3 Part Short Story Series for Spanish Class -Skeletons in the Closet

Las Apariencias Engañan

Scroll down for the synopsis, free Teacher’s Manual and the preview of first two chapters!

I was thrilled by the concept of Novelas por Entregas such as those you’d read in Vanidades Magazine. You’d flip to the back, and there was always an intriguing story: short, but sweet. This was the same method used by 19th authors who published chapters of their work prior to publishing a novel. I started with this method and now las entregas constitute a Spanish 3-part language-learning mini-series for Teens, with dynamic and relatable characters, complex scenarios and drama-drenched encounters. 


Be sure to check out the quizlet sets!

  I created El Muerto en el Armario series for my Spanish IV class. I started by trying to write a simple story that would include the different facets of the subjunctive tense, which was the structure for our unit on Identity and Relationships.  I know there is a lot of good TPRS books and shorts out there, but as an on-the-go teacher, it was virtually impossible for me to curate materials (that would include both vocabulary and grammar) and control for many other variables, so I solved for X and created my own. 

          It started out as one story about friends with different types of issues and has now blossomed into a full-blown series. After the first chapter, El Psicólogo (the original name of the cuento) students were asking for more. They thought the story was “beast” and wondered if the author (I did not tell them it was me) had more chapters.  I started writing during my weekends to keep up with the demand. Now that I have finished and perfected the novel, I am sharing with you!

       Since my students really enjoy reading the story and acting it out in class, I made sure to quite a bit of purposeful dialogue. The dialogue in the story is replete with witty remarks, idiomatic expressions and real reactions to problems. No worries about teaching the vocabulary, most of the expressions and vocabulary are included in the footnotes in addition to being scaffolded through the tons of activities in the Teacher’s Manual.  The footnotes, which are bountiful, ensured that my students did not miss a beat with this engrossing story. The story has received good reviews, so I hope you and your students enjoy it as well. It would be a great asset to any FVR/SSR program or could be read as a class with reading, speaking, grammar,  and creative writing activities.

Synopsis for part 1 of the series


        Camilo is hiding a secret, and it won’t be long until his girlfriend finds out. She sets out to spy on her once romantic poem-writing boyfriend, who is being incredibly secretive as of late. Between poor grades, his erratic behavior, and her parents’ divorce, Salomé feels like she is going to implode. Her new discovery of chica who is colada with her boyfriend puts her over the edge even más. Seeking help and sanity, she decides to visit a popular town psychiatrist. He changes her perspective on things, and with that comes a cost.  His advice ultimately leads her to discover a much greater truth about Camilo, his father and the town in which they live. She goes on a quest for the truth but then gets more than she bargained for. …Every chapter is a twisty rollercoaster that abruptly stops at a cliffhanger, right before it pushes you over the edge. Las Apariencias Engañan reveals the timeless truths that things are never what they seem to be.

Click below for the two-chapter preview!

Las Apariencias Engañan (Part 1)

Click the link below to access the free Teacher’s Manual for this Series

Teacher’s Manual of Activities 

El Muerto en el Armario: Las mentiras tienen patas cortas 

The second installment in the series El Muerto en el Armario ups the stakes for all the players involved. “Las cartas están sobre la mesa” as Salomé (Camilo’s girlfriend) holds all the players hostage to their secrets.   Through a series of clever maneuvers, Camilo (Juan’s best friend) and Liliana (Juan’s girlfriend) are still able to evade the truth; but the time is quickly running out. Situational “close calls, will put readers’ “pelos de punta” especially when Juan confronts Camilo on his secretive behavior and the steamy text messages (nothing inappropriate) found on his phone. Liliana adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret belonging to one of Camilo’s parents; this secret is the just tip of the iceberg.  The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center of the drama in the third installment La Nube: Corre y No Mires Atrás.  How will Camilo’s parents handle her knowing sensitive information?  What price will she pay for this secret? Will Juan discover the truth about his friends? How will Salomé exact revenge? Find out in part 2! 


This story may be best suited for Spanish 3 and above. There are a few kissing scenes, romantic talk and threats such as ” Me las vas a pagar, te lo juro.” There is some back-stabbing, betrayal, espionage.

Activities for using the story in class 

Most activities cater to the present subjunctive. Many questions require students to respond to the story in a way that evokes the subjunctives. There are also tasks wherein they take the role of the psychiatrist to recommend how the people in the story could solve their problems. The activity below, included in the story bundle, is one such activity. A list of the activities are included below:

Resources for this series

Please Make a copy of the editable version of conversation cards

Conversation Cards for El Muerto en el Armario Series 

Enjoy, books in print coming soon!

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