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Drama in the Classroom

Myrella Lara

Contents of Curriculum Unit 80.03.06:

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Students learning a second language in our bilingual classrooms are faced with the challenge of mastering the new language as well as understanding the culture which surrounds them. At the same time, they must compete with their English-speaking classmates, and keep up with the subject area work. The faster the second language is acquired, the better are the chances that the student will successfully complete his four years of high school.

In this race against time, the teacher must use all of his abilities and resources to keep the class interesting and challenging. The constant recitation, memorization, and pronunciation drills that students are subjected to during the average foreign language class quickly become ineffective In this constant search for fresh material, untried methods, and new approaches to old ideas, I propose dramatics for the English as a Second Language student (E.S.L.) as a classroom activity to enhance and speed up the learning process.

Teachers have been using dialogues and skits for many years. But simple recitation and memorization of material students neither understand nor relate to does not encourage learning and appreciation of the new language and the culture it represents. Because of the increased opportunity for individual creative satisfaction, acting and playwriting may succeed in reaching and keeping these students. If we were to take their experiences, traditions, and background and use them as a source for material in a play, we would reach the students at their own level, drawing on the familiar themes they are all acquainted with. For example, the difficulties faced by the students, and their families, in their attempts to assimilate with the new environment can be used as a springboard to create dialogues and situations based on the reality of the student’s life. In this area of culture and language differences the educational television series Mundo Real and Que Pasa. U.S.A.? have drawn upon the cultural heritage of the Puerto Rican and Cuban communities in the United States. Their aim has been a dual one. First, they instruct children and parents in the ways of America, with topics such as employment, social services, school life, and family customs. Secondly, these series also offer the English speaking audience a glimpse of life in the other culture, and the basic similarities that make us all human. I plan to build on this idea, and have my students work on their own dialogue and scripts, drawing from their life experience.

For a period of eight weeks, I plan to teach bilingual students in levels advanced and transitional of E.S.L. classes to develop a script, based on a basic story line I will provide, and to lead them through all the steps up to the actual production of the play that will result. I hope to get the students interested not only in bringing their ideas and themes into the further development of the story line, but in the discussing and acting of the material created. I will allow them to experiment with different situations, in order to bring the play to life. As a result of this experience, I expect to find students more confident and open in front of an audience (first in class with me, then possibly in front of the whole school). All the while their listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills in English will develop and mature.

The unit contains lesson plans that deal with the development of the play, from ideas discussed in a group situation to the actual performance, including some follow-up activities. Since all this material will be part of the student’s regular work in the E.S.L. classroom, it will be carefully tailored to integrate and supplement the rest of the curricula.

I have divided this unit into eight components, or steps, some of which may take longer than a day to complete. The pace will depend on the student’s abilities,and subject to change. However, all steps must be covered.

In each of the components that follow I have explained the goal of the session, presented activities to reach that goal, suggested homework assignments, and listed the skills the students would have acquired at the end of the step. I hope teachers will come up with their own exercises and homework assignments, tailored after the examples I have included.

For purposes of planning your year, I have discussed possible performance dates and project duration in component VI (Performance).

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During this first session (or sessions) the students are presented with possible stories in oral form. Depending on class composition, interests, and seasonal appropriateness one of the stories from Mundo Real could be used as a basic plot, allowing the students to add their own ideas and an original ending to the story. For this purpose I have included in the resource list at the back of this unit a short synopsis of some of the scripts. I hope the variety of topics covered will suit most high school students, since the settings and cast suggested in Mundo Real present definite personalities and settings within the multi-racial community of a large city. I have focused on these stories because they all portray typical experiences of Puerto Rican students and their parents in the United States. The neighborhood, or “barrio”, has very definite boundaries, so well defined that it becomes almost a small town, where all the action takes place.

Since it is my belief that work will move more smoothly if the students are presented with a chosen group of situations, I would initiate the introduction with an oral presentation of the following stories: Delia and Santa Clause, What is a Puerto Rican?, and The Bilingual Godmother. At this point the teacher will have to be familiar with these programs and stories. For this purpose I would suggest a reading of the synopsis at the end of this unit, and also checking your local television listings for day and time of Mundo Real and Que Pasa, U.S.A.?

