La Calaca Alegre

La Calaca Alegre
Comprehension Based™ Reader
Chicano teenager Carlos must solve the mystery of his mother's disappearance in order to truly find peace in his own mind.

Level 3 and up / Intermediate Low — Intermediate High

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Does Carlos really suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or are his strange sensations and life-like nightmares much more real than anyone, including Carlos, believes? Determined to solve the mystery of his mother’s disappearance, Carlos decides to return to Chicago to face his fears and find his mother, even if it means living out his nightmares in real life. As he uncovers the mystery, he discovers the truth is much more complex and evil than he ever imagined.

This Comprehension-based™ reader, ‘La Calaca Alegre’, strategically weaves high-level language structures into a compelling story, based on high-frequency vocabulary. Even upper-level language students need repeated exposure to language structures in order to acquire them, and Wayside's intermediate readers maintain a high frequency factor of high-level language structures, thus helping learners progress beyond typical proficiency levels.


  • Levels 3 and up
  • Past tense
  • Unique word count: 425
  • Total word count: 9850
  • Page count: 77
  • Audio recording embedded in the Student and Teacher Bundles
  • A 510-page Teacher's guide is also available!
Start planning how you can incorporate La Calaca Alegre into your classroom.
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La Calaca Alegre Teacher's Guide

Our Teacher's Guides are loaded with resources to enrich the teaching and learning experience.

  • 510 pages/slides

    In Every Chapter:

    Vocabulary, cognates, comprehension questions, blooming comprehension questions, quiz, pre-reading discussion questions slideshow


    Slideshows: La comida mexicana, Los murales de Pilsen

    Readings: "¿Mexicano o gringo?”, “¿Quiénes son los chicanos?”, “Aztlán”, “Las tortillas”, “Luchando por sus sueños: la familia Guzmán”

    Adivina, adivinador: Muralistas famosos Game / Slideshow, Aztlán Game: ¿Cuál es la pregunta a esta respuesta?, Carlos Santana research, Jeff Zimmermann: Mural Quest, Los chicanos: Apuntes, Los chicanos: Flipped Classroom, Mariposas migrantes: Héctor Duarte, Yo soy Joaquín

    Features and Highlights:

    Reader’s Theater Scripts, ¡Alerta!, Antes, después o durante, Identifying Cognates, ¿Cómo? ¿Cuándo? ¿Dónde? , Crucigrama, Curtain Call, Eight is Enough, El juego del gato, En peligro, Eventful, Find the Faker, First to Third, Logical/Illogical, Luz roja, luz verde, Most Logical, On Deck, Opening Activity Hook, Order Up, ¿Pasado o presente?, Pass it up, “Placement Test”, Q & A Matchup, ¿Quién lo dijo?, Rollin‘ Comprehension, Several scoring rubrics for assessment, 6 of one, half dozen of another, Si yo fuera…, Social Media Ongoing Project with Templates, Story Chunks, The Splits, Toma uno, por favor, Two Truths and a Lie, Una entrevista con Héctor Duarte, Venn Diagram 2 Ways, Which Came First? , Which Sitch is Which?, Word Cloud Activities, Word Warm Up, Writings (¿Qué va a pasar?, Atrapado, La excursión de Carlos, La reacción de los tíos, Las pesadillas, Mi Aztlán)


  • Carrie Toth

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Research Based and ACTFL Aligned

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