Las sombras: Thrilling New Reader for Spanish Class for Upper-Levels

Teachers have been waiting…

I am a Spanish teacher that has utilized your novels in my Spanish class.  I am wondering where I may purchase “Las Sombras”? – Teacher 

Could you please tell me when “Las Sombras” will be available for purchase? – Teacher 

I am in the process of purchasing a bundle pack for your site. I love these mini-series starting with Las Aparencias. However, I can not find Las Sombra anywhere. I am so excited to start using your novels. I have used several novels prior and your supportive material is going to reignite the students. Thank you for your vision. – Teacher 

 I have ordered your first two series novels (El Armario & Las Apariencias) and will get them on Tuesday. Just out of curiosity, when will Las Sombras be released? – Teacher 

Las sombras

Download the preview here!

Click here to get the book on Amazon

Well, teachers, the wait is over! Las sombras is finally here! After working, reworking the storyline for the past two years, and I thrilled to be adding this new level 3+ novel to the already amazing collection of Comprehensible Input literature for language learners (link to other novels here). This book is part of the series “Las apariencias enganan,” which includes “El armario.” Las sombras is the third and culminating installment of the series.  

As with most books in my collection of series, this novel can be read as a standalone, meaning that critical elements of the previous two books were carefully interwoven into the narrative, thus making it familiar to those students who are fans of the series, and accessible new students who start with this book. I’d venture to say that  Las sombras is probably more of a standalone book than its precursors because it introduces new characters (without eclipsing the characters we’d come to love and hate!), new scenes, and new challenges. These new characters are introduced in the beginning and play a central as a role in the phenomenon that is sweeping the town. They join the cast characters met in the previous two books: 

  • Camilo- the cheating boyfriend and Juan’s best friend
  • Juan- Liliana’s boyfriend 
  • Luciano- Camilo’s mysterious father/ mad scientist who has a penchant for collaborating with alien-like forces 
  • Salomé- Camilo’s ex-girlfriend 
  • Liliana- Salomé ex-best friend, Juan’s girlfriend and Camilo’s “amor prohibido” (who also witnessed some disturbing events in Camilo’s house. Can you guess who is after her? You’ve got it! Luciano!). 
  • Nico-  She shape-shifting hybrid (but, who’s side is he really on?)
  • A spattering of alien language, but it’s all good. There are footnotes, so students can see what these beings are up to!

* I include a pictorial synopsis of these crazy relationships in chapter 2! 

 Students who follow the series will see old wounds exposed, and new alliances formed from the unlikeliest people as those characters seek to defeat a new enemy. 

New look, same great series! 

Las sombras has a slightly different look from the other books as well. The pictures have more of a graphic quality to them, and the scenes are much more detailed, allowing students to experience the book through multiple modalities. See example below: 

Interior artwork 

Scene: Salomé and Camilo (unlikely alliance for sure!) walk through the forest looking for clues… what they don’t know is that someone or something is lurking behind them. 

Read & Engage 

Since engaging in Free Choice Reading more regularly, I felt that there was a need to include more discussion type questions in the book. My students crave space to discuss their books with their friends, and I wanted to bring this level of discussion to the book. Click here to see my video on Literary Book Talks in level 1. Therefore, the newest addition to this series is the Read & Engage format, which is discussed below. 

Questions and writing prompts have been included at the end of most chapters to further engage students as they read. Teachers can decide to use these as assignments, literature circle prompts, or maybe even a guide for Literary Book Talks.  Students may use these prompts to recall information and/or give their opinion of the story. Several questions prompt students to think about what they would some of the sticky situations. This gives them an opportunity to empathize with the characters, use specific communication functions, and think outside of the box.   

Two For The Price Of One!

Originally, there were going to be a total of four books in the series. However, both concepts were seamlessly integrated into Las sombras. To this end, the book has a part 1 and part 2 (the continuation of the story, there is no conceptual break).  

Are you ready for a taste of this new sci-fi thriller? See the book trailer below.

Also, download the preview of the first three chapters. 


Download the preview here!

Click here to get the book on Amazon 
Teaching Materials 

Teacher Guide Mini- Will be available at the beginning of September. This will include the following:


  • Book Trailer (to garner interest)
  • Additional Chapter Questions
  • Free Choice Reading Guide 
  • Task cards for discussions 
  • Picture Talk Material 

MORE Comprehensive Teaching materials should be completed by the beginning of the Fall semester (end of July/August).  

Where can I get this book? 