Visualization Exercise: Based on The Bilingual Godmother episode Procedure: Ask students to close their eyes and listen to the following story:

It is eight a.m., and you come down to the kitchen for breakfast. Your grandparents are already up and talking in Spanish. You say good morning to them and start asking questions in English, which they have difficulty understanding. You get upset with them, and tell them that they should learn English since they now live in America. They ask you to practice your Spanish or you will forget it. You leave the kitchen, angry and frustrated. Your grandparents are hurt and upset by your attitude. You think about it all day, then an idea comes to you: you will be their teacher, starting today, English classes after school...yes, the more you think about it, the more excited you get... Soon your grandparents will be all over town, speaking in English. No more translating for them, and, who knows, they may even start answering the telephone: You must hurry home and tell your brother, he might be able to help you with this project . . .

After the oral presentation, students will open their eyes again. At this point, I will have a list of questions ready for them to answer orally, questions which I feel will help in giving this story some further shape. Depending on how they respond in the question/answer period and on what kind of discussion is generated, I will be able to judge whether this basic plot will hold their attention and eventually develop into a full script. If this particular story does not work, I will go back to the other scripts and do another exercise with a new one.

Sample Questions: Based on the visualization

Where do the grandparents live? With whom?

Do you think they would rather live somewhere else? Why?

What is the problem between the granddaughter and the grandparents?

Can we give them all names?

What is the solution she has thought up?

Who does she want to help her?

Homework Assignment: Above questions can be handed out and the students would write paragraphs, continuing the story. This controlled composition exercise is in preparation for the actual script writing that will take place in step II of the eight components I will present.

At the end of component I of my project, students would have:

1. Heard the story from me (listening skills).
2. Answered questions about the story.(memory, comprehension, inferences, oral responses).
3. Contributed details and possible outcome of the story
This component might take one or two sessions of time (E.S.L. classes meet for two (45 minutes) periods a day).

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Further discussion and comments are now entertained, to enhance the outcome of component I. At this point we should have a story Line. The students have discussed possible plot ramifications, and even given names to some of the characters presented (two grandparents, two grandchildren). We now develop their character and attitudes, based on my initial presentation of the family unit.

Sequencing: To help students identify and understand the sequence of a story, and be able to apply it to any story they are presented. Procedure: Using a familiar fairy tale, illustrate the different parts of the story. We will listen to a record and I will stop in the middle, leaving out the ending: then have the students tell the story from the middle, without the beginning, etc. The ability to stop on time (if only the beginning is requested), to identify the changes in the plot, and the climax, is to be taught and reinforced in order to make the story writing a smooth process.

Conflicts: To have students identify conflicts.

Procedure: Since all action is based on conflict, students must learn to identify the conflict presented and come up with new ones that can be added to the story line. In class discussion I would lead the students into the possible solutions to the conflict of language/generations that the story presents. Students should come up with at beast three solutions to the conflict:

1. Grandparents learn English (favoring grandchildren).

2. Grandchildren practice their Spanish (favoring grandparents).

3. They all ignore each other (no one wins).

If the above attitudes come to surface, they can be discussed and the outcome can provide the probable ending/solution of the conflict. Questions such as: Who has to learn whose language and why?, or: Is one language more important than the other?, as well as: Do we have to communicate at all? will be explored.

This discussion of conflicts and their solution is very important to me, for the students’ negative and positive attitudes towards language learning and their home environment will be explored and, possibly, influenced in a positive manner. I would like to tape the proceedings, so I can capture all the ideas that surface, as well as have a student write important points on the board for all to see. We now have a plot with beginning, middle, and end. We have a conflict to be resolved. We have four basic characters.

At the end of component II of my project, students would have:

1. Identified and understood the sequence of the story (comprehension)

2. Identified and discussed conflict involved (oral skills).

3. Provided the story with a solution/ending.

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We now have four characters in this story, but who are they? By now our discussion in class must have brought out a certain image that the students understand and respond to. We will now refine it further and give it life.

What’s My Line Exercise: To develop characters

Procedure: Students will be divided into a panel, like in the t.v. program, and they will be questioned as to who they are, what is their occupation, age, where they live. One student will play the grandfather, another the grandmother, and so forth. To allow for maximum participation, I will assign two people to each character, so they will counsel and decide on an answer together. From this question and answer exercise we will further delineate the characteristics of our cast. Again, one student would act as recorder, listing the characteristics on the board for all to see and remember. We now have the plot and the characters.

