La Prodigiosa Tarde de Baltazar. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The cage was finished. Balthazar hung it under the eave, from force of habit, and when he finished lunch everyone was already saying that it was the most beautiful cage in the world. So many people came to see it that a crowd formed in front of the house, and Balthazar had to take it down and close the shop.
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Here is how I approached this story for my AP language class:. This focused the class on one of the principal themes of the story and signaled that we are more interested in the ideas than learning complex vocabulary. Students read this on their own. After asking student-generated questions on each section the students were experts. We read this version as a class and I model my surprise at significant details that were left out of the first version. This is also were I pause to wonder about the characters developing familiarity with their quirks before students are faced with the original version of the story.
Next year I might have them make a storyboard at this point, but this year my students had a very good grasp of the story at this point and could retell it without the storyboard. I have many heritage speakers in my class who really needed this step in order to not be intimidated by the original version.
Students read this version in pairs while I wandered around the room offering help, but they were pretty independent! Students were engaged because they could see exactly what was new, yet they were able to follow the story easily. Furthermore, this is the only version that actually has the complete ending.
I did create a set of questions for literary analysis, which I wrote on the board one by one and we discussed as a class always referring back to the original story, thus prompting a fourth reading of selected parts. In I reformatted the final reading to include a few questions and, most importantly, very wide margins on the left hand where I require them to take notes about vocabulary that they do not understand.
There are still abundant notes on vocabulary provided in the right margins. Click HERE to download the more recent version of the final story. During the class period after the last embedded reading I used this worksheet as a warm-up to review a few key vocabulary words from the story.
We then created a class story together about what happened the next day when Baltazar awoke shoeless in the street.
I insisted that we work in each of the target vocabulary words as often as we could, and we had a lot of fun doing it.
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La prodigiosa tarde de Baltazar
La prodigiosa tarde de Baltazar por Gabriel García Márquez (análisis literario)
La prodigiosa tarde de Baltazar por Gabriel García Márquez