In The Gift, a young girl experiences
the joy of both giving and receiving familyoriented gifts.
INTRODUCE THE BOOK
INTRODUCE THE TITLE AND AUTHOR
students the title and the author of The Gift.
Based on the title, ask students what they
think the story may be about. When students
hear the words “the gift,” what kind of images
come into their minds? Discuss how the cover
illustration of the woman holding out a large
pastry might relate to the story.
Ask students if they have
ever made, or would like to make, gifts for
members of their families. Discuss meaningful
types of gifts that family members could
make for each other. Let them know that in
The Gift they will be learning about how family
traditions affect the types of gifts the family
members give each other.
PREVIEW/USE ILLUSTRATIONS Before reading,
invite students to look at the illustrations in
The Gift. Have them use the illustrations to
predict where the story will take place and
who the characters are. Lead them to see a
predominant theme in the pictures. (people
are eating or making food) How might those
pictures relate to the story?
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
READ THE BOOK
Have students set a purpose for
reading The Gift. As they read, suggest they
think about the kinds of gifts members of
their family give each other. Encourage them
to compare their own families’ gifts to the
gifts in the story.
STRATEGY SUPPORT: PREDICT
determine the meaning of predict. (to tell
what you think might happen next in a
story or article based on what has already
happened) Read the first page aloud and
then ask students to predict whether or not
Lupe is going to enjoy herself in Mexico. Have
students give reasons for their predictions.
Ask: What clues on this page helped you
make your prediction? Tell students that
they should make predictions based on story
clues about what will happen next. Let them
know that as they read, they may find clues
that make them revise, or change, their
Why does Lupe decide to make a
recipe book for her grandmother? (She wants
to show how thankful she is for the good times
spent cooking with her grandmother.)
How do you predict Lupe will react to
her grandmother’s gifts? Why? (Answers will
vary but should be supported by text.)
Why does Lupe enjoy being in Mexico
for the celebration of the Three Kings? (In
Mexico there are many others who share the
celebration. Back in Phoenix, not many others
celebrate that tradition.)
PAGE 16 Why does Lupe like hearing stories
about the women in her family making Rosca
de Reyes? (It makes her feel like an important
part of a family tradition.)
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REVISIT THE BOOK
1. Possible responses: Abuela’s: all sorts of
family information; Lupe’s: recipes; Both:
show family traditions.
2. Answers will vary.
3. Possible responses: benefit, beneficial,
benevolent; bene- means “good.”
4. Answers will vary.
Review that setting
is where and when a story takes place. Ask
students where most of this story takes
place. (Mexico) Ask: How does the Mexican
setting affect Lupe’s Christmas experience?
(Possible response: It makes the experience
special because she gets to speak Spanish,
see the Three Kings Procession, spend time
with family, and experience different kinds
Have students think of favorite foods
that their family eats. Invite them to make a
list of the dishes they would like to learn how
to cook. Ask them whether certain dishes are
special within their familes; if so, suggest they
write a paragraph describing why.
Have students complete the writing
activity above. Ask them to describe or draw
the foods so that you can help them translate
the ingredients of the foods into English.
Review with students
that celebrating the Three
Kings is an important tradition in
Lupe’s family. Ask students to research
and report on an important tradition that their
own families celebrate.
Challenge students to use vocabulary words
in sentences that relate to food. Example:
Since I knew Sally hated to cook, I was
astonished at how delicious her soup was.
TARGET SKILL AND STRATEGY
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
students that to compare and contrast,
means to look at how things are alike and
how they are different. As students read,
invite them to take notes on how Lupe’s and
her grandmother’s gifts are similar and how
they are different.
Remind students that to
predict means to tell what might happen
in a story based on what has already been
read. In The Gift, understanding how Lupe
feels about the different ways Christmas
is celebrated in Mexico and America will
help students predict how Lupe will react
to becoming an important part of her
family’s traditions. Invite students to chose
places as they read to stop and write their
predictions of what might happen next and
how Lupe will feel about what happens. After
students have finished the book, discuss the
predictions and whether they were correct.
ADDITIONAL SKILL INSTRUCTION
THEME Review that the theme is the “big
idea” of a story. It is the underlying meaning
that the reader determines from the story’s
events and characters. Sometimes the
author states what the theme is, but usually
the reader has to use clues from the story to
piece the theme together. Let students know
that a story can have more than one theme.
As students read The Gift, suggest they use
the illustrations as well as the words to help
them figure out what the theme or themes
might be. Afterwards, discuss the theme or
themes and what information the students
used to determine them.
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Compare and Contrast
• To compare is to tell how two or more things are alike or different.
• To contrast is to tell only how two or more things are different.
Directions Use The Gift to help you answer the following questions.
1. Contrast the language Lupe speaks in America with the one she speaks in Mexico.
2. Why does Lupe feel sad when she thinks about the Three Kings and her friends at home?
3. Lupe’s mother tells Lupe that her mother taught her to make Rosca de Reyes. How is that
different from Lupe’s experience?
5. Did using the reading skill of compare and contrast help you to understand this story better?
Why or why not?
© Pearson Education 5
4. What are some things that are typical of the Christmas celebrations at Abuela’s house?
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Directions In each of the following sentences, the vocabulary words are italicized. Underline the
sentences in which the vocabulary words are used correctly. Do nothing with the sentences in which
the vocabulary words are used incorrectly.
Check the Words You Know
1. Abuela’s ability to bake a great pastry is astonished.
2. Lupe wanted to help, so she was on her best behavior.
3. Helping each other cook was very benefactor for the family.
4. The pieces of pastry were distribution equally among the people at the table.
5. Lupe was filled with gratitude at the chance to be part of a family tradition.
6. They watched the procession of the Three Kings wind through the streets.
7. The recommend is to use three cups of flour in the recipe.
8. The recipes were sacred to Lupe’s family.
9. Traditions, the Lupe’s family eats a special pastry to celebrate Christmas.
Directions Select three vocabulary words and use each in a sentence.
© Pearson Education 5
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