In 2014, my good friend Molly McClennen and I won a Community Engagement Grant from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education for the developement of a curriculum featuring the The Smell of Old Lady Perfume.
Molly, a College of Education Ph.D. candidate, developed a wonderful reader’s guide, including 5 lessons. These covered the following topics:
• An introduction to the author and the book
• An introduction to El Paso, the setting of the book
• An introduction to Chela, the main character of the book
• Using the book as a mentor text to help the students write their own stories
• Developing questions and practicing discussion participation in preparation for meeting the author
These lessons, in particular Lesson Five, were written with the premise that students might meet the author. But, even if readers are not meeting the author, we hope this guide will still help them write their own stories. Please feel free to omit Lesson Five or to amend it as you see fit.
You can safely download the drafts of our free teaching resources from TeachingBooks.net: