“The Indian Girl’s Thanksgiving Wish” written by Norma Flores, is a 9 page story and Speech Communication Assessment Lesson about a 15 year old Southern California Indian girl, Niña Grace Barrera, who was sent to live in the off-Indian Reservation Perris Indian School and wound up in the newly constructed Sherman Indian School in Riverside, California back in 1905.
On pages 2-5, Grace is sad that her Indian family is lost and that her fellow students have passed away from mal-nourishment at the Indian schools. She works in the fields and learns to sew on the school’s new Singer Sewing Machines. As she daydreamed about having a Happy Thanksgiving, Indian Way, and pedaled her machine, a big surprise happens and the Indian girl’s Thanksgiving Wishes Come True!
Page 6 has 5 Questions for Discussion of Student’s Opinion so that two students can have a discussion with each other to agree on an answer and to share opinions about the question or their answers. So, plenty of verbal communication interaction should be taking place while students are allowed to talk and write down their answers.
Page 7 presents a [ θ ] Thanks - [ ð ] They, Articulation Lesson with 6 contrasting sound sentences students take turns pronouncing & assessing. Page 8 is the Assessment of Communication Competence and English Speaking Skills (ACCESS © N. L. Flores 2005) designed to help students demonstrate, evaluate & improve their oral reading, speaking and verbal communication skills.
Page 9 shows the Contexts & Standards-Based Criteria for Assessing the target sounds [ θ ] Thanks - [ ð ] by using the FPA - Functional Pronunciation Assessment (FPA © N. L. Flores 2012,) form designed to help students assess, evaluate & improve their oral reading, speaking and verbal communication skills.
After each pair has had a chance to read the story, discuss the answers, demonstrate and assess each other’s skills, they should prepare a brief oral report about a current event this story reminds them of.
This is a great way to supplement the curriculum on California Missions with contemporary insights using Indigenous Indians’ voices because every voice matters in a multicultural world! Share this Thanksgiving Day Story because everyone should care!