Set a Purpose for Reading/Explore Text Features (10 minutes)
Look at pages 20-21 with the class. Direct students to the play’s title and the photographs. Then read aloud the subtitle. Explain that Sylvia Mendez was forced to attend the school in the class photo. Ask: What do all of the students in that photo have in common? (They are all nonwhite.)
This play is about an important event in the Mexican- American civil rights movement in the 1940s. Point to the photographs and captions on pages 22-25. Read aloud the titles and captions with the class. Discuss the caption on page 23, which asks students to spot the error in the image (the sign should read “We serve whites only,” not “white’s only”). Explain that the photo on page 24 is the front page of a Los Angeles newspaper from 1946. Read the headline with students. Ask: How do you think Sylvia Mendez feels in the photo on page 25?
Call on a volunteer to read aloud the Think and Read box on page 20. Ask students to think as they read the play about what the Mendez family did to stand up for their rights.
Introduce Vocabulary (15 minutes, activity sheet online)
While the play does not include definitions of vocabulary words in the text itself, a vocabulary activity online previews challenging words and allows students to list other words that are unfamiliar to them. Project or distribute the activity to review the words. You may also play our Vocabulary Slideshow, where images and audio help students with comprehension and fluency.
Challenging words: immigrants, wobbly, illegal, equality