Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Reading Lesson


The lesson on reading Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is developed for students from Grade 9 in order to explore the principles of Magical Realism as a specific genre of literature. Students are self-motivated readers who prefer reviewing interesting and surprising stories. Therefore, strategies for the lesson are selected to involve students in discussing the most striking parts of the story with the focus on themes of Magical Realism. Much attention is paid to students’ discussions of the text with the limited involvement of the teacher in the process.

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The ‘Bookmark’ technique used by students independently allows for encouraging the discussion of specific details of the text. The ‘Say Something’ technique allows for clarifying the vocabulary, making comments, and asking questions that demonstrate the understanding of the text. The ‘Red Light, Yellow Light’ and ‘Chalk Talk’ techniques are important to structure the work of students and draw their attention to the key aspects of the discussed topic. The use of these techniques allows for making the lesson that is based on the principles of active learning and scaffolding.

Lesson Plan

UNIT: Magical Realism in Literature
TEXT: Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”
Learning Objectives
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
  1. Analyze themes of the text in relation to Magical Realism.
  2. Distinguish devices used by the author to create the text in this genre.
  3. Argue how Magical Realism differs from other genres.
  4. Demonstrate the understanding of cultural perspectives related to the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2 – Students determine and analyze texts’ central ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5 – Students analyze the author’s choice of devices to organize the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.6 – Students analyze cultural perspectives.
Magical Realism
Pre-Assessment CulturalRelevance
Students are asked to read the story at home while applying the ‘Bookmark’ technique and selecting the most interesting parts of the story and vocabulary to discuss. The teacher asks students to discuss their choices and explains the vocabulary. Students discuss different cultural perspectives with the focus on the Latin American literature.
Students work with illustrations and portraits of writers to discuss differences in Magical Realism depending on the culture, and they refer to their personal experiences.
Teacher Moves Purpose
Pre-Reading Activities:
  1. The teacher uses the PowerPoint presentation to provide students with the information regarding Magical Realism, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, and other representatives of this genre (12 minutes).

During-Reading Activities:

  1. Students are asked to form groups. The teacher provides each group with an excerpt from the story that is important to discuss one of the main themes. The ‘Say Something’ technique is used. Students read the excerpts aloud and stop reading to discuss the main ideas. The members of groups support the discussion (12 minutes).
  2. The teacher asks representatives of other groups to answer questions related to different themes (3 minutes).
  3. The teacher asks to refer to the excerpts one more time and use the ‘Red Light, Yellow Light’ technique for determining elements of Magical Realism in the story (groups, 7 minutes) (Ritchhart, Church, & Morrison, 2011).

Post-Reading Activities:

  1. The teacher asks students to refer to the PowerPoint Presentation and draw a chart on the blackboard to compare elements of Magical Realism with other genres using the ‘Chalk Talk’ technique (individuals, 10 minutes) (Ritchhart et al., 2011).
Students receive the background knowledge regarding Magical Realism.

Students analyze the main themes of the story.

Students distinguish elements of Magical Realism in the text.

Students focus on differences of Magical Realism in comparison to other genres.

English Language Learners are provided with simple definitions of terms and handouts to support the information from the PowerPoint Presentation.
Students with hearing impairment are provided with additional tables and graphs.
Formative Assessment Evidence
To assess:
  1. Students’ participation in discussions;
  2. Answers to short and reading comprehension questions;
  3. Students’ participation in the ‘Chalk Talk’ activity.
  • Short answers
  • Detailed answers
  • Work with drawn diagrams (Venn Diagram)


Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison, K. (2011). Making thinking visible: How to promote engagement, understanding, and independence for all learners. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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"Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Reading Lesson." StudyCorgi, 27 Nov. 2020,

1. StudyCorgi. "Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Reading Lesson." November 27, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Reading Lesson." November 27, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Reading Lesson." November 27, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Reading Lesson'. 27 November.

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