Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle with illustrations by Carolina Farias is a charming book filled with teachable moments.
The name of this tiny muchacho was Nacho
and all he would eat was a soup called gazpacho.
This pretty well sums up the story: Nacho won’t eat anything else. At last his mother teaches him to make gazpacho (and the recipe is included in the book) and in the last line, he says, “I’m trying new recipes.”
This could be a book for picky eaters, but the story really isn’t the point. The illustrations include wonderful giant vegetables and a silly burro at the kitchen table, and young students should enjoy it as a read-aloud.
There are also dozens of Spanish vocabulary words woven into the story in such a way that the meanings are clear — and if there are any uncertainties, there’s a glossary.
Use the glossary to create word cards for the Spanish language words and their English counterparts. Most are foods, so you can sort them into foods and not-foods, match the two languages, alphabetize them (the glossary is in alphabetical order, so students can use it to check their work), and identify rhymes.
Bring vegetables or pictures of vegetables into the class and practice naming them. Admire the pictures of people hugging the giant veggies and challenge students to create their own pictures of themselves hugging their favorite vegetable, labeled in Spanish.
Use government data to identify the nutritional value of the vegetables in the story. Students can click through on the names of the vegetables and create a chart showing the vitamins and minerals associated with the vegetables in the story. If your students are too young to do their own clicking or reading, you can use the USDA nutrient database to identify a few top vitamins, and create a chart as a class project.
Use a pocket chart to create a table with vitamins A, B, C, and D, and help students place the vegetable word cards (made for the Spanish language activities) into the right columns on the pocket chart. You’ll discover that you need multiples of some word cards, so ask students to help write them out.
Bring a few veggies into class to taste — or make gazpacho! Chart how well the class likes the items they taste.
This book contains several different sequences:
- the meals and snacks throughout the day, at which Nacho refuses to try any dishes but gazpacho
- the shopping trip, when Nacho and his mami choose the vegetables they need to cook gazpacho
- the process of cooking the gazpacho
- the process Nacho goes through in order to change his mind and become open to the idea of eating — or at least cooking — other dishes
Act out the steps for each process. Then write out the steps for the recipe. Number the steps and illustrate them.
Finally, ask students to write out their own recipes, step by step, for foods they like. Create a bulletin board of their recipes.