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Too Many Tamales Activities and Lesson Plans for 2022

Elementary teachers looking for lesson plans and activities for Too Many Tamales will love this post. It includes resource recommendations, teaching ideas, and information about the book. You’ll have what you need to deliver an excellent interactive read aloud lesson for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month or Christmas.

With a theme of taking ownership, this Too Many Tamales picture book by Gary Soto is a favorite in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. It will become one of your favorites too!

You can also add it to your list of Christmas around the world books and  Hispanic Heritage Month books.

Engage Your Students with Too Many Tamales Lesson Plans & Activities in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Read a summary of Too Many Tamales.
  2. Check out the teaching ideas for reading comprehension strategies, grammar topics and social emotional learning skills that can be taught using this children’s book.
  3. Download the book companion to make lesson planning simple with Too Many Tamales reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, teaching ideas & no-prep extension activities.

TOO MANY TAMALES SUMMARY

It’s Christmas and Maria is helping her mother make tamales. She feels very grown-up wearing her mother’s apron, perfume and lipstick. Maria admires her mother’s diamond ring sitting on the counter. When her mother leaves the room to get the phone, Maria decides to try the ring on. She watches it shine as she kneads the dough for the tamales. 

 

Maria and her parents finish making the tamales and the family arrives. The children go upstairs to play. While Maria and her cousins clip pictures of toys in the newspaper, a picture of a necklace reminds Maria of the ring. She realizes it is not on her hand anymore! She runs downstairs and realizes it must be inside one of the tamales.

 

Maria and her cousins start eating the tamales, hoping to find the ring. When they’ve eaten the last one without finding the ring, they realize someone must have swallowed the ring. Maria must confess to her mother.

 

As Maria is talking to her mother, she realizes the ring is on her finger! It wasn’t missing after all. Maria is still upset that she almost lost the ring but her aunt tries to comfort her. The family works together in the kitchen to make a second batch of tamales. Maria feels better when Aunt Rosa jokes that the second batch is always better. 

TOO MANY TAMALES LESSON PLAN IDEAS

Each of our 400+ Starts With a Story book companions come with a teacher’s guide to make lesson planning quick and easy, printable worksheets and digital resources that cover ALL of the standards-based reading comprehension skills.

When it comes to writing lesson plans and finding activities for Too Many Tamales, we’ve already done all of the heavy lifting for you.

We found this book was especially good at teaching the topics listed below.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

The text-based Too Many Tamales reading comprehension questions focus on:

  • summarize / retell
  • analyzing character
  • analyzing setting
  • making connections
  • plot | problem – solution

LITERATURE-BASED SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING LESSONS

We found this story to be a great SEL picture book to promote:

  • taking ownership

GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY & WORD STUDY

  • action verbs
  • adverbs 
  • antonyms
  • punctuation

TOO MANY TAMALES ACTIVITIES

You’ll receive all of the following resources aligned to the story:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies
Too Many Tamales book companion
elementary teacher reading aloud a picture book to her students

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Too Many Tamales book activity

BOOK INFO FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

What are the reading levels for Too Many Tamales?

  • Lexile® Measure: 580L
  • Guided Reading Level: N – O
  • DRA Level: 28 – 30
  • Accelerated Reader Level (ARC): 3.2 – 3.3

Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

The book was written by Gary Soto. It was illustrated by Ed Martinez.

What genre is Too Many Tamales?

It is a fiction book. You may want to check out our genre activities or read our blog post, How to Teach Genre to Elementary Students.

How many pages are in the book?

The story is 32 pages long.

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