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Snapshots from the Wedding by Gary Soto, Illustrated by Stephanie Garcia

Age Range/Grade: 4-8, Grades PreK - 3rd Grade

Theme: Family traditions and celebrations

This photo album, built from the perspective of the flower girl at a wedding, only tells a fraction of the story. A picture is a moment in time, but it represents a piece of a larger story of family and celebration.

Introduce the Cover

 

Describe the picture. Describe the picture. What are some of the items in the picture? Is there anything you have questions about? Have you ever been to a wedding? What is a snapshot?

PredictWhat do you think this book will be about?

Pause at...

Pages 2-3

Point to...

"...biting back a smile…”;

“...white as Chiclets”;

“pews”

Ponder...

What is a pew?

 

bout how old is Isaac? 

 

What are Chiclets? 

Talk about...

Who is Maya? How do you know?

Pause at...

Pages 4-5

Point to...

Picture on page 4; “...left shoe untied…”; “...dirty tennis shoe…”

Ponder...

Why is there a gold frame around the box on page 4, but not on page 5?

Talk about...

All the pictures are pretty. Why did the author include details about untied and dirty shoes?

Pause at...

Pages 6-7

Point to...

“...beautiful bride…”

Ponder...

Find all the words that make you think of weddings.

Talk about...

Why isn’t there anyone else pictured on this page?

Pause at...

Pages 8-9

Point to...

“...a really, really nice guy…”; use of parentheses; “...Tía….Tío…”; itching

Ponder...

What is the flower girl’s relationship to the bride? To the groom? What makes you think so?

 

How does the flower girl feel about the groom?

Talk about...

Why are some words in parentheses?

 

The cast is another detail that is not pretty. Why did the author include it?

Pause at...

Pages 10-11

Point to...

“(You can’t see it…)”

Ponder...

Which people is Maya describing? Where are they?

 

Have you ever cried when you’re happy? 

Talk about...

What is the connection between mothers, babies, and Isabel?

Pause at...

Pages 12-13

Point to...

“...Here’s rice…. Here’s Danny....”

Ponder...

Is it really raining rice? Which one is Danny?

Talk about...

Explain what is happening.

Pause at...

Pages 14-15

Point to...

“...jump-starting someone’s car…”

Ponder...

What happened to the car? Has this ever happened to you?

 

Which one is the limousine?

Talk about...

What clues did the illustrator give you? 

Pause at...

Pages 16-17

Point to...

“I push black olives onto my fingers and wiggle them…”

Ponder...

Have you ever eaten olives this way?
 

What do you think will happen next?

Talk about...

Explain what a reception is. What clues help you know?

Recall who is telling this story? 

Pause at...

Pages 18-19

Point to...

“...a mountain of snow...a hundred turns on a merry-go-round…”;

“...so scared for themselves…”

Ponder...

How does Maya feel about the cake? Why does she describe it this way?

Talk about...

What are the violin players worried about? 

Pause at...

Pages 20-21

Point to...

“...and then there are words...”;

"...first man to hit a home run with his eyes closed. (I think it was a joke.)"

Ponder...

What is happening? 

Talk about...

Can you explain the joke?

Pause at...

Pages 22-23

Point to...

“...the new couple dance….”; “...pins a twenty on her dress…”

Ponder...

Why are they called the new couple?

 

What is pinned to her dress? 

Talk about...

Why are the guests giving money in this way?

Pause at...

Pages 24-25

Point to...

“...we skid…”

Ponder...

Explain what the word skid means. 

 

Explain the “red sign:” EX T

Talk about...

Find all the words that mean playing

Pause at...

Pages 26-27

Point to...

“...a three-foot vertical leap…”

Ponder...

Do you think Virginia is a good basketball player? Why or why not?

Talk about...

What are “oldies but goodies?” What does the name of the band make you think about? 

Pause at...

Page 28

Point to...

“...a little taste I woke up to…”;

“...a wedding to remember…”

Ponder...

What did Maya wear to bed? 

Talk about...

What does it mean to remember something?

Furthering the Conversation

How is a snapshot the same as a memory? How is it different from a memory?

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