Short Story #2 Seventh Grade by Gary Soto

Seventh Grade
By Gary Soto

Here are two websites you can use to download the story...I can't remember if it is in our text book or not...

·     Information about the author.

The students  can use this to site to gather information about the author before they read the story.  I would sign up for the lab and have them use this site to gather information.  You will need to decide if you give them specific information that they should find or leave it more open.  Lower level classes need more structure on this…more advanced classes need less.

You might also have student predict what this short story will be about…tell them not to simply say it will be about 7th grade, but rather something way more specific about the plot of the story.

Vocabulary lab activity:
Have students take their journal to the lab and go to this website which is posted on my weblog to copy the vocabulary words and their meaning…

·         Once you have completed all the prereading activities you can have the students read the story and then complete the following:

1.     After reading the story you can have them immediately complete a Plot diagram.

2.     You can sign up for the lab and have students go to the website below and answer the questions in their journals.

 I have posted the website on my weblog

After you finish all the activities do  the following:

Use the following website to have students evaluate theme in this short story:

I would project this on the screen as a whole class and talk through how the theme is developed…

Now ask student to write a short, yet complete summary of the short story here is a sample:

“Seventh Grade,” by Gary Soto tells a story about how Victor, a young boy who wishes to make Teresa his girl, struggles to overcome his shyness and nerves to make a good impression.  Initially, he is encouraged when he finds that he and Teresa share several classes including English and French.  In French class, he foolishly decides to pretend that he knows how to speak the language.  While he does not fool the teacher, Teresa was impressed and approaches him after class asking that he tutor her.  The teacher, Mr. Bueller, wisely remembers his own youthful foolishness and does not give away Victor’s secret.  Cashing in on the teacher’s kindness, Victor decides to go to the library and check out extra books on learning to speak French. 

·     Now after you have completed all the various activities you can show these two short videos of the short story.  After viewing them you can have students do a compare and contrast activity with the videos.

Here is a final activity you might use:

Response to the Selection “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto

Directions:  Having read and discussed “Seventh Grade”
answer the followingQuestions.

1.            Read / research something about Gary Soto. Include interesting information about him. Where he’s from, how his family migrated to the US, his family background, education, love life etc. You may paste a picture in your document.

2.            Victor tries to impress Teresa, what were those ways that he did to catch Teresa’s attention.

3.         Name a method you use to make your self noticed and call someone else’s attention to you.

4.         What is Victor’s impression of Teresa? How does he view her. Name the qualities she has that Victor likes.

5.         What are the qualities or ways that you like in a girl / boy of your dream. Explain.

6.         How did Mr. Bueller help Victor? Is there any person who somehow helps you become closer to someone you like? What are the things he / she does to you?

·         Here is another activity you can complete.  If you use this one you will need to review letter writing.  Students do not write real letters any more so they lack the basic letter writing skills:

 Name: __________________ Class: _____________

“Seventh Grade”

Put yourself in their shoes! Pick a role, audience and topic and then write a letter from the perspective of one of the characters. Please remember to write at least 10 sentences and use the rubric below!



Mr. Bueller
Fellow Teacher
Victor’s attempt to impress Teresa
How smart Victor is
How cool Mr. Bueller is

General overview of story:

“Seventh Grade”

Protagonist: Victor Rodriguez, a seventh-grader who
has a crush on a classmate named Teresa.

Conflict: Victor’s internal conflict between fear of
embarrassment and his desire to impress Teresa.

Theme: Sometimes even the most hopeless situation
turns out well in the end.

Victor signs up for French because he hopes Teresa will
be in his class. In a gently humorous characterization
of seventh-grade boys, Victor’s friend Michael practices
scowling because he thinks having the same look as the
models in GQ will attract girls. Victor himself resorts to
scowling when his attempts at conversation with Teresa
fall flat. In French class Victor is so eager to impress
Teresa that he raises his hand when the teacher asks if
anyone knows French. When Victor tries to make up
something that sounds like French, he thinks everyone—
not just the teacher—must know he is a fool for
speaking gibberish. But Teresa believes that Victor can
speak French, and his dreams come true when she asks
him to help her. His French teacher, recalling some
embarrassing dating experiences in his own past, doesn’t
give Victor’s pretense away. In the happy

Victor has won Teresa, and Mr. Bueller has won a dedicated