Isla by Arthur Dorros

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Summary of the Story

A young girl and her grandmother use their imagination to visit the Caribbean island where the grandmother grew up.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book, pointing to the word Isla as you say it. Have children repeat the title.
  • Point to the picture on the cover. Ask: What do you see? (A woman and a little girl are flying in the sky.) Explain that isla is the word for island in Spanish.

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the story, moving your finger under the words as you read. If necessary, refer to the glossary in the back of the book for help in pronouncing the Spanish words.
  • After reading the story, ask: Do the little girl and her grandma take a real or an imaginary trip?

Recalling the Story

  • After you have finished reading, ask children the recall questions below. Continue to ask these questions when you reread the book, until he or she knows the answers.

Reading the Story Again and Again

  • Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What is happening in this picture? Where are they now? Do less reading of the words to the story each time you read, leaving more and more of the "reading" or retelling to the child.
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. Ask: What are Abuela and the little girl sitting in? (They are sitting in a rocking chair.) Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the child's response. Expand it by giving more information. Ask the child to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help with a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book.

Extra Activities

  • Have children imagine what it would be like to fly over other kinds of places. Start by asking: What would you see if you flew over the North Pole?
  • Children can draw pictures of people in their families. Help them label the picture with the names of the family members.

Recall Questions
Ask the following questions to check children's understanding of the story.

  1. What is the name of this book? (The book is called Isla.)
  2. What do the main characters in this book do? (They take an imaginary trip to the island where Abuela grew up and where Rosalba's aunt and uncle and cousin live.)
  3. What do they do in the backyard? (They play in a fountain.)
  4. What do they see in the rain forest? (They see parrots, lizards, frogs, and lots of plants.)
  5. What do they see in the harbor? (They see big ships.)
  6. Why do they go to the market? (Abuela's family went there to sell pineapples when she was a little girl.)
  7. What do Rosalba and Abuela make for supper? (They make a fruit salad.)
  8. When do Abuela and Rosalba go home? (They go home at night.)

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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!

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