Language arts

Common Core STANDARDs alignment


  • Analyze how and why individuals, events and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.


  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience.


Using Finding the Music/En Pos de la Música, as an example, students will write or begin to write a first-person narrative that conveys events or experiences from their own lives through well-developed description of a meaningful personal object.


Finding the Music/En Pos de la Música
Graphic Organizer: Finding the Music – Mini-Memoir


  • Ask students to think of an object that is very important to them—it might be an athletic trophy, for example. Perhaps a set of paintbrushes, or favorite toy from when they were younger.
  • Explain to students that they are going to hear/read a story about a very important possession, an old musical instrument called a vihuela. Ask them to be thinking about what the vihuela means to the family and community it belongs to.
  • Read! Aloud, as a group, or individually.
  • Discuss Abuelito’s vihuela in Finding the Music. We never meet Abuelito, but we learn a lot about him through the vihuela. Describe what we know about Abuelito citing evidence from the text.
  • Explain that memoir is a type of writing in which authors describe an event or experience from their own lives, including their feelings about the event or experience and what made it so important. Unlike Finding the Music, memoirs are based on facts.
  • Hand out the Mini-Memoir graphic organizer and invite students to complete, first by recalling again an object of personal significance.
  • Older students may use the graphic organizer to develop a paragraph or essay.

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