RED 6116
Multicultural Project
Multicultural Trade Book Selected: “An Hour With Abuello,” a short story found in the book An
Island Like You: Stories of the barrio.
Summary of Book: The story is about a teenage boy who does not want to go visit his grandfather (or
abuello) in the nursing home. The boy, named Arturo, does not speak a lot of Spanish, having grown
up in Brooklyn, NY. His grandfather, also named Arturo, grew up in Puerto Rico most of his life, only
moved to the States after he started getting sick. As a result, he speaks little English. Young Arturo,
named after his abuello, tells his mom he will spend only one hour at the home because of how
depressing it is being there in the home. Anyway, Arturo starts to make small talk with his
grandfather, and as the minutes inch closer to an hour, it becomes apparent that his grandfather was
keeping an eye on the time too because he was more interested in spending time with the ladies
inside the nursing home, reading his homemade poems and showing off his paintings. Arturo was
shocked by this revelation. The irony was he did not rush back home after his 60 minutes were up,
something he would have done otherwise if his grandfather (abuello) had not bolted from his “suite”
and toward the rec room.
Rationale for book choice: I wanted to pick a short story for my students to follow and pick out the
important aspects from the story. A week-long lesson where we could read the story, analyze the
story’s plot, and evaluate the story’s ending by having my students pretend they are Arturo and
explain whether they would write an apology letter to his abuelo for staring at his watch during his
Create Activities that will promote two of the following components of reading: (Explain the activity)
Phonological or Phonemic Awareness
Materials Needed: Packs of 3x5 white-colored flashcards, a composition notebook, highlighters,
whiteboards, markers, socks, Smartboard, computers
Lesson Objective: Students will read and analyze a short story about a grandson’s failing relationship
with his grandfather, to identify the climax of the story, and write an analysis on how the author
develops character. CCRL.8.1, CCRL.8.3, CCRI.8.1, LA., LA., LA.
Hook: Introduce Bell Ringer writing prompt and have students answer the following question in their
composition notebook: When might someone your age have trouble talking to a family member?
Part One: After two-three minutes, place students in groups of four/five and begin a cooperative
learning activity. Pass whiteboards and markers. Assign tasks per person (person 1 is group leader –
s/he makes sure everyone is on task and contributing to answering the questions; person 2 is my
recorder – the only person in the group who gets to write on the whiteboard; person 3 is my time
keeper – s/he keep an eye on the time; person 4 & 5 (if applicable) are the designated analyzers – they
make sure the 5Ws and H are being asked if their answers are not clear and concise), then ask students
to make a list of problems that could cause poor communication among family members. Give group
four minutes to do this assignment. After time is up, allow cooperative learning groups to share a
couple of answers each. Then, allow groups to erase answers and give them another two minutes to
come up with as many solutions as possible to help them connect with their family members. Again,
allow students to share their answers. Time taken: 15 minutes (to allow student-led discussion)
The purpose of this activity is to follow up on the hook and begin to establish the student’s prior
knowledge about the story’s plot (see above).
Part Two: After student-led discussion, I would introduce the story by showing a short book trailer I
found on YouTube ( The trailer I
found does not give the story away, and the unfamiliarity of the story (and perhaps the unfamiliarity of
the Hispanic culture) leads right into the next aspect of my assignment – looking for unknown
vocabulary. I tell my students to begin skimming the short story and look for the unknown Spanish
vocabulary. (The story can be found here: Students highlight the
words in their story packets, and then call out unknown vocabulary to me, which I write down on the
board. Students then write down those words on the back side of their reading packet, and are
responsible for creating flashcards for those vocabulary words to study for an upcoming vocabulary test.
The flashcards utilize the mind-mapping note taking strategy, which utilizes the spatial and linguistic
multiple intelligences.
Part Three: As students are skimming the story looking for unknown vocabulary, it allows my ELL
students to begin predicting what they believe the story will be about. The reading teacher on my grade
level suggested I utilize the PSRAT reading strategy whenever we begin reading a story for
comprehension. P stands for preview the passage, and predict what it is about. (Students are to look at
pictures, graphs, titles, and subheadings.) S stands for scan the questions. (Students are to look for key
words, underline important information, and set a purpose for reading.) R stands for reading the entire
passage. (Underline important information, stop and summarize the sections just read, and make
connections; these connections can be text-self, text-text, or text-world). The A stands for answering
the questions. Students would need to prove their answers to the questions by looking back in the
reading passage. (Students could skip difficult questions and come back to them later, leaving no empty
spaces.) The T stands for time; specifically, watching out for the amount of time students have to
answer the questions and pacing themselves accordingly.
