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TEXT 1: THE BREAD-CRUMB TANGO

INTRODUCTION

This is a booklet of systematic reading instruction for students wishing to develop their reading competence. For that purpose they need directed skills instructions.

The selections are chosen to satisfy the interests of the students providing them with information about history, youth problems, survival, the life of the Indians, sport, and many others. The selections portray the world – as it is, without unreal stereotypes or idealizations and include extracts representing a wide variety of literary forms, styles and themes. In addition to fine literary selections, each includes biographical articles and other informational articles on various topics. The program is sure to increase students’ reading success and enjoyment while enabling them to master basic reading and language skills.

The booklet provides practice and reinforcement of the basic reading skills students are to have, thus, the tasks are arranged in the way to master these skills:

- comprehension skills;

- vocabulary;

- language skills.

These tasks can measure student’s progress. After each text the students are to evaluate their vocabulary and comprehension skills, reading skills.

The texts can be used as self-teaching material.

Students read the selection silently for the specific purpose or purposes. After reading an exercise in using context to get word meaning is given. Each word is presented in a context different from that in which it appeared in the selection, but one in which the word has the same meaning.

 

The strategies suggested in the program apply six basic principles of learning theory to the development of reading fluency: readiness, motivation, drill and practice, reinforcement, association and transfer.

Readiness -The students should understand the vocabulary and skills that are necessary for comprehension of a selection before they begin to read. Besides, the exercises enable them to provide students with necessary information before they begin to work on an exercise.

Motivation -These exercises provide material to stimulate students’ interest in the selection they will read.

Drill and practice - Silent reading provides application of skills to the anthology selection. In working with exercises students again apply the skills they have learned.

Reinforcement -Reading skills are reinforced in the applying reading skills exercises and in the review sections.

Association - Association is the student’s synthesis of what has been recently learned with what was learned in the past. The program offers the student opportunities to relate his or her experience to the selections by inviting him or her to make inferences, draw conclusions, and make individual interpretations.

Transfer -The reading skills presented in the program are practical and transfer easily to students’ understanding of other written materials. Such skills as drawing conclusions, recognizing cause-effect relationships, and predicting outcomes can be applied to reading social studies and science texts.

 

TEXT 1: THE BREAD-CRUMB TANGO

by E.M. Hunnicutt

Nobody was too surprised when Harley got the best part in the school play. That’s not saying everyone was happy about it. Harley is a good actor. You have to say that for him. But he always wants to change a play around to make his own part bigger. Creativity is what he calls it.

Take the play we did last spring. Two days before we put on the play, Harley talked Mr. Bradley, our drama coach, into letting him rewrite the second act. On opening night, Harley was great. But the rest of us had trouble remembering all our new lines.

Then once there was a big scene that didn’t have Harley in it. He worked his dog into the story in some way. The dog barked so much it drowned out everybody. Harley was the star that night, too – the only actor the audience could hear unless you count the dog.

When the list of people in the play went up on the bulletin board, I saw I had the second-best part. “Harley,” I said to him, “the play is the thing. It’s more important than the part of any one person.”

Of course the play is the thing, John,” he said with that frown he gets when he is thinking. “That’s why we want to make the play as good as we possibly can.”

“It’s already good,” I said. “Why don’t we leave it alone?”

But instead of answering me, he started making notes on his clipboard. That clipboard is supposed to make him look like a Broadway director.

The play was a fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel”. We were going to put it on for small children on a Saturday afternoon. Harley was the witch. It was really a girl’s part, but he’ll do anything to get on the stage. He has this big idea about becoming a famous actor someday. I was Hansel, the one who pushes the witch into the oven. I was kind of looking forward to it. Kathy Marcus was Gretel.

Harley’s clipboard was full of notes by the first rehearsal. “The witch shouldn’t die,” he said in a loud voice. “She should tell Hansel and Gretel she’s sorry for what she has done. Then, with a happy heart, she should sing this little song I’ve written.”

Mr. Bradley said no to that one.

One of the theater classes started building the set. Harley thought his oven should be bigger.

“Harley,” Kathy said, “not bigger but hotter. Or you’ll come out half-baked.”

But it was no joke to Harley. He started writing himself into the first act. While Hansel and Gretel are going through the woods, dropping their bread crumbs, he wanted to have the witch in the background doing a modern dance. He called it the “Bread-Crumb Tango”.

Mr. Bradley said no to that idea too. I think he was still a little upset about Harley’s dog. He told Harley to stick to the script.

“But Harley won’t,” Kathy said to me one day after rehearsal. “When he gets in front of that audience, he’ll pull something. If everything else fails, he can always rattle the door of his oven.”

“At least the audience will only be little kids,” I said.

“Let’s see some respect for little kids!” she shot back. “Without them I’d be really poor.”

Kathy baby-sits a lot.

Then one day, Uncle Fred flew into town. He was stopping here on one of his trips from the West Coast. Uncle Fred is my all-time-favorite relative. He used to play pro football. When he arrived, he had tickets for the football game on Saturday. He always does. Uncle Fred sees more football games than some coaches.

“I can’t go with you,” I had to tell him. “I have to be in this play.”

So, of course, he decided to come to the play. “You won’t like it,” I said. “It’s little-kid stuff.”

He said “Hansel and Gretel” was a big favorite of his. So Uncle Fred gave the tickets for the game to my parents.

The audience on Saturday looked like the people in “Gulliver’s Travels”. There was a giant uncle Fred sitting out there surrounded by little people.

