Abuela by Arthur Dorros Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help students recognize and describe story elements, demonstrate the ability to create and use a glossary, and understand the difference between verbs with similar meanings as they read ''Abuela'' by Arthur Dorros.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this lesson on the story Abuela by Arthur Dorros, students will be able to:

  • Describe characters, settings, and major events in the story using key details
  • Understand the features of print
  • Understand shades of meaning in verbs and adjectives

Time Length

30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.


Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.


Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or choosing them or by acting out the meanings.


Students will be able to understand and use the following key vocabulary terms in context:

  • Abuela
  • Adventure
  • Docked
  • Flock
  • Glide
  • Harbor
  • Soared
  • Swooping

Lesson Instructions and Activities

Discussion Questions

  • While reading Abuela by Arthur Dorros, pause at appropriate times to discuss the following questions:
    • Rosalba says the park is beautiful. What are some other words she could use to describe the park?
    • Why are some words in italics?
    • How would you describe Rosalba?
    • How would you describe Abuela?
    • What are some of the settings in this story?
    • Why did the author choose to put a glossary at the end of this story?
  • What are some other reasons why an author would add a glossary?

Exchanging Verbs Activity

Materials: sentence strips, pocket chart, index cards, markers

  • The following sentences from Abuela are written on the sentence strips and placed in the pocket chart. Be sure to leave plenty of space between words.

'Si, quiero volar,' Abuela would reply as she leaped into the sky with her skirt flapping in the wind.
And I'd look, as we soared over parks and streets, dogs and people.
We'd fly over factories and trains…and glide close to the sea.
We'd fly to where the ships are docked, and watch people unload fruits from the land where Abuela grew up.
We saw her cousin Daniel once.
And Abuela would do a flip for fun as we passed by the windows.
We are walking by the lake.
She likes adventures.
  • For each of the bolded words, students will choose 3 replacement words and write each of them on an index card.
  • Students will place their index cards in front of the bolded word.
  • Students will read each sentence aloud to a partner using the original word. The student will then reread the sentence using each of the replacement words instead.

Abuela Cartoon Activity

Materials: paper, pencils, crayons

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