Casi me mata el celular, suspenseful, comprehensible and undeniably gracioso!

Casi me mata el celular, a short story for Spanish class!

     Reviewing the preterite and imperfect tenses? Check out this Spanish novel, for teens learning Spanish as a second language. The updated version is even more suspenseful and “killer.” Your students will love this comprehensible crime-thriller. And, don’t you dare worry about creating activities- get Teacher’s Manual of activities, absolutely free.

Click here for the novel and the 2 chapter preview

Click here for making your life easy while teaching this novel 

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Last summer, I wanted to write a story that would pique the interest of young boys/men in the class. There is quite a body of L1 research highlighting the discrepancy between girls and boys reading habits, and frequency. In the world language classroom, I have seen with my own students, how the girls gobble up literature and the boys, well, they take time in finding their “reading stride.” This novella, Casi me mata el celular, was conceived with the purpose of “enganchando” the boys in the class and adding details that would involve them in the story. There is a little bit of guy humor, mild violence, and allusion to popular video games that surrounds the problem-saturated drama.  Although this novella, is great for boys, the girls won’t shy away, there is something here for everyone (very odd blooming romance from two unlikely characters-unnervingly hilarious).

So, if your students are looking for a crime/suspense novel with a bold adventure, Casi me mata el celular, will satisfy your students’ thrill-seeking quest. The story could be a great addition to your FVR library or even a quick class read. It comes with a Teacher Manual with 26 activities that include speaking, writing and reading comprehension in addition to vocabulary lists. Check out the specs:

Vocabulary: Technology related/ Crime 

Target structures: Preterite, Imperfect, some subjunctive

There is a mild gun violence (3rd chapter), it is the crux of what they see. 

Synopsis

Federico and his friends have a pretty simple life. They love to play basketball, soccer and go skateboarding at the park. They also love to go to their favorite hangout out, La librería Curioso: the only abandoned building left in a slowly up and coming town. This space gives them the privacy they need to practice pranks and other hilarious stunts to upload to Youtube. But the night of Friday the 13, their joke goes sour. While shooting the breeze and popping firecrackers, they stumble upon an uncanny situation. In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, they witness something will change their lives forever. Now the boys have to try to make it out of this situation, alive. 


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Spanish 3+ Las apariencias engañan

El Muerto en el Armario (skeletons in the closet)


 

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“Si juegas con fuego, te vas a quemar;” Camilo learns the hard way that he can’t have his cake, and eat it too! This novel will engage your students as they discover that some secrets, should not come out the closet!

El Muerto en el Armario- Skeletons in the Closet

Target structures: Present/Past Subjunctive

¡Ojalá que lo disfrutes!

Segunda Parte: Damage Control  

El muerto cover- closet door

The installment part of the story “Las apariencias”  ups the stakes, Liliana and Camilo. Their little secret is out: and there will be consequences. Through a series of clever maneuvers, they are still able to evade the truth; but the time is running out. A very close encounter with Juan, that will put students “pelos de punta” builds suspense as our friend Liliana is hiding the closet. Not only does Juan have Camilo’s cell phone, that was left at school, but he also has his contraseña.  The interaction between Juan and Camilo heightens senses as Juan revealed that he has read some of those steamy (nothing inappropriate) messages.  Liliana, who is mired “frenemy” behavior, adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret, belonging to one of Camilo’s parents. The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center book dramatic close, and then dramatic open of “Las sombras.”  How will Camilo’s parents handle her knowing sensitive information? Will Juan find out she is a traitor? How will Salomé exact revenge… find out in part 2! 

Interested in doing this a fun class novel read? No problem, download the Free Teacher’s Manual.

Click here for the first installment of the story

El Muerto en el Armario- Segunda Parte 

Las apariencias engañan: where the drama begins!

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I was thrilled by the concept of Novelas por Entregas such as those you read in Vanidades Magazine. I took a Hispanic American Literature class years ago and learned that authors in the 19th century published chapters of their work prior to publishing a novel.

Inspired by this idea, I created this series for my Spanish IV class. I started by trying to write a simple story that would include the subjunctive. As an on-the-go teacher, it was virtually impossible for me to curate materials (that included both vocabulary and grammar) and control for many other variables, so I create my own. It started out as one story and now it is a full-blown series. After the first chapter, El Psicólogo (the original name of the cuento) students were asking for more. I started writing during my weekends to keep up with the demand. Now, I am working on the last installment, “Las sombras” which could stand alone as it’s own novel or 2 part series. These stories were fun to read as class, as students were freaking out as the plot twists developed- there are some unexpected turns with the first one and everyone had to go back to read the chapter to see the twist. This was exciting as a writer, but even more thrilling as a teacher!

The story starts with a group of close friends who have some pretty deep secrets. The main character Salomé (which students kept calling Salami- so irritating!) is going through a mala racha. With family problems, slipping grades and an ever-so-distant boyfriend, she begins to suspect the worst.  Her best friend helps her to discover that her goody-two-shoe boyfriend has some serious skeletons in the closet; this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The story is dialogue-based is replete with phrases that help students to practice the subjunctive and authentic expressions. No worries about teaching vocabulary,  most of the expressions and vocabulary are included in the footnote! I am working on a glossary, but am also in the process of publishing my limited series books first such as La clase de confesiones, La bella mentira y Casi me mata el celular. The glossary and then print version of this series should be ready soon. Both ebooks are one TPT.  My students did not miss a beat with the vocabulary accessible to them. Click here for the sample. 

Audience

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 and eventually a mysterious murder involved. I was surprised that the boys in my class rivaled the girls in their interest in the storyline.

Click here for the first installment of the story

Enjoy, both books have great reviews!