I would ask interjecting questions as my students are popcorn reading the short story, to help them
make those connections and be able to answer the questions at the end of the passage. I would create
a list of five-question short-answer responses at the end of the story for my students to work on for
homework to assess for understanding. My students will be required to answer one of the following five
questions by creating a Voki avatar and typing in their response from their home computer or a school
computer before class (students will need to have created a Voki account – go to for more
details). I will require up to a one-minute long response from my students, in which students will need
to cite evidence from the story to back up their responses. Those five questions are:
1. Why does Arturo not want to see his abuelo in the nursing home?
2. How would you assess the relationship status between Arturo and his mother?
3. Why do you think Arturo Jr. and Arturo Sr. are struggling to talk with one another? Be specific
with your answer.
4. What is the reason you suppose Arturo Jr. does not want to go home as soon as his hour is up?
5. Do you think anyone should apologize for how the hour ended inside Arturo’s suite? Why or
why not?
Part Four – Vocabulary Assessment: After students answer the five-question SA response, students will
be tested for their vocabulary comprehension. I would create a short vocabulary quiz that would have
two parts: a matching (low-level) section, and a mind-mapping note (higher level) section. My students
only selected seven vocabulary words for review, so I would select five of those words for my students
to match the word with its definition (for ten points apiece). I would then require my students to draw a
picture to illustrate the two remaining vocabulary words’ definition and write a sentence using the
vocabulary word (for 25-points apiece). The stakes would be high, but I am teaching my students that I
expect them to live up to those lofty expectations.
Part Five – Comprehension Assessment: As a language arts teacher, I must include a writing
component that fits my curriculum. Using the Criterion Writing Evaluation website
(, students will be required to write a 4-5 paragraph expository essay on
whether they would apologize to their grandfather if they were caught staring at their watch during a
family visit. I would stress to my students how they could use details from the story to help form
personal connections from the story. Criterion would help me assess how well my students are
organizing their thoughts, assess their writing style and mechanics, and show students in real time how
tight their writing focus truly is, which will help them prepare for this February’s FCAT Writes.
How do you think reading this article by predicting, summarizing, connecting, understanding vocabulary
and visualizing helped you understand this article?
Rationale for how the above activities will promote/encourage that specific area of reading.
1. According to Cruickshanik (October 2008)
a. There would be an increase in understanding, retention, and application of general
b. a better overall comprehension of global interdependencies, along with the
development of multiple perspectives, points of view, and values.
c. an increase in the ability to make decisions, think critically and creatively, and
synthesize knowledge beyond the disciplines.
d. the increased ability to identify, assess, and transfer significant information needed
for solving novel problems.
e. the promotion of cooperative learning, a better attitude toward oneself as a learner
and as a meaningful member of a community.
f. increased motivation
2. According to Nilsen, and Nilsen (November 2002)
a. It is difficult for speakers to learn new words that they do not feel
comfortable pronouncing.
b. Speakers are more likely to learn new words when they are feeling playfully
engaged rather than when they are feeling threatened and worried.
c. An important key to learning new words is being able to relate parts of them
(morphemes) to parts of words they already know.
d. Familiar morphemes already known to children were helping them associate
the new vocabulary word with a definition.
3. According to
a. Students should have opportunities for active learning of words, for making
personal connections, and for exposure to words in multiple sources
(Blachowicz & Fisher, 2000).
b. All students benefit from learning about how language works: the cultural
connotations of words, changes in spelling over time, and dialect rules and
Cruickshanik, Douglas. (October 2008). “Kaleidoscopic Learning: An Overview of Integrated
Studies.” Resource found on
Nilsen, Alleen Pace, and Nilsen, Don L.F. (November 2002). “Lessons In the Teaching of
Vocabulary from September 11 and Harry Potter.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 46,
no 3, 254-260.
Specific Content Needed
Multicultural Trade Book Selected w/Summary
Rationale for book choice
At least two components of reading covered in
activities chosen
Full explanation of how to carry out activities
Rationale/Research referenced in rationale
Hyperlink and multi-media presentation
Points Received Points Possible
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