How to Teach with Legends


This is another foray into the world of embedded reading, invented and eloquently described by Laurie Clarq and Michele Whaley . You can see more of their work  here . I like the story of La Llorona and I have spent a long time thinking about how to present this simple version, as well as more complex versions of the legend over the years. I think this latest iteration is some good work.  The story starts with an extremely simple skeleton version of the story. It introduces just five words and the entire story has only 21 total words. More and [...]


I wrote a short TEACHER GUIDE for the LA TORTUGA Y LA LIEBRE story I posted last week, because I wanted to share the process for teaching something like this deeply. This is a fable with staying power. It has had something to say to us over the millennia. It is not just another silly story from class. This fable contains values that I hope my students will absorb--in essence it is the same message as Mindset  by Carol Dweck, and I want to help guide my colleagues into teaching it in such a way as to encourage meaningful class discussions in the [...]

Quote of the Day 11/18/11

LEGENDS "It is quite easy to see why a legend is treated, and ought to be treated, more respectfully than a book of history.  The legend is generally made by a majority of the people in the village who are sane.  The book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad."  —Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton, English novelist and philosopher (1874-1936) Long live the legends!  Actually it doesn’t matter if we wish the legends well or not, they will live on in spite of our approval or disapproval because they contain core truths.  Legends are often true [...]

Examples of Student Essays

There are examples of recent student essays on the "Free Stuff" page on this website.  Look in the "Workshops Downloads" section. Students wrote these essays in class after we had read and discussed three versions of the legend of La Llorona the day before.  All reading and discussion was in the TL.  Their task was to pick two versions to compare.  Specifically, they were to analyze three important differences that they had noticed.  I wanted them to re-read the stories, think critically about them and show what they could do with the written language.  They wrote in class and could [...]