Written assignment: Now that the characters have been brought to life in the student’s minds, they will each be assigned one role to develop at home, dialogue style. Procedure: Divide students into three groups, assigning the beginning, middle, and end of the story to each group. This ia how the story looks so far:

Cast: GranddaughterDelia thinks aboutDelia
and grandparents problem-could discusssolves
it with a friend?problem with help from her brother
Setting: home,School, streetHome
in the kitchen.

State of mind:Worry, puzzlementHappy with
anger, frustrationsolution
Within the above limits, the students will create a dialogue that incorporates all the ideas discussed, and accepted, by the teacher and students. As the students present to the class their assigned dialogue, the play will come together as a puzzle. Class discussion will limit the situations and dialogue. With several options now available, the students make final choices as to plot development and final resolution of the conflict.

Reading of the parts as a group and individually will further the characterizations. We are now on our way to assigning roles.

At the end of component III, my students would have:

1. Delineated the characters (by means of oral exercises).

2. Completed written assignment on dialogue.

3. Read the dialogue as a group and individually.

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Now that the script is completed, students can begin working more seriously on the movements, gestures, and other aspects of acting. In order to enter the acting portion of the unit, class and individual exercises will be presented, with exploration of group dynamics and warming up exercises. Getting the students to move about, to relate to each other, and to become comfortable with the idea of speaking in public and doing things that may seem silly within the play, will be the goal of the exercises and games.

This is also the time to recognize and learn ways to deal with various types of behavior that the students may exhibit. Students who are inhibited and shy and who, so far, have been cooperating due to group assignments, may not want to stand up in front of the group and recite or act. Also, students who are particularly knowledgeable in grammar and reading but whose oral skills may be lacking will, at this point, probably feel incompetent. In her book, Creative Dramatics for Children, Frances Cardwell Durland makes the following suggestions:

1. Never mention the child’s name: always call him by the character’s name.
2. Never say:”Don’t do this, do that”. Instead, ask the class “Let’s do it this way...”
3. Keep the illusion of the play, suggest how people in the play feel, not the way the real students do.
4. If things get stuck, go back to discussing the story with the group, and seek solutions from them.
Breaking up the Group: This activity can be used to break up groups. Procedure: For Ducks and Cows have the students make a line or a circle, ask them to close their eyes. You will then go up to each of them and whisper “cow” or “duck” (you may use any other animals of your choosing), trying to get as many ducks as cows. When you are finished with all, you give a signal and all those designated “cow” will moo, those designated “duck” will quack. Keeping their eyes closed at all times, they will seek out their own species. This is not a quiet game, and space is needed to gather in opposite ends of the room. Once all the cows are together, and all the ducks have gathered, students will open their eyes. You now have two groups evenly divided, without asking for volunteers and with a maximum of enjoyment for all.

Hammers and Nails: Ask the students to think for a moment and decide if they would rather be a hammer or a nail. Direct hammers to one end of the room, nails to the other. A short discussion as to the rationale for the choices they have made would follow. These points should be kept in mind: who is more important, the hammer or the nail? what is the function of the hammer? of the nail? (the hammer hits the nail and puts it in its place, but the nail is the one that holds the wood together, etc.). Following this logic, you may now bring in the characters of the play, are some more important than others? why? how do they all contribute? This is particularly helpful if there is a marked reluctance to play one of the roles in the play.

Cooperation: This activity will be to stress our dependence in each other. Making two circles, one within each other, students will reach out and hold hands with two different people (the inside people with the outside people). When everyone is linked to two different people, the circle will try to untangle and form a straight line without letting the hands go. This activity needs lots of room, and some times music will make it more placid and less hectic. The end result will be a line, unbroken, and everyone would have cooperated in the untangling process.

Musical Machine: Each student imitates a sound of an instrument and incorporates it to the first student, adding on to it. If the class is very large, it would be divided into groups of ten at the most. Example: Student 1 stands with swinging arms, imitating the sound of a violin; student 2 stands behind him and claps his hands over student 1 making the sound of cymbals; student 3 steps in front of student 1 and jumps up and down, making the sound of a drum, and so forth. Every person should concentrate on his own movement/sound while at the same time blend with the additions.

Reading the script: Who will be the lead? Who wants to be the granddaughter? We all have students that are practically jumping out of their chairs to volunteer. But we want as many students to take part in the production as possible. This can be accomplished by assigning the characters to a “group”, who is responsible for the delivering of lines in unison.

