Reaching Out

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From the perspective of the young adult he was then, Francisco Jiménez describes the challenges he faced in his efforts to continue his education.
     During his college years, the very family solidarity that allowed Francisco to survive as a child is tested. Not only must he leave his family behind when he goes to Santa Clara University, but while Francisco is there, his father abandons the family and returns to Mexico. This is the story of how Francisco coped with poverty, with his guilt over leaving his family financially strapped, with his self-doubt about succeeding academically, and with separation. Once again his telling is honest, true, and inspiring.
Curriculet Details
45 Questions
48 Annotations
3 Quizzes

In this 6th and 7th grade digital curriculum, annotations include links to historical videos of events discussed in the book, images of the setting, music mentioned in the novel, and explanations of literary devices such as simile. Interactive videos support engagement and cover subjects such as developing themes and using text-based evidence to make inferences The Common Core aligned questions and answers address setting and historical events, such as the experiences of Mexican migrant workers in the 1960's, the civil rights movement led by César Chávez, and the importance of family. Our free online unit will increase student engagement with rich media annotations while supporting reading comprehension with questions and quizzes that are imbedded directly into the book.

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College Bound

Did you know that you can look up words that are challenging on Curriculet? Just highlight the word you want to look up and click on the "Define" feature.  
The image below shows a map of Jalisco, Mexico.  (This annotation contains an image)
Listen to the song "Cielito Lindo" by clicking on the video below. Have you heard this song before?  (This annotation contains a video)
What does this comparison reveal about the narrator's relationship with his brother? 
The University of Santa Clara is located near San Jose, California. It is a small, private university. The picture below shows an image of the campus.  (This annotation contains an image)
The narrator disagrees with his father, but he does not contradict him. From this detail, what can we infer about the father and the narrator's relationship? 
The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by John Steinbeck. John Steinbeck wrote his novel based on the Great Depression in America during the 1930s. The Great Depression was a time when many Americans were living in poverty because the economy collapsed. Here is a scene of a migrant worker family during the 1930s during the American Great Depression. Why is the narrator is able to relate to the novel? (This annotation contains an image)
The picture below shows the Mission Church described in this section. (This annotation contains an image)
How does arriving at the university and seeing the other students and families impact Frank's father and mother? 
The image below shows a picture of Kenna Hall at Santa Clara University.  (This annotation contains an image)
The image below shows an illustration of the Virgen de Guadalupe. The Virgen de Guadalupe plays a significant role in the religious lives of Mexican Catholics. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this detail reveal about Frank's father? 

Moving In

Santa Maria is located in central California. Frank doesn't have his own car so two hundred miles is a long distance away from his family. It will be hard for him to visit them regularly.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Frank know much about baseball or other sports? 
The dorm rules are _________. 
The details in this passage illustrate that the Jimenez family had many times of hardship during their lives. To learn more about using textual evidence to make inferences, watch the video below! (This annotation contains a video)


"Smokey jumped out of bed like a scared rabbit," is an example of a(n) ___________. 
Listen to Santa Clara's rally song by clicking on the video below.  (This annotation contains a video)
While it might seem strange that girls only made up one-third of the university, this was relatively normal in the 1960's. These days, women make up over half of all college students in the United States.  
What does this detail reveal about how Frank is feeling at registration? 

Unexpected Turns

What does Frank do when his teacher mispronounces his last name? 
In the 1960's, teachers were allowed to smoke cigarettes in class. Many more people smoked in the 1960's than they do today.  
This is an image of a typewriter. Typewriters were used to type decades before computers. The only problem was, if you made a mistake you could not simply press delete. You had to use white out or special paper to ensure that you could erase the ink by hand.  (This annotation contains an image)
It is clear that Jimenez is finding college _______ than his classmates.  
One central idea that is emerging in the text is 
This image shows Mexican migrant workers harvesting crops in the 1950's. This men in this picture probably had a very similar experience working in the field that Jimenez is describing in this passage.  (This annotation contains an image)

A Compromise

From this detail it is clear that the author  
One theme that is beginning to emerge in the novel is the importance of education. As you read, pay attention to how Jimenez prioritizes his education above all other things in his life. To learn how to identify theme, watch the short video below.  (This annotation contains a video)
The time Jiménez spends with Smokey and some of Smokey's friends ultimately makes Jiménez feel _____________. 

Cervantes Hall

Listen to the song "Are You Lonesome Tonight" by Elvis Presley by clicking on the video below. Think about why Jiménez might relate to this song at this moment in his life.  (This annotation contains a video)
Smokey's comment to Jiménez is ____________. 
The Twist was a very popular dance move in the 1960's made popular by the song "The Twist" by Chubby Checker. Watch the video below to see Chubby Checker singing and dancing to "The Twist."  (This annotation contains a video)

Reaching Out

From the details Jiménez uses to describe his father's condition, it is clear that his father is 
The phrase "qué diablos" is a curse word in Spanish. Clearly, Jiménez's father is very upset since he is using this kind of language to address his son.  
The image below shows Francisco Jiménez at Bonetti Ranch when he was 13-years-old.  (This annotation contains an image)
How has being sick impacted Jiménez's father? 
What purpose does the highlighted passage have in the text? 

