“Endurance Poems: Ukeleles,Vehicles, Witches, Wheelies, Soccer & Garages,” written by Norma Landa Flores is a 21 page collection of multicultural poems focusing on the pronunciation of specific consonants. Each poem is followed by three multiple choice questions which students answer and discuss with each other in class as they are encouraged to integrate their own values to their answers. This Series of Endurance Poems & Stories is available @teacherspayteachers.com in the Oral Communication section.
The six poems are as follows, “Manuel’s Hawaiian Vacation,” focusing on pronouncing [ j/y ] words . . . “Neighborhood Boy Hit by Speeding Vehicle,” focusing on [ h ] words . . . “Beware of Halloween Witches,” focusing on [ h ] words . . . “Why Juan Won’t be Doing Wheelies for Awhile,” focusing on [ hw ] words, “Kenny’s Neglectful Soccer Dad,” focusing on [ k ] words and “ Grace and Her Garage Beginning,” focusing on [ g ] words. At the bottom of each poetry page, specific instructions of how to articulate the target sounds are provided, along with a sentence for the student to read aloud and be assessed by a classmate as to appropriate pronunciation competency ranging from
___ 3 = Excellent ___ 2 = Good ___1+ Risky and
___0 = Dangerous.
All of the 6 poems are followed by a Consonant Articulation Assessment form that students use in groups of two, taking turns listening to each other pronounce sentences featuring the targeted consonant sounds. Also, each Consonant Articulation Assessment form is accompanied by a Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria for Assessing Functional Consonant Articulation form showing possible ratings of: 100/90%= Excellent 80%= Very Good 70%=Good 60%= Risky 50%=Poor 40%=Dangerous, practice some more!
Page 16 is the ACCESS, Assessment of Communication Competence and English Speaking Skills form. Students read the sentences a second time and evaluate themselves on the observable communication behaviors of: eye contact, audibility, pronunciation, grammar, emphasis & communication of message function & intention Instructions for facilitating this student oral activity are listed in the Appendix on pages 18-21.
All of the poems and forms are illustrated with appropriate click art providing speakers with visual clues to the situations and the relationships of the persons featured in the poems. The language is suitable for 4th to 7th grades and may even be useful for teacher preparation programs where children’s oral communication instructional methods are studied ( i.e. Story Telling and Children’s Reader’s Theatre,) or Adult ESL.
All in all, “Endurance Poems: Ukuleles, Vehicles, Wheelies, Soccer & Garages, Oral Communication of Multicultural-American Poems for Pronunciation Improvement" by Norma Landa Flores, is a pleasure to read, orally, in the classroom as it shares positive beliefs, values and attitudes that make young people proud and happy to live in America. It makes language arts classes a joyful experience for the teacher as the virtues of endurance are taught with ease plus mutual agreement.