Mime: In this exercise students are assigned a role and, instead of reading or reciting the lines, they are required to express the feelings of the character in mime. Age, emotions, reactions can all be conveyed by the students without the barriers of language. Movements now come into play, with the older characters acting accordingly as it suits them (using a cane, limping, etc.).

At the end of component IV of my unit, students would have:

1. Experienced group dynamics (stressing cooperation).

2. Broken up into groups by random selection (making new friends).

3. Read the script as part of a group (oral skills, group decisions).

4. Mimed parts of the script (non-verbal communication).

We are now ready to rehearse the play, continuing to use the exercises just mentioned any time we want to warm up the group, or as a session wrap-up. You may look up different games and variations of the examples I have just given, or students themselves may improve on them. They will most probably have a favorite game and ask you to let them do it over and over again. It will be good to open all rehearsals sessions with a short exercise that will meet the requirements and goals without distracting the students too much from the task at hand, which is to produce a play.

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By means of rehearsing the script students will be practicing their pronunciation, diction, intonation, pitch, inflection, and other linguistic aspects of their acquiring a second language. The teacher will act as a coach, correcting and encouraging proper delivery, all within the “acting” context. Roles will be rotated (with a system of under-studies) to allow maximum enjoyment and interest. The fact that the student has entered another persona will allow him to feel safe and less self-conscious in his practice of the second language. This is the time when successful correcting of the student’s pronunciation can be achieved, since the student is role playing, the character is the one being corrected (the student is not “wrong”).

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This aspect is not a separate session but an over-all look at where we will be at this point of the unit. Having come so far, the date for performing and the final cast has to be finalized. I envision a time of eight to ten weeks for the entire project, with an important school date, such as Christmas holidays, or Mother’s Day, as a possible performance target date.

The holiday around which the unit would revolve would have been chosen as early as September, to allow maximum time for planning, but the actual date of performance could be narrowed down half-way through the unit. Based on a school year broken up into four marking periods, the following calendar will serve as a guide:

1st. M.P. Target Date: Christmas Holidays

Start unit second week in October (due to Thanksgiving holidays).

Performance: middle of December

Follow-up: January, after return from vacation.

2nd. M.P. Target Date: St. Valentine’s Day (February)

Start unit January, right after vacation

Performance: middle of February (before Winter vacation)

Follow-up: On return from Winter vacation

3rd. M.P. Target Date: Mother’s Day (May)

Start unit: March, right after Winter vacation

Performance: middle of May

Follow-up: right after performance

4th. M.P. Target Date: End-of-the-Year Assembly (June)

Start unit: late March (remember Spring vacation and tests).

Performance: First week in June

Follow-up: up to the end of school

Average time of preparation: ten weeks

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Parents and community can be a vital part of this project. If no parent group exists, then it is time for getting together. Your best leads are the parents of those students who do best in class, as well as those who are always volunteering. These outgoing kids will probably have outgoing parents that will help you with this project. Parents can help with the sets, costumes, make-up, programs, and other small but important tasks. They will feel very proud and important to have you, the professional, seek their advice and help. So I plan to proceed in this manner.

Contact: I will visit at least three parents, (and I say visit because phone calls are usually useless), explain our project, and invite them to come to school to meet with other parents that will be involved. This will probably happen during school hours since Spanish parents are reluctant to come in the evenings.

Initial Meeting: I would get their attention and interest in the project by explaining what we plan to do, and finding out about their own skills. Music, costumes, make-up will all be mentioned and someone will be assigned to it. A future meeting will be planned where each of the parents will contact another parent and bring them along to the next meeting.

Second Meeting: I expect to have six parents by now, who will stay on until the end. We will have them come to rehearsals, and start talking about actual materials and things they will be helping with. At home, they will be helping their own son or daughter with the project (rehearsing, learning lines).

Performance Day: Your small group of dedicated parents will, again, bring other parents to see the play. Be sure to mention their names in the program or after the show. Invite local agencies, hispanic groups, and other parents to attend the show.

Follow-up: Keep the group together: If the students are to continue in school next year, you can count on these same parents for other projects and school functions.

