Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha

Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha
Comprehension-Based Reader™
Being born into a violent Los Angeles gang is tough. Escaping it might be impossible.

Level 4 / Intermediate Low — Intermediate High

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This compelling drama recounts life (and death) in one of the most violent and well-known gangs in Los Angeles, La Mara Salvatrucha. Joining MS-13 brings certain gang-related responsibilities, but being born into La Salvatrucha requires much more. Sometimes it even requires your life! This is a gripping story of one gang member’s struggle to find freedom.

Note: Although this is not a true story, it is inspired by true events. It neither glorifies gang life nor promotes it. On the contrary, it paints a realistic picture of the pain, suffering, and stress that gang life naturally causes and compels the reader to consider the human condition as it relates to our need for love, friendship, belonging, and forgiveness.

This Comprehension-based™ reader, ‘Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha’, 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 Fluency Matters’ intermediate readers maintain a high frequency factor of high-level language structures, thus helping learners progress beyond typical proficiency levels.


  • Level 4 and up
  • Past tense
  • Unique word count: 428
  • Total word count: 7600
  • Page count: 52
  • Audio recording embedded in the Student and Teacher Bundles
  • A 543+page Teacher's Guide is also available!
Start planning how you can incorporate Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha into your classroom.
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Abejas exploradoras Teacher's Guide

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

  • 543 pages/slides

    In Every Chapter:

    Vocabulary, comprehension questions, blooming comprehension, quiz, pre-reading questions, post-reading questions, apt apps, paperless Google Drive activities


    Slideshows: El territorio y el graffiti, Los tatuajes, Vida y muerte abordo de la Bestia

    Infographics: "¿Cómo se produce la miel?", "¿Cómo tratar una picadura de abeja?", "La estructura de la colmena", "La polinización", La importancia de abejas

    Readings: "¿Cómo se comunican las abejas?", “Boquete, Panamá“, “Xunan kab“, "La sociedad de las abejas", "Los meliponinos"

    Features and Highlights:

    Reader’s Theater scripts, AP/IB Alley activities, Interactive Notebook activities to chronicle events of the story, Pin Play activities: Build engagement with Pinterest, Authentic Additions: Connect with authentic resources, Shake-it-Up kinesthetic activities, Pop-up grammar topics with Grammar Bubble activities, Question Quandary to develop questioning skills, ACTFL Can-Do’s


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