hundred balloons of happiness

today i had four kids read the vignette "salvador" from sandra cisneros' woman hollering creek. three of them paid attention while juan continually interrupted asking questions like, "what's another word for 'nice'?" or "how do you spell 'awful'?" i got short with him for purposely drawing the group's attention away from the story. they didn't connect with it as well as they did with burro genius. probably because there wasn't any swearing or pissing of the pants. i asked them what they thought of the story, and alan replied, "she used a lot of commas." gilbert shrugged, and alejandra kept silent. their apathy stung, and i could only think, if sandra cisneros can't get to you, no one can. i really wanted them to "get it," but, as we read, i didn't think i was comprehending everything, either. why are they making illiterate kids at this school read romeo and juliet when house on mango street is available?

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