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What the students have learned from this experience can be applied to different areas of learning. The following exercises and assignments are based on our play experience and should be rewarding to all:

Story Line: Bring in a movie or video tape to school, something the students have not seen before. Have the students watch it and then develop in writing the skeleton story line, which would be a very basic narrative listing only the most important parts of the story. (The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe, would be a good example, with well defined beginning, middle, and end).

Field Trip: Now is the time to go and see a play. The students will go with a mental list (discussed in class) of things to look for: people in the cast, others involved in the production, the lights, the costumes, even the selling of tickets outside the theater. Teacher may lead class into a discussion along the lines of who has the most responsibility? Who is needed the most?

Occupations: Have the students choose an occupation as part of the theater group they visited (see Field Trip). It could be anything, from leading actress to carpenter (looking at the play’s program will be of help in choosing). Have the students do research into that particular occupation: what kinds of skills would it require, education needed, opportunity this career/job offers.

Mime: Students do a mime of a person who holds a job in the theater, doing one of the tasks usually performed by that person. The other students in the class guess what the job is.

Commercials: Students write and perform a 30-second commercial about a product of their choice (could be imaginary). The class chooses which product they would actually buy, which commercial was effective in the “selling”. Use a tape recorder to play back commercials during the discussion period.

T.V. Credits: Have students watch a favorite t.v. program and make a list of all the credits that show at the end. Students can compare the credits of, say, Charley’s Angels and a National Geographic Special, where the different content of the show would requires completely different crew and cast.

These suggestions provide for s transition between the drama content and the arts exploration material presented in this follow-up. These transitions may be in the form of class activities, discussions, or general relationships.

Is is in this manner that we can connect E.S.L. to Drama, and Drama to career choices in the field of performing arts. They are all inter-related, if the right strategies, sequence, and activities are instituted.

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Cole, Toby. Acting: A Handbook of the Stanislawski Method. New York: Crown Publishers, 1955. Teachers may find this book helpful in shaping rehearsals and helping the students develop their style of a ting.

Durland, Frances Cardwell. Creative Dramatics for Children. Ohio: Antioch Presa, 1952. Down-to-earth advice on how to present a play.

Hall, Edward T. Beyond Culture. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday 1976. Deals with non-verbal culture, rhythm and body culture, imagery and memory. It stresses the complexities of culture.

Kerman, Gertrude Lerner. Plays and Creative Ways with Children. Irvington-on-Hudson: Harvey, 1961. Some of the techniques here may be applied to the high school students.

Loew, Helene. “Tuning In: Popular Culture in the Second Language Classroom.” Foreign Language Animals, Volume 12 (1979), pp. 271-3. Article on the student’s attitudes towards art and media and how it influences them.

Styan, J.L. The Dramatic Experience: A Guide to the Reading of Plays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. Easy to read guide to drama,with historical perspectives and advice on plot development.

Stanford, Gene and Stanford, Barbara Dodds. Learning Discussion Skills Through Games. New York: Citation Press, 1969. Some help in dealing with discussions and reaching a goal.

Walker, Pamela Prince. Seven Steps to Creative Children’s Dramatics. New York: Hill & Wang, 1957. More ideas to enhance the process.

Spolin, Viola. Improvisation for the Theater. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1972. More activities and games.

391 Ways to Explore Arts and Humanities Careers, published by the U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, 1976. Many classroom activities in the drama and media field.

Arriba el Telon!=El Uso del Teatro Infantil Y de los Titeres en la Educacion Bilingue. Alma Flor Ada and Pilar de Olave. Learning packet may be obtained, free, from the Curriculum Development Office, Bilingual Department, Hartford, Connecticut.

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Hines Mary. Skits in English. New York: Regents Publishing Co., 1980. Easy to read skits dealing with teenage life and problems.

Romano, Octavio. Chicano Drama. Berkeley: Quinto Sol Publications, 1974. Short plays by Hispanic authors for High School students.

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Que Pasa, U.S.A,?, educational television programs, under a grant from HEW, inquiries as to obtaining tapes of all shows may be forwarded to CPTV or PBS.

Mundo Real, educational television programs, under a grant from HEW, inquiries as to obtaining tapes of shows may be forwarded to CPTV or PBS.

