READINGS & WRITING PROMPTS
Sonia Manzano of Sesame Street was my host at Symphony Space's Thalia Book Club on October 16, 2011. We had a lovely time! She interviewed me and then the kids in the audience got some writing prompts and shared their writings with all of us. A wonderful time was had by all, including the author, who dressed up as-who else? Tía Lola! If you're wondering who those cute kids are in the audience, mesmerized by these zany tías, they're my grandgirls, Naomi (9) and Violet (7) and their parents, my stepdaughter, Berit, and her husband, Andrew. (I won't give their ages:)
Here is the list of passages and writing prompts I made up to do with the kids there. I wanted to share that list with all of you.
How Tía Lola
First sight of Tía Lola: pp. 12-13; Tía Lola Unpacking: pp. 14-17
Tía Lola painting the house purple, pp. 95-96
Tía Lola Learning English, pp. 62-64, or pp. 69
Think of your most fun or craziest or sweetest or wackiest or meanest relative -- can't be a mom or dad or sister or brother. Someone from your "extended family": an auntie or uncle, a grandparent or maybe an older cousin. . . Maybe it's a neighbor who is part of your neighborhood family. After giving us the name of this person and his or her relationship to you, tell us the craziest or sweetest or meanest thing they've done. . .
Going to the Dominican Republic: pp. 137-139
Have you ever gone to a foreign country, maybe on a vacation, maybe to visit relatives. Or maybe you've gone to visit a friend or family somewhere in the United States. Tell us where you went and what was the biggest surprise about that place? What did you like the most? What was really different from home?
How Tía Lola
Learned to Teach
Juanita learns to read: pp. 25-27
Do you remember the first book you ever read all by yourself that you loved? Please tell us the name of the book and what you most loved about it? What would you tell a person to convince them to read the book?
Juanita gets in trouble at school: pp. 27-30
Did you ever get in trouble at school? For what? Did you have to go see the principal? Was a note sent home to your parents? Tells us about it! If you were the principal or the teacher, what you have done to a student who did what you did.
Tía Lola's lucky and unlucky things, pp. 94-97
Make a list of all the lucky things and unlucky things in your life. Describe them a little so we can understand what makes them lucky or unlucky. Did an unlucky thing ever become surprisingly lucky? Did a lucky thing turn out to be unlucky?
Read table of contents with all of Tía Lola's favorite sayings
Do you have a favorite saying? Tell a little story in which you use that saying.
Make up your very own saying! Tell a little story in which you use that saying.
How Tía Lola
Saved the Summer
Tía Lola gives each member of the family a special sword, pp. 28-31
Tía Lola gives each member of the family a special sword because each one has "something they will conquer during their stay at my camp." Supposing you are a camper at Tía Lola's camp. What "hurdle," or difficulty, or problem would you try to conquer? How would you do it?
Cari's scene with Miguel, in which she agrees to go outside in the dark to the pond, pp. 33-35 or 33-38
Have you ever done something that you were really scared to do? Tell us what it was and describe what happened? Did you stop being scared?
Tell us about something that you are really scared of. How about taking us with you step by step and seeing what happens with our company when you do that scary thing (on paper only!)
Read the announcement of Tía Lola's special summer camp, pp.10-12
I know this is a classic back to school writing assignment: but what special thing did you do this past summer? Describe it (but it can't be going to Disney world!)
How Tía Lola
Ended Up Starting Over
Running away scene with Juanita, pp 36-42
Have you ever wanted to run away from home? Tell us what most makes you want to do that. Then imagine if you did run away, where would you go and what would you do?
Imagine you are going to run away. Write the note you would leave pinned to your pillow or taped to your door for your family to read when you are gone? Please explain to them in detail what made you upset and perhaps suggest how they might correct it?
Miguel's and Juanita's prank on Mrs. Beauregard, pp. 103-105
It's almost Halloween! Time for pranks and time for spooks! Imagine a prank that you would like to play on a neighbor or a friend or maybe even a member of your own family. Describe the prank and why you've chosen that particular person as your target? What would you do to make sure you are friends at the end of the prank?
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