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Chapter 3

Teaching Tolerance has a great lesson about body image and how we judge others based on looks or size. This lesson could easily be adapted for a conversation about Jacques and Martin. Do you think Carolina judges the two men based on appearance? 

Chapter 4

Esta es una canción que ilustra por qué los Costarricenses se llaman “ticos.” This song is all about the unique way that Costa Ricans, or “ticos” speak Spanish. Adding “ico” or “ica” to the end of a word can make it diminutive, but is also just a characteristic in general of Tico speech. You may wish to share it with your students and then have them try to create “ticoisms” with some words themselves.




Chapter 5

For some absolutely amazing nature photos from Costa Rica, please visit Luc Van der Biest’s photostream.


Collaborative Poster: Capítulo 5
Using Authentic Online Resources to Learn Nature Vocabulary

Use these sites to figure out some nature vocabulary.

Go to and paste each of these web addresses in:

Hint: Nothing encourages creativity like a great big sheet of paper! Purchase large sheets of “newsprint” from wherever you order classroom supplies.

Have students work together in small groups to create a nature poster all in Spanish. Use this blog post as a guide for this activity. Can you think of some ways to adapt this activity to other lessons you teach?
NOTE: This is designed to be a fun enrichment activity. Don’t feel compelled to teach your students EVERY word. Students will naturally gravitate to the words that interest them. It is ok if they don’t remember more than a few!

Chapter 6

Here is a dance lesson to check out!

For reader’s theater, play the “disappointed noise” when Alex makes Makenna get on the bus or

Chapter 7

Activity: Identifying Cognates
Have your students visit this site. How many animals can they find that are cognates?

Chapter 8

Have students get into pairs or small groups and go to Tripadvisor to research Guanacaste.

Chapter 10

Activity: Los Puentes

Show this slideshow from Buzzfeed to your students either before or after the reading:

Have students answer these questions:

¿Cuántos de estos 21 puentes están en Costa Rica?

¿Cuántos de estos 21 puentes están en Latinoamérica?

¿Cuántos están en Asia?

¿Cuál puente cruzarías tú?

¿Cuál puente NO cruzarías tú?

¿Cuál puente es más similar al puente en Noche de Oro?

Props for reader’s theater:

Possible additional props: Fake muscle arms or fake tattoo sleeves (We are not endorsing this particular company, merely suggesting that it would be fun to have these or similar props on hand for acting out this or other scenes from the novel.)

Sound effects for reader’s theater:

Sound effects: Find a youtube video of the sound of rushing water, or use sound from a “white noise” app. Here is one:  Another option is to play some suspenseful music such as

Chapter 11

Salsa Lizano: Celebremos Juntos    PROSESO Costa Rica

Chapter 12

The song Oro by the group Bronco was released in 1991. This is a very cheesy love song which students probably wouldn’t like as a popular song, but will be fun to poke a little fun at. Have students look for the lyrics online and read them. Can they figure out what any of the lines mean? Have students select 3 lines from the song, draw 3 comic-style pictures that represent events in Noche de Oro and use the lyrics from the song as captions. Have fun with this, don’t take it too seriously!

Oro por Bronco



Here are some lines from the song that might be fun to illustrate:

te gusta el dinero y la comodidad, por eso me dejas muy triste

tú me has cambiado por oro

tu amor se fue por el hoyo

el oro cambió tu amor


Museo del Oro Bogotá

The link provided is a virtual tour of the Museo del Oro in Bogotá, Colombia, sponsored by . Many thanks to Mis Cositas for all of their great free online resources! Visit for numerous great resources!

As you view the video with your students, ask them what they think the various artifacts were used for or what they represent.

Chapter 13

Manu Chao y Calle 13 encienden Quito y critican la “minería contaminante”

Answer these questions as you read the article Manu Chao y Calle 13 encienden Quito y critican la “minería contaminante”

1. Where is the band “Calle 13” from?

2. Where was this concert held (what country)?

3. What was being protested?

4. How many fans attended the concert?

5. What music styles does Manu Chao fuse together in his songs?

6. How old is Manu Chao?

7. What was the weather like on the night of the concert?

2017 – News story about police arresting 68 people for illegal gold mining in the closed Crucitas mine

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