“Grandma’s Labor Day Story,” written by Norma Landa Flores and available on digital firstname.lastname@example.org, is a 10 page Oral Communication and Pronunciation Lesson that features the poem entitled, “Grandma’s Labor Day Story” on page 2. Also at the bottom of page 2, directions are given of how to pronounce and articulate [ r ] colored sounds as in : rights, work and worker.
Page 3 contains “Multiple Choice Questions for Discussion” and includes an opportunity for students to share their own values before providing an answer. Page 4 is the High-Front Tense [ r ] Consonant Articulation Assessment, High Central Tense [ ɝ ] and Mid Central Relaxed [ ɚ ] Vowel Pronunciation Assessment form with which students may take turns pronouncing and assessing each other.
Page 5 is the Assessment of Communication Competence and English Speaking Skills: ACCESS © N. L. Flores 2005 with which students listen to each other read the sentences on page 4 a second time and rate the speaker’s use of eye contact, audibility, use of standard pronunciation, articulation of word endings, emphasis of syllables and communication of message function and intention.
Page 6 lists, “Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria for Assessing High-Front Tense [ r ] Consonant Articulation, High Central Tense
[ ɝ ] and Mid Central Relaxed [ ɚ ] Vowel Pronunciation. These standards for speaking and listening were agreed upon by the National Communication Association Task Force on Speaking and Listening Skills of which the author, Norma Landa Flores was a contributing participant. Pages 7-10, is the Appendix with Suggestions for the Teacher/Facilitator to more easily teach an oral communication lesson creating relevancy due to the “Grandma’s Labor Day Story” theme of this lesson.
This material is suitable for students in grades 4-12 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 [ r ], pronouncing [ ɝ ] and
[ ɚ ] or substituting [ l ] [ ʌ ] or [ ə ] for these sounds. “Grandma’s Labor Day Story,” encourages verbal communication, cooperation and oral collaboration.
A wonderful bonus is that this poem serves as a sample for writing poetry, improving and assessing articulation and pronunciation plus storytelling/problem-solution outlining skills too! Although it’s been a long time since the American Government passed worker’s rights laws to treat workers fairly and not like slaves or indentured servants, workers have had to strike, boycott or bargain to keep their jobs and provide for their families. When relatives recount worker’s struggles to keep up with the changing economy, they are using storytelling to guarantee their work and personal family’s
well being. This is the essence of oral communication.
Grandma’s Labor Day Story is also included in the collection of Norma Flores’ Poems entitled “Multicultural Poems & Prose for Young People,” also available @teacherspayteachers.com ~ Norma Landa Flores is the author of, “Street Corner Flight,” in Mirrors & Windows: Connecting with Literature Grade 6, EMC Publishing.