Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States (anthology)

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Accessibility

  • Vocabulary: combination of English and Spanish (many poems have una mezcla)
    • Poems translated to English from Spanish and vice versa
  • No Lexile rating for poetry books, but appropriate for 7th through 12th grade
  • Wide variety of syntax complexity
  • Requires understanding of poetry conventions (lack of punctuation, personification, metaphor, simile)

Relevance

  • Many voices and experiences represented, but specifically about being Latino
  • Poems sorted into categories: Language and Identity; Neighborhoods; Amor; Family Moments, Memories; Victory
  • Many poems are about the struggle to communicate

Goodness: YES!

  • Poems could be used to teach students about:
    • Sensory language, metaphor, simile, etc.
    • Exploration of identity
  • Use poems as mentor texts and ask students to write poems about stereotypes, their neighborhood, their family
  • Pair with Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States

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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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Accessibility

  • 870L
  • Told in first person through vignettes
  • Conversational narration – narrator is about 12-13 years old

Relevance

  • Universal themes including family, identity, coming of age

Goodness: YES!

  • Audiobook read by author is excellent
  • Use to spark conversations and writing about community and the kind of future we want for ourselves
  • Use as a model text for sensory language
  • Collage activity idea from NCTE

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PDF 

Audiobook