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Summary Example for La Bamba:


Have you ever been afraid to do something but you did

it anyway? I just read a story called La Bamba by Gary Soto

that was about a boy who wanted to be noticed, so he

volunteered to be in the student talent show, even though it

scared him. His name was Manuel and the story takes place

at his school.

Manuel volunteered to be in the talent show because he

“yearned for the limelight” and he “wanted to impress the

girls.” He decided to perform a lip sync to “La Bamba.” He

was very nervous about it.

When he went to rehearsals the record player broke

and he also dropped the record: little did he know that it had

scratched in the fall. At the talent show Manuel watched the

other acts and was so nervous he was “shivering with fear.”

The time came for his performance and it all started off

okay until the scratch in the record made it skip. The same

words went over and over again. He sang them over and

over again until Mr. Roybal took the record off. Manuel had

to bow and get off the stage. He thought it was a disaster

When it was all over Manuel realized that the crowd

really did love him. He got many pats on the back and

everyone was paying attention to him. He decided that he

was glad it was over and that next year he would probably

not volunteer again.




“La Bamba” is a short

fictional story about a boy who encounters a problem when he

performs in a school talent show. Tell students that although “La

Bamba” presents a vivid picture of Manuel, it is limited to a few

situations. Explain that, in contrast to a novel or novella, a short story

cannot fully reveal characters by presenting them in many different

situations. As they read “La Bamba,” have students jot down what

they learn about Manuel. At the end, have them note what further

information about his character they would find interesting.





Short Story Elements



• A short story contains the elements of setting, characters,

conflict, events, climax, and resolution, as do novels and


• A short story usually has only a few characters, who are

developed in detail but not in as much depth as in a longer work.

• A short story usually has only one theme.

• A short story is not usually long enough to have subplots.



LaBamba Vocabulary


limelight (p. 195): spotlight; focus of public attention (from the

type of stage lighting used in the nineteenth century)

talent (p. 195): natural ability

applause (p. 195): approval expressed by the clapping of hands

audience (p. 197): spectators at a performance

pantomime (p. 198): communicate by gesture or facial expression,

without using words

cast (p. 198): actors in a play, movie, or other presentation



Time Clue Words 


Most stories are told in chronological, or time, order. Paying attention to a story's sequence can help you remember & summarize the most important parts. Words called TIME CLUES signal the order in which events occur. They also signal memories or flashbacks - interruptions in the regular flow of events by episodes that took place earlier. 


first          before          finally          while

second      after             now             when

next          meanwhile   then             later



Author Assessment



Read this passage from "La Bamba" by Gary Soto.

Manuel was the fourth of seven children and looked like a lot of kids in his neighborhood: black hair, brown face, and skinny legs scuffed from summer play. But summer was giving way to fall: the trees were turning red, the lawns brown, and the pomegranate trees were heavy with fruit. Manuel walked to school in the frosty morning, kicking leaves and thinking of tomorrow's talent show. He was still amazed that he had volunteered. He was pretending to sing Ritchie Valens's "La Bamba" before the entire school.

Why did the author write this passage?


to demonstrate how to scuff leaves


to persuade the reader that talent shows are fun


to entertain the reader with a story


to inform the reader about latin music


http://lemongroveschools1.net/1491201019104232907/lib/1491201019104232907/Test%20Generator%20-%206/Lit/Resources/Part1/Chap04/LaBamba/Assess.pdf  - LaBamba Study Guide Questions


http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/cyberguides/sixth%20grade%20guides/la%20bamba/labamba.htm#ACTIVITY 1  - LaBamba Activities

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