in the teacher’s guide.

We did all of the this in about 2 1/2 weeks.  I don’t like to get bogged down with too many activities.  We do the essential vocabulary, read the chapters, act out good scenes, and move on.




  1. I would like to know, if you don’t mind sharing, how you go about teaching the vocabulary for each chapter?
    Thank you so much for your help!

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