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Show #101 “Delta Vs. Santa Claus” Written by Susan O’Meara
In this award-winning show, Delia finds herself rebelling against the idea that her school only celebrates the Christmas holiday season with Santa Claus, completely overlooking the Three Kings. Her feelings come out in front of the entire school at assembly, and she is reprimanded by Mr. Peters, the school principal.
Show #102 “What Is A Puerto Rican?” Written by James Stevens
In this award-winning show, the question of who is and who is not a true Puerto Rican becomes very important to Angel and Delia when they begin to wonder whether they are real Puerto Ricans.
Show #103 “Dejar El Nido” Written by Janice Langmack
Delia has been invited by friends to join them in signing up for work in the tobacco fields. She decides to go, but without asking permission from her parents. Doris and Luis become a bit concerned when Delia hasn’t arrived home; and with the help of Pito and Lou, they find out where she’s been. Doris is driven to the fields to get her daughter; and on the way home, they discuss what Delia has done and how it has affected her parents.
Show #104 “The Double Generation Gap” Written by Elsie Rodriguez and Graciela Rogerio
Delia is invited to spend the weekend at her American friend’s house. She is very impressed by some of the things she experiences; and when she returns home, she reacts by rejecting the Puerto Rican ambience of her household. However, it doesn’t take too long for her to realize that home, as it is, is the best place after all.
Show #105 “The Little Tomboy” Written by Laura Thomas
Delia’s cousin arrives from Puerto Rico for a visit; but to Delia disappointment, she turns out to have very different interests which don’t include some of Delia’s more “liberated” activities. When Delia’s softball team needs money for uniforms, however, it is her cousin who comes up with a solution.
Show #106 “...And This Is Only Tuesday” Written by Susan O’Meara
This program focuses on the informal social work activities of Doris Blanco and how they effect the family life at the Blanco home.
Show #107 “Delia Finds A Boyfriend” Written by Frank Marrero
Delia Blanco finds herself going to extremes to try to have her family make a good impression on her new Anglo boyfriend. In the process, Luis realizes that the boy has been having problems at home and is in need of friendship from the entire Blanco family.
Show #108 “Angel Steals” Written by Elsie Rodriguez and Graciela Rogerio
Delia and Angel are looking for a Mother’s Day gift for Doris. Angel chooses a pair of earrings; but not having the money to pay for them, he decides to steal them.
Show #109 “The Runaway” Written by Leslie and Serafina Colombani
Felipe, a friend of Angel’s, runs away from his home after his mother has beaten him for getting a bad report card from school. He arrives at the Blanco home; and realizing that there is something wrong, Doris decides to investigate the situation.
Show #110 “Is It Prejudice?” Written by Elsie Rodriguez and Graciela Rogerio
Delia is a bit surprised by her friend Laura’s comment about one of her grandfathers not “looking Puerto Rican” because he has green eyes. Her attention toward this type of remark is heightened when she hears Dona Ines make a comment about Lou that reflects color prejudice.
Show #201 “El Baile” Written by Laura Thomas
Delia’s disappointment at finding her grandfather and Dona Ines as chaperones for her first class dance, turns to subsequent delight when they are the hit of the evening.
Show #202 “A Rose From Abuelo” Written by Leslie and Serafina Colombani
It is a sad day for the Blanco family. Luis’ father has died in Puerto Rico, and Angel feels that if he refuses to recognize his grandfather’s death, it will not be.
Show #203 “San Gibin” Written by Rene Rubiella
Dona Ines purchases a live turkey which she intends to slaughter for Thanksgiving. At the same time, Doris has planned on having a simple frozen turkey; but nevertheless, she bows to the Puerto Rican tradition. There remains one problem—no one is willing to kill the turkey!
Show #204 “A Matter of Economics” Written by Frank Marrero
Luis is having economic difficulties with the travel agency and decides that he must take out a loan. However, the loan is refused by the bank on the grounds that Luis extends too much credit. The family is at a loss as to what comes next—until an old friend with “clout” comes to visit.
Show #205 “Pimienta” Written by Alex Edwards
While playing basketball, Angel and his friends ignore an Anglo boy who’s just moved into the area. Richard’s parents were killed in a truck crash, and he’s come to live with his aunt, a social worker in the neighborhood. There are obvious problems for them both, and Richard runs away with his dog. The dog is lost enroute, and it is Pito, Bert and the Blancos who find her.
Show #206 “A View From Another World” Written by Elsie Rodriquez and Graciela Rogerio
