“Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Seventeen:Indio Confusion,” written by Norma Landa Flores and available on digital download
@ teacherspayteachers.com, is a 40 page Oral Communication and Reader’s Theater Lesson that features the story entitled, “Episode Seventeen: Indio Confusion.” It is the seventeenth 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 and Downtown areas of Los Angeles, California, in 1937.
The Saga takes place from 1924-1937, so it incorporates many multicultural communication and collaboration strategies immigrants used to overcome barriers to inclusion that were evident during that era. Each Scene can be read aloud in a Reader’s Circle or silently by each student. After the reading, Multiple Choice questions about the story are provided. Each Episode ends with an Epilogue and is independent of the previous Episode. In this final Episode, Cuca leaves her aunt and cousin’s home to live with Jesse and his family, where a new and puzzling lifestyle begins for her.
The Epilogue section is the pronunciation lesson contrasting three consonant sounds, with directions of how to articulate them and samples of which type of spelling patterns produce the sounds. The unique part of this lesson is the Assessment Instrument which features two sentences stressing each key sound. Each Assessment can then be rated, as to speaker’s competency level, by referring to its corresponding “Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria for Assessing Pronunciation.”
This material is suitable for students in grades 10-12 and above. In addition, the content is very helpful for any older age level student learning English as a Second Language or for older Special Education students having difficulty articulating [ ð ] [ θ ] [ ʈ ] or who substitute [ d ], [ s ] or [ f ] for these sounds. “Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Seventeen: Indio Confusion,” encourages verbal communication, cooperation and oral collaboration while developing competent speaking and listening skills.
Cuca’s Conundrums Episode Seventeen: Indio Confusion ~ Contents
[ ð ] [ θ ] [ ʈ ] Consonant Articulation Pre-Assessment.....3
The Valentine’s Day Problem, 1937..... 4
Gloria’s Bewildering Accusations..... 6
The Difficulty About Eloping ..... 8
Laughing in Public at Cuca’s Problems .....12
The Lemon Meringue Pie Puzzle .....14
Living From Day to Day is a Dilemma ..... 19
Wondering How to Save Money for the Baby .....21
Cuca’s County Hospital Conundrum .....26
Epilogue:“Alma Will Solve Jesse’s Confusion!”.....30
Pronunciation Grades .....32
Multiple Choice Questions for Discussion.....33
[ ð ] [ θ ] [ ʈ ] Consonant Articulation Post-Assessment.....34
Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria for ....35
Assessing [ ð ] [ θ ] [ ʈ ]
Appendix: Suggestions for the Teacher/Facilitator.....36
First Suggestion: Oral Communication About the Short Story.....37
Second Suggestion: Articulation Assessments.....38
Third Suggestion: Oral Interpretation, Reader’s Theatre, Stage, Play, Broadcast, etc......39
Peroration and Copyright Information.....40
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 intriguing, pertinent click art illustrations that establish the situational context and appropriateness of the student’s oral communication. Language Arts instructors may even teach their students to write play, video or movie scripts by adapting these story lines!
The scenes are brief enough to edit into a classroom or speech tournament presentation. Furthermore, it improves pronunciation in a relevant, student-centered method. The most important message to be taken from this Episode is that even in the darkest of times, when circumstances seem desperate and everyone around you feels defeated, your optimism and resiliency will help you to recover and enable you to spring back into the action of coping with life bilingually and multiculturally!