“Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Twelve:Cuca’s Carrousel Ride,” written by Norma Landa Flores and available on digital download
@ teacherspayteachers.com, is a 25 page Oral Communication and Reader’s Theater Lesson that features the short story entitled, “Episode Twelve: “Cuca’s Carrousel Ride,” It is the twelfth in a collection of 17 interrelated short stories about Cuca, an undocumented immigrant girl who makes her way from Mexico to Texas and Arizona to settle in with her aunt Miriam and cousin Dora in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, California, in 1931. The Saga takes place from 1924-1937. Each episode ends with an epilogue that features specific sounds for pronunciation practice and assessment,and is independent of the previous episode.
This material is suitable for students in grades 8-12 and above. In addition, the content is very helpful for any age level student learning English as a Second Language or for Special Education students having difficulty pronouncing [ɑ], [ʌ] & [æ] or substituting [ æ ] [ oʊ ] or [ ɛ ] for these sounds. “Cuca's Conundrums Episode Twelve: Cuca’s Carrousel Ride” encourages verbal communication, cooperation and oral collaboration.
Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Twelve: Cuca’s Carrousel Ride, Contents: [ ɑ ] [ ʌ ] [ æ ] Vowel Pre-Pronunciation Assessment .....3
The Vacancy Conundrum, 1931 .....4
“WWWill You Marry MMMe?” Ernesto Stuttered .....6
Miriam’s Courthouse Wedding .....8
The Santa Monica Carrousel Reception .....9
Angel’s Flight from the Magic Mirror to the Movies .....11
Cuca at the Grand Central Market .....13
Epilogue: Too Many Pumpkins! .....16
Pronunciation Grades .....17
Multiple Choice Questions for Discussion .....18
[ ɑ ] [ ʌ ] [ æ ] Vowel Pronunciation Post-Assessment .....19
Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria
for Assessing [ ɑ ] [ ʌ ] [ æ ].....20
Appendix: Suggestions for the Teacher/Facilitator .....21
First Suggestion:Oral Communication About the Short Story.....22
Second Suggestion: [ ɑ ] [ ʌ ] [ æ ] Vowel
Third Suggestion: Oral Interpretation, Reader’s Theatre,.....24
Stage, Play, Broadcast, etc.
Peroration and Copyright Information.....25
A wonderful bonus is that this Episode serves as a sample for writing a short story for Reader’s Theatre or Oral Interpretation of Literature, bilingually, because the text is rich in dialogue and is supplemented with plenty of click art illustrations that establish the context and appropriateness of the student’s oral communication.
The Episode is brief enough to edit into a classroom or speech tournament presentation. Furthermore, it improves pronunciation in a relevant, student-centered method too. The most important lesson to be taken from this Episode is that even though the carrousel of life may have its ups and downs and even though the carrousel’s music may stop, a little imagination and a lot of dedication can keep folks on track to achieving their most precious dreams. Miriam finds a way to stay financially secure and Cuca finds a way to keep on writing and learning English too!