“Tolerance Poems: Farmworkers, Dreamers, Lawyers & Hearing Impaired,” written by Norma Landa Flores is a 17 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 Tolerance Poems & Stories is available @teacherspayteachers.com in the Oral Communication section.
The four poems, on pages 3-10, are as follows, “Once You Have Won: To Cesár Chavez,” focusing on pronouncing [ r ] words . . . “Michael’s Merry-Go-Round,” focusing on [ l ] words . . . “Now, LaTonya Speaks,” focusing on [ t ] words . . . “In Her Heart She Heard,” focusing on [ d ] 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 ___ 0 = Dangerous .
All of the 4 poems are followed by a Consonant Articulation Assessment form, on page 11, that students use in pairs 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 12 is the ACCESS, Assessment of Communication Competence and English speaking Skills form. Students read the sentences, on page 11, 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 14-17.
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, “Tolerance Poems: Farmworkers, Dreamers, Lawyers & Hearing Impaired: 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 and the benefits of tolerance are taught with ease plus mutual agreement.