“School Bus, Baseball & a Backpack Poetry & Pronunciation Guide, ” written by Norma Flores and available @teacherspayteachers.com, is an 12 page lesson in developing oral communication competency by turning confusing mispronunciations into funny message clarification interactions, while focusing on Front Vowel pronunciation and peer assessment for multicultural students in grades 4-7 and above.
Page 2, features a Vowel Pronunciation Diagram of the mouth indicating the Front, Middle & Low areas along with the High, Central and Back areas so that students can “map” the direction in which their sounds can be navigated.
Page 3 is the Key to Standard American English Pronunciation featuring IPA, Key Word and Front Vowel Guide table.
Page 4 Contrasts [ i - ɪ ] vowels in the words “seat” and “sit,” when the bus driver said, “Pliz buckle up your sit belts!” Page 5 Contrasts [ ɛɪ - ɛ ] vowels in the words “ best ball” and “baseball,” when three boys cheer at a baseball game. Page 6 Contrasts
[ æ - ɛ ] vowels in the words “backpack” and “beckpeck,” when Annie thanks her new friends.
Page 7, features the Functional Pronunciation Assessment worksheet through which dyads meet to assess each others pronunciation competency of the target sounds.
Page 8 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.
Page 9, Lists the Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria for Assessing Pronunciation so that students may understand what level of communication competency they have demonstrated and try again if they need to improve.
Pages 10-12, The Appendix: Provides suggestions for the Teacher/Facilitator about how to communicate orally about the dialogues and how to conduct student assessments through dyads.
“School Bus, Baseball & a Backpack Poetry & Pronunciation Guide,” is a fun way to approach clarification of mispronounced words by using a humorous student-centered situation to evaluate the appropriate way to pronounce words considering the time, place, and relationship of the persons communicating with each other. This method of teaching pronunciation reinforces clarity while poking fun at confusion. And never makes the speaker feel like he/she is being made fun of. It’s a great way to reduce communication apprehension for Special Needs Students and ESL Speakers at any grade level. Enjoy!