Maya and Miguel

Maya and Miguel

Click here to visit the Maya and Miguel website.maya and miguel

The educational situation comedy chronicles the adventures of 10-year-old Latino twins, Maya and Miguel Santos, as they figure out how to leave their stamp on the vibrant world around them. The comedy revolves around Maya's well-intended meddling in her family's and friend's lives, ultimately leading her to create new quandaries to fix. While every episode will take humorous twists and turns, the underlying message is the importance of doing what is good for the family and community and the philosophy that shared happiness is greater than personal gain.

The show is targeted at six- to eight-year-olds, but is also being designed to engage adults. It is intended to entertain and educate all children, to promote cultural diversity, and to encourage English language acquisition, particularly among Hispanics. It is available with a second audio track in Spanish (SAP).

"Reaching, educating and entertaining children is part of Scholastic's DNA," says Deborah Forte, president of Scholastic Entertainment. "In the same way The Magic School Bus and Clifford entertain and help children with science and reading, The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel is a series all children will delight in, and at the same time, prepare at-risk children as they begin their formal school experience."

The series has been developed with Guatemalan, Puerto Rican and Mexican-American writers, producers and artists who were able to lend their own perspectives and experiences.  The lead voices include, Candi Milo as "Maya" and Nika Futterman as "Miguel." The multi-cultural cast also features well-known names such as Carlos Alazraqui, Erik Estrada, Lucy Liu, Lupe Ontiveros, Elizabeth Peña and Carlos Ponce. Other cast members include Beth Payne, Jeannie Elias, and Jerod Mixon.

Educational Goals

  • To promote the value of a culturally diverse society by supporting, respecting, and validating the variety of perspectives, traditions, languages, and experiences that populate today's world.
  • To support English language acquisition and usage in personal, social, and cultural interactions.

The Ready To Learn Read-View-Do Learning Triangle model is followed.

Grades: 1-4
Subject Areas: Language Arts, Technology, Visual Arts, Physical Education
Estimated Time: Session One - 45 minutes; Session Two - 30 minutes

I. Summary: Maya and Miguel's first cousin, Tito, recently emigrated from Mexico. His native language is Spanish but his English is improving every day as he interacts with his multilingual American family. This lesson focuses on word play through conversational language activities that will help build confidence and increase proficient language skills for Early English Language Learners.

II. Objectives:

  • Students will recognize and respond orally to picture-word associations
  • Students will develop visual recognition skills, model correct language usage and will identify specific graphics and words
  • Students will interpret conversational language through role play
  • Students will use technology and art to create a picture-word collage
  • Second Language students will share Spanish (or native language) translations with peers

III. Materials:

  • Picture cards, photos or classroom posters
  • Stickers (stars work great)
  • Graphics, magazine pictures for cutting out
  • Glue, scissors and construction paper for