A young, energetic female artist moves into the neighborhood to the delight of Delia and Angel. Dona Ines, however, is aghast at the unconventional Tina, and it takes a while for her to recognize the real worth of her new neighbor.
Show #207 “Angel Pelotero” Written by Carlos Pesquera and Guillermo Ramirez
Angel’s interest in baseball has begun to completely dominate his thinking, and he’s begun to do poorly in school. An older friend tutors Angel in his math— and quite a bit more.
Show #208 “A Valentine For Teacher’s Pet” Written by Serafina Colombani and Mary Gay ReMine
Delia refuses to send a Valentine’s card to a girl she dislikes, feeling it would be hypocritical.
Show #209 “Art For Whows Sake?” Written by Frank Marrero
This award-winning program, sensitively portrays Angel’s discovery of the world of art, as a Jewish curator of a museum takes an interest in him.
Show #210 “Julio Comes Home” Written by Leslie and Serafina Colombani
Dona Ines is ecstatic about the return of her son, Julio, from prison’ and when he arrives at the Blanco’s, the children are a bit unsure about how to react to the “ex-convict.”
Show #301 “Los Recion Llegados” Written by Leon Schweir
Angel and his friends lose their baseball in a neighbor’s yard, and the elderly lady refuses to give the ball back until the children promise to play elsewhere. Delia takes over the task of retrieving the ball; and in doing so, learns much about the similarities and contrasts between her own generation and ethnic group and another.
Show #302 “A Paying Job” Written by Aida Barrera
Doris Blanco is offered a paying job as a social worker, a job she’s done for years without pay. However, when the work and required evening courses begin, the Blanco’s find that domestic problems result which hadn’t previously been considered or discussed.
Show #303 “La Botanica” Written by Carol Manago
Angel is hit by a car while riding a friend’s bicycle. The family rushes to the hospital to be with him and is told by the Hispanic doctor on the case that Angel is being well taken care of and that they will just have to wait. Dona Ines, however, has her own idea as to how Angel can be helped through the powers of “la botanica.” The resulting confrontation proves beneficial for both Dr. Guzman and Dona Ines.
Show #304 “Angel Is On Top” Written by Pablo Cabrera
Angel decides he must have a camera which he has been admiring for weeks, but first he must find a way to finance it. With the help of a friend, he takes a job babysitting for the son of a vegetable store owner. While on the job, Angel helps rejuvenate Mr. Lampropolos’ business by introducing a variety of previously unstocked Spanish vegetables.
Show #305 “Meet Cinderella” Written by Pablo Cabrera
Delia decides she would like to play the part of Cinderella in her class’s production. When she begins her research on the character, she becomes keenly aware that Cinderella was a blond and decides she must bleach her hair. It is only after a conference with Doris and her teacher that Delia realizes that it’s not what the character looks like that’s important.
Show #306 “Pitching In For Jay” Written by Pablo Cabrera
Cousin Jay, a former baseball star, moves East, and the Blanco’s are thrilled, especially Angel who immediately recruits Jay as coach for his team. After a series of disappointments, Angel and his friends realize that Jay is an alcoholic. It takes the near miss of hitting Angel with his car to shake Jay into confronting his problem.
Show #307 “Teddy’s Toys” Written by Pablo Cabrera
Teddy Bennett moves into the Blanco’s neighborhood, and he and Angel become friends immediately. After showing Teddy his toys, Angel is invited to see Teddy’s “toys,” which happen to be examples of graffitti on walls. The boys later decide to express themselves on the sides of subway cars and are caught by the police. After all is settled at the police department, Luis provides a legal and useful way to make use of the boys’ creativity.
Show #308 “The Street Priest” Written by Frank Marrero
Having been refused travel credit by Luis, a Colombian man fire bombs the travel agency. Angel has seen the man; and later during the confusion of the fire, he sees the arsonist in the crowd. Carlos and Bert arrest the man and ask Angel and Luis to come down to the station when all has calmed down. A problem arises when the area priest explains the heartrending situation the arsonist has been in. Angel decides that he doesn’t want to identify the poor man, and it is up to Luis to explain why it is important to do so.

The Bilingual Godmother”—The grandparents do not speak English, the grandchildren are forgetting their Spanish, language and generation clash. The grandson falls sleep and has a nightmare where he can only speak Spanish, and his grandparents speak perfect English and disdain Spanish. Then, the Fairy Godmother arrives, and teachers all a lesson in understanding and respect for others.

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