Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary terms and allusions aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key vocabulary and allusions found in the book Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez. Students will create a spider map of 3-5 terms at the teacher's discretion. Each cell will contain a term or allusion, its definition or description, and an appropriate illustration.
cargo: goods carried on a ship, aircraft, or motor vehicle.
confiscate: take or seize someone's property.
contradiction: a person, thing, or situation in which elements are inconsistent or opposed to one another.
Coyotes: Spanish word for smugglers help immigrants cross into the United States illegally.
democracy: a system of government where representatives and lawmakers are elected by the people.
Derechos: Spanish word for rights.
enlightened having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook.
Estrella: Estrella is the Spanish word for stars. Tyler introduces Mari to astronomy and their friendship forms over a love of stargazing. Mari suggests that Tyler name the farm stars and swallows: Estrella & Golondrina Farm. Even though Mexico and Vermont are far apart, they are both under the same stars.
hostage: A person seized by a criminal in order to compel another party such as a relative, employer, law enforcement, or government to act in a certain way or give money, often under threat of serious physical harm to the hostage.
immoral: deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong.
La Golondrina: La Golondrina is Spanish for swallow, a type of bird. It is also the name of a famous Mexican song that Mari and her family enjoy. The swallow migrates from Mexico to the United States and back every year. The song talks about longing for one's home like the swallow or golondrina flying across North America.
La migra and ICE: La Migra is the Spanish word for immigration. When Mari uses these words, she means "immigration officials" or ICE: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE is a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security founded in 2003. ICE seeks out immigrants who have entered the United States illegally and deports them back to their country of origin.
Operation Return to Sender: a large operation by ICE in 2006 and 2007 that targeted undocumented immigrants with a criminal record. However, it also deported those without criminal records as was the case of the Cruz family in the story.
oversimplify: to simplify (something) so much that a distorted impression of it is given.
prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
stigma: a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
stereotypes: a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing which can be problematic and hurtful.
testimony: a solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official.
upstanding: marked by integrity.
vigilant: alertly watchful especially to avoid danger.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Create a spider map that defines and illustrates key vocabulary from Return to Sender.
Requirements: Must have 3 vocabulary terms, correct definitions or descriptions, and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Visual Vocabulary BoardsCommon Core Standards
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