“ Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Eleven: A Toast to Cuca!” written by Norma Landa Flores and available on digital download @teacherspayteachers.com, is a 34 page Oral Communication and Reader’s Theater Lesson that features the Short Story entitled, “Episode Eleven: “A Toast to Cuca!” It is the eleventh 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 focuses on pronunciation skills and is independent of the previous episode.
This material is suitable for students in grades 11-12 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 articulating [m] [n] [ŋ-iŋ] or substituting
[ n ] [ m ] or [ nk ] for these sounds. “Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Eleven: A Toast to Cuca!” encourages verbal communication, cooperation and oral collaboration.
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 adapting to unexpected conditions while perpetuating bonds of loyalty and respecting each other’s need to survive, in a multicultural community of recent immigrants, is the custom the Minerva’s missed when they were away from home. Cuca’s writings and philosophical messages earn her the toast, un brindis, to Cuquita and all those who are like the multicultural Minervas de Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A!
Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Eleven: A Toast to Cuca! Contents
[ m ] [ n ] [ ŋ-iŋ ] Consonant Articulation Pre-Assessment .....3
Dora’s Mail from Mejico, 1931 .....4
A Toast, Un Brindis, to Cuquita and All the Minervas .....5
Cuca Reveals a Secret to Pasitos .....8
Cuca’s Backyard Birthday Party .....10
Fireworks After Cuca’s Birthday Party .....14
With Dora Away,Will Guillermo Play? .....16
Then, the Minervas Roasted ÉL Rooster .....18
Epilogue: La Virgen Smiled at Dora .....24
Articulation Grades .....26
Multiple Choice Questions for Discussion .....27
[m] [n] [ŋ-iŋ] Consonant Articulation Post-Assessment .....28
Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria
for Assessing [m] [n] [ŋ-iŋ] .....29
Appendix: Suggestions for the Teacher/Facilitator .....30
First Suggestion: Oral Communication About the Short Story.....31
Second Suggestion: [m] [n] [ŋ-iŋ] Consonant Articulation Assessments.....32
Third Suggestion: Oral Interpretation, Reader’s Theatre, .....33
Stage, Play, Broadcast, etc.
Peroration and Copyright Information.....34