“Who’s that man?” Kathy asked, peeping out through the curtain.

“That’s my uncle Fred. Look, don’t let Harley know there’s anyone special out there. He’ll ham it up just that much more.”

“I don’t know why he’s so silly.”

“I guess Harley doesn’t think he’s silly,” I said without thinking about it. Then I thought about it. Harley’s big idea of becoming a famous actor was serious to him. “Kathy,” I said, “I think someone really important in the audience would scare him to death.”

So I walked over to Harley, putting it all together in my head as I went – the way he does. Maybe I’d been around Harley too long because the story that came out was almost pure creativity.

“Harley,” I said, “there’s a talent scout out front.” I wondered if he would believe such a wild story.

But I didn’t have to worry. Harley took a quick peek through the curtain and saw Uncle Fred. “Is he from the Civic Theater?” Harley had been living in his make-believe world for so long that he would believe anything.

“Let’s say he’s from something larger,” I said.

“The university?”

“I won’t say any more. I wouldn’t want to make you nervous just before putting on a play. Let’s just say he is known nationwide.”

Harley turned a little pale and began tugging at his witch costume. Then I put the icing on the cake. “He’s flying back to New York tonight.”

Kathy came up to me a minute later. “It’s beautiful,” she said. “Harley is just standing over there whispering, ‘Broadway, Broadway.’ Except –“

“Except what?”

“I wish you could have done it without telling such a big lie.”

“Lie!” I grinned. I put on the little hat that makes Hansel look seven years old. “Let’s see some respect for a nice little kid like me!”

Harley did a good job acting even if he was scared. But sometimes his voice was almost too soft to be heard. When the time came for me to push him into the oven, he gave a funny little hop and a skip and jumped in himself. “Nice footwork, Harley,” I whispered. “A real Bread-Crumb Tango!”

When he went out to take our bow, Kathy whispered to me, “When this is over, quickly slip out the back. When Harley finds out the truth, he won’t let you out of here alive.”

Uncle Fred clapped so much we had to go back for a second bow. “My uncle is a talent scout,” I whispered to Kathy as the curtain came down. “I told the truth. He scouts for the New York Jets.”

I. Using Context to Get Word Meaning

In each of the few sentences below, a word is underlined. Below the sentences are eight definitions. Find the definition that fits each underlined word.

1. Creativity is what you need to produce a work of art or an invention.

2. Since the high-school basketball game had not been advertised, there was a very small audience.

3. The rehearsal for the new opera was to begin at eight o’clock.

4. All of the actors received a script for the play so that they could study their parts.

5. The people showed respect for the queen by taking off their hats when she drove past.

  1. printed text
  2. honor
  3. being original or imaginative
  4. list of characters
  5. first performance
  6. gathering of people to watch

g. competition

II. Understanding Cause-Effect Relationships

When completed, the numbered sentences below will state some cause-effect relationships from the story “The Bread-Crumb Tango.”

1. Harley wanted to change the script of every play that he appeared in because

a. he didn’t like the way the scripts were written.

b. he wanted to get some practice writing plays.

c. he wanted to make his own part more important.

2. Last spring, Harley had rewritten the second act two days before the show was given; as a result, all of the other actors

  1. had trouble remembering their new lines.
  2. had larger parts than before.

c. had smaller parts than before.

3. John said he was looking forward to playing Hansel because

  1. he would be the star of the show.
  2. he was the one who pushed the witch into the oven.

c. it gave him the chance to do the Bread-Crumb Tango.

4. The reason John told Harley that his Uncle Fred was a nationally known talent scout was that

  1. he wanted to give Harley a chance to act well.
  2. he wanted to make Harley too nervous to ham it up.

c. he wanted to see how much Harley could ham it up.

5. Because of John’s story about the talent scout, Harley

  1. forgot his lines.
  2. was even sillier than usual.

c. was scared and nervous.

6. Kathy told John that he should quickly slip out the back after the play because

  1. when Harley found out the truth about Uncle Fred, he would never let John out of there alive.
  2. when Harley found out the truth about Uncle Fred, he would be very grateful and would try to thank him.

c. she was giving a surprise party for Harley.

III. Making Inferences

Choose among the numbered items below the letter of the ending that makes a correct inference about characters in “The Bread-Crumb Tango.”

1. When Harley said, “We want to make the play as good as we possibly can,” you could infer that he planned to

a. act as well as he could.

b. help the other actors with their parts.

c. make changes in the script.

2. When John’s Uncle Fred came to see him act in “Hansel and Gretel” instead of going to the football game, you could infer that

a. Uncle Fred liked fairy tales.

b. Uncle Fred liked John and wanted to see him perform.

c. Uncle Fred enjoyed going to children’s plays.

3. From the attitudes of John and Kathy, you could infer that

a. they probably liked Harley although they got tired of his hamming it up.

b. they didn’t really think much about Harley.

c. they considered Harley to be a terrible actor.

IV. Noting Details

Read each of the following sentences and the endings that follow it. Choose the ending that completes the sentence correctly according to “The Bread-Crumb Tango”.

1. Harley was so eager to get on a stage that he was willing to

a. make the scenery. c. sing and dance.

b. play a girl’s part. d. take an unimportant part.

2. The play “Hansel and Gretel” was to be put on for an audience of

a. children. c. parents.

b. classmates. d. teachers.

3. When Mr. Bradley heard about Harley’s Bread-Crumb Tango, he

  1. agreed to think it over. c. praised Harley.
  2. let Harley do the dance. d. refused to consider it.





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