Cathy's Reviews > How Tia Lola Learned to Teach

How Tia Lola Learned to Teach by Julia Alvarez
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's review
Sep 20, 2011

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Read from September 11 to 20, 2011

Tia Lola is on her way to New York from the Dominican Republic. She will help care for her niece and nephew while their recently divorced mother is at work. When they learn Tia Lola is coming to school, Juanita (grade 3) is excited and Miguel (grade 5) is worried what others will think and that she will embarrass him. Tia Lola quickly endears herself to everyone she meets and in no time at all she has the whole town learning Spanish and cheering for Tia Lola's visa to be extended so she will not be deported.

This book would make a good read-aloud for third or fourth grade, especially in a racially diverse classroom with English Language Learners. It also lends itself to language lessons on idioms and quotations. A great follow up activity would be creating a pinata containing sayings as the school children and Tia Lola did at the end of this story.

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Cathy This book would be a great read aloud for a classroom with migrant children or students with hispanic heritage. The use of idioms or "sayings" in spanish throughout the book would make great mini-lessons. I would have students pick a favorite and design a poster to explain, illustrate and show the English translation. It also deals sensitively with divorce, remarriage and blended families.

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