Reading & Literacy

Bringing Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014) to the Classroom

By Liana Loewus — April 18, 2014 1 min read
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As you probably know by now, Colombian writer—and arguably one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century—Gabriel García Márquez died yesterday at age 87.

His books, the best known of which is One Hundred Years of Solitude, have long been staples in both Spanish and English literature classes across U.S. K-12 schools (and, of course, worldwide). And while he is not credited with inventing “magical realism,” he honed and popularized the genre, which blends the mundane and fantastical. “In his novels and stories, storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate and corpses fail to decompose. And, more plausibly, lovers rekindle their passion after a half-century apart,” writes Jonathan Kandell in The New York Times.

There are lovely tributes to García Márquez, who won the 1982 Nobel prize for literature, in major newspapers and across the Internet at this point. President Barack Obama said “the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers—and one of my favorites from the time I was young.” There’s also continued criticism of the author’s friendship with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Below are some resources for educators on bringing García Márquez and magical realism to the classroom:

• 10 free short stories by on García Márquez on Open Culture

• A grade 7-12 lesson plan about the author on ReadWriteThink

• A lesson plan for 9th and 10th grades about his short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” on LEARN NC

• A video about the author’s life on and a list of the newspaper’s reviews of his works

• A book review of 100 Years of Solitude that ran in The Washington Post in 1970

Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez seen in an unknown location in 1972. García Márquez died on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at his home in Mexico City. —Rodrigo Garcia/AP/FNPI

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.