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Course: Advanced Language Arts
Lesson Title:
The Scholarship Jacket


Date Posted: 10/18/11
Date Due: 10/25/11


1.3.7.A - Read and understand works of literature.


You will practice using the six reading strategies as you read the short story "The Scholarship Jacket."



Reading Assignment

In this lesson, you will complete the reading of the short story "The Scholarship Jacket," by Marta Salinas. Before you read the story, you will read some information about the author, as well as preview vocabulary in the story, and focus your reading.


Please read the information below!

Author: Marta Salinas, born 1949
Born in Coalinga, California, Marta Salinas received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of California at Irvine. She has published several short stories in journals and anthologies. "The Scholarship Jacket" originally appeared in Nosotras: Latina Literature Today.

Background Information
Hispanic Americans are an important segment of the U.S. population. Many have family ties to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, or the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America. Others are members of families that have lived in the United States for hundreds of years.

The more than 27 million Hispanic Americans have made many contributions to American history and culture. "The Scholarship Jacket" is about a Mexican-American girl who lives in Texas. The story tells how she deals with the possibility of losing an award she deserves.

A story's theme is the message or moral it expresses about human nature or life in general. Usually, a theme is not directly stated. The reader must figure it out by making logical inferences, or guesses, based on details in the story. As you read the story, think about how the theme of "The Scholarship Jacket" is revealed through Martha's experiences.

Active Reading - Connecting
When you use the strategy of connecting in reading a story, you look for elements that you can relate to your own knowledge and experience. While reading "The Scholarship Jacket," take note of things that you can connect with your own life. Do any of the characters resemble people you know? Which details, events, and emotions seem familiar? Which are unfamiliar?

Words to Know
As you read, you may come across words you do not know. Pay attention to the words that are underlined. Definitions for those words appear in the "Words to Know" box at the bottom of the page. If there are other words you do not know, find them in a dictionary, or visit Merriam Webster onlinelink. [ This link leaves and will open in a new window. PALCS assumes no responsibility for content on this external website. ] If you come across a paragraph you do not understand, reread the passage and write down any questions you have. The "words to know" for this reading:


It is now time to read the short story "The Scholarship Jacket.
Follow the directions below to complete this reading assignment!


1. First, click herelink [ This is a .pdf file, which opens with Adobe Reader. ] to download the "Summarizing" graphic organizer. You can print it and use it to take notes if you wish. You do NOT have to submit it to me, but you may want to use it to help you summarize the story when you have finished reading. This is to check that you understood the story!

2. Read the story "The Scholarship Jacket."

There are two ways to read "The Scholarship Jacket":

  • In your Textbook: Pages 279 - 283 (REMEMBER: If you are able to make copies on your printer, you can always make copies of the story, so you can underline and highlight as you read. DO NOT write in your text book!)

  • Listen to a "Think Aloud" of the story here. In this recording, I read the story to you, and I occasionally stop to ask questions, point out details, or discuss an aspect of the story. I would suggest that you read along in your textbook as you listen to the recording.

3. When you have finished reading "The Scholarship Jacket," select and submit the correct answer to the following question:

Why does Martha live with her grandparents?

A. Her parents are too poor to feed all their children.
B. Her parents do not live near a school.
C. Her parents died when she was six years old.
D. Her parents live with her grandparents, too.

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