Click here to get the book on Amazon (Individual copies)

Novels & Resources by A.C. Quintero (Bundles)

Books by A.C. Quintero are also sold at: 


Fluency Matters



Comprehensible Input, Movie talks

¿Eres tú? A detective series for Spanish I: Free Resource Included!

 I am always looking for ways to inject more readings and structured conversation into my curriculum. My level 1 students need it!  With Novice- low students being fairly new to the language, this can be problematic. However, I am learning that with a little dose of creativity, peppered by resourcefulness, I can make my class a language laboratory! And I may have found my niche with this older series from Realidades: Eres TÚ María.  I have never used the textbook from which the series hail, but the first 10 videos are on Youtube and/or Vimeo. Each year, we see about 5-7 episodes, and they are well worth it because: 

  • The language goes from simple to complex 
  • In terms of content, it is very safe (you don’t have to preview it)
  • It is fairly interesting, last year we talked about the sexism that the main character experienced as a female detective among her male counterparts 
  • You can provide ample input, and get ample output as well. 

With the accompanying text that I created, you can get even more input!

Download Reading Here 

What is the series about? 

Eres Tú María is a detective series created by Realidades (by Prentice Hall). The main character is Lola, who is a detective, and a darn good one at that! The series kicks off when Lola observes some suspicious activity in her neighborhood. Her investigative senses kick in immediately and the plot begins to unfold. 

I have found this to be a great way to include Movie Talk activities (click here for more information on Movie talks) as you can circle and ask tons of questions about the character. For example, you could ask questions about: 

  • The main character’s clothing
  • The city where she lives 
  • Her personality traits 
  • Her physical traits 

It is quite interesting, and my students are usually engaged as it is the only series they will see in the first couple months of school. 

This past week we just watched our first episode, and it went really well. Prior to the episode, they had just finished up talking about our the things we like with this activity here: Las cosas que me gustan. That is why you will see references to Netflix and Snapchat in the article below for Eres Tú María

Last year, when I included this episode, I had students focused on writing the date and describing the character (boring!)- lots of output-oriented activities. This year, we read, I circled a bit, I asked them questions and it was more suitable for their level. It was also enjoyable. Many students actually wanted to talk (which was not required), and they did and felt successful.  Check out the activity below!

Free Reading Download 

¿Eres Tú María?

Extra Series 

Christy Lade, an amazing CI Teacher created some amazing resources for Extra, another short video series in Spanish. Click here for the first episode. Click here for her resources. We used the first episode resources and it was very complete. Students had a chance to read through and get acquainted with the vocabulary and themes before diving in. I highly recommend it!

What a “novel” idea! Check out the new novels for Spanish class!

Click here: https://goo.gl/JsKwM7

TPT Store!

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

Comprehensible Input, Word Walls

The Writing on the Wall: The Role of Word Walls in a Comprehension-based Classroom

During my last full day classes, students had an opportunity to share about their top five lessons and activities of the school year. Of course, they raved about Free Voluntary Reading (click here to read post), the Telenovela project, Conversation Circle the assortment of level 1 readers we explored, and of course, the Netflix mystery, El gran hotel. However, when given the opportunity to ask about their upcoming Spanish II class, I was surprised that they weren’t as concerned about “leveling up” as were their predecessors in the previous years. They were more curious about the class itself as a few students asked: “Will there be “Word Walls” in Spanish II?” 

As a former colleague shared with me years ago, “Our classroom walls should be like Hogwarts in where the walls actually speak to the children.” She was a fourth grade teacher, whose classroom caught the eye of our district administrator. Needless to say that she’s now coaching and training teachers full-time. And her point was well taken; the learning environment needs to serve the needs of our students. 

Argentine Street Art

I put her advice into practice last school year, when I noticed that my classroom walls were littered with posters, cliché decorations, and outdated student work; I made giving my class a facelift, a reigning priority. I had to nip, cut, and tuck to engineer an environment that would have an impact on student learning. I ordered verb posters (Teacher’s Discovery), downloaded question words from the TPRS website, and curated a bevy of teacher created materials from TPT (I have some more in my cart for next year!). I can testify that those aesthetic changes proved to be a HUGE practical help to my students. They relied on these “talking walls” to assist them through interpersonal speaking tasks, and presentational writing. I can’t believe that I went so many years without having this compensatory aid for students. We have to do our best to surround learners with the language.

 Since all the the teachers in my department made a similar shift last year to cultivate an “acquisition friendly learning environment”, I was able to affirm with confidence, “Yes, there will be Word Walls!