A Stranger’s Gift

In the previous chapter, Jiménez mentions that he worked seventy hours per week during his summer vacation. Can you imagine working this hard during your summer vacation? 
We can infer that Jiménez has never seen a dentist because 
Quiz #1 
Jiménez did not have to pay for this visit to the dentist. Why do you think Mr. Easton paid for Jiménez's bill? 

Making Ends Meet

Jiménez is not telling the truth in this passage. In actuality, Jiménez was born in 
The image below shows modern-day Aymara Indians participating in a ceremony. Descendants of the Aymara people still live in modern day Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.  (This annotation contains an image)

At a Loss

Why didn't Jiménez start school in September like other students? 
President John F. Kennedy was shot in the 1960's. During the 1960's, a lot of very important events happened. To learn more about some of the history of the 1960's in America, watch this video below. (This annotation contains a video)
The image below shows Cristero fighters during the Cristero Revolt in Mexico that started in 1926.  (This annotation contains an image)
From the details Jiménez's mom reveals, it is clear that she 
How did the events of the previous night impact Jiménez's mother? 

A Christmas Break

Before this moment, Jiménez has been keeping everything that is happening at home inside. It is important that he shares with someone else so he has support. Think about why it might have taken him so long to open up about his home life with others.  
The image below shows a clergyman wearing a cassock.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Father Shanks ask Jiménez if he is a leader or a follower? 
Jiménez has to pay for school and help support his family. What does this fact say about how much Jiménez values education? 
Why didn't the family tell Jiménez that his father went back to Mexico? 

It Didn’t Fit

What central idea of the novel is represented in this paragraph? 
The image below shows a DeSoto. Why is Jiménez glad that he doesn't have to drive the DeSoto? (This annotation contains an image)
From this detail we can infer that 
The portrait below is Captain Hancock in the 1920's. He was a very influential man and an important part of the city of Santa Maria.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2 


What central idea of the novel is making Jiménez decide to leave college and return home? 
A novena is a prayer that takes place in the Roman Catholic tradition that takes place over nine days.  
This is a photo of a Mexican migrant worker's home taken in 1937 by the famous photographer Dorthea Lange. This home may have been similar to the type of home that the Jiménez lived in. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jiménez decide to stay in school? 

Soul Mate

This picture was taken at Santa Clara University on graduation day. Laura Facchini and Jiménez are the two people in the middle of the photo.  (This annotation contains an image)
This is a picture of the Jiménez family in front of their car.  (This annotation contains an image)
What brings Laura and Jiménez together? 

Home Away from Home

Aguascalientes is highlighted in black on the map below.  (This annotation contains an image)
What impact did not being allowed to speak Spanish at school have on Jiménez and Emily? 


This sign is a sign that was placed in front of restaurants and stores in some parts of the United States during this time period. How do you think people of Mexican origin felt when they saw this sign? (This annotation contains an image)
How is Hernández's point of view about America different than Jiménez's?  

In a Cell

Roberto was sorrowful and humiliated because 
To learn more about the Civil Rights Act, check out the website below. Do you think that a law can stop people from discriminating?  (This annotation contains a link)

A Secret Revealed

The image below shows immigrants walking onto Ellis Island in New York. Laura's grandparents would have had a very similar experience to the people in this photograph.  (This annotation contains an image)
Based on the details in this passage, we can infer that 

An American Citizen

Why does Jiménez feel liberated? 
Immigrants who wish to become citizens still need to complete a process similar to the one that Jiménez went through. This is a picture of citizens taking a oath of allegiance to the United States before they become citizens.  (This annotation contains an image)
This video shows recent immigrants to the United States taking the oath of citizenship to the United States.  (This annotation contains a video)

Memories of a Barrack

From the family's point of view, Francisco 
What does Mr. Penney tell Francisco's brother? 
The image below shows a crucifix like the one described in this passage.  (This annotation contains an image)
Francisco compares the loss of the house to  
Ultimately, Jiménez feels a sense of _______ regarding his old home.  

In Solidarity

Watch this brief biography to learn more about the important role that César Chávez had in Latino civil rights.  (This annotation contains a video)
From Francisco's point of view, sacrificing his grade to participate in the march is 
The image below shows a picture of César Chávez marching with flags and signs that Jiménez describes in this chapter.  (This annotation contains an image)
Here is rare footage of Mexican migrant workers marching to Sacramento during the 1960's.  (This annotation contains a video)
Jiménez is _____________ by his experience marching with César Chávez. 


Jiménez feels ________ about the interview. 
From this detail, it is clear that Father O'Neill and the other priests are very supportive of Jiménez.  
Why does Jiménez calm down? 
The image below shows a picture of Columbia University. Despite being excited about attending graduate school, Jiménez is worried about not being able to support his family.  (This annotation contains an image)


What does this detail reveal about Jiménez's feelings the night before his graduation? 
Francisco is pictured on his graduation day in this photo.  (This annotation contains an image)
Toto is wiping his eyes because  
This detail reveals that Laura ___________  Francisco. 
A footlocker is a trunk like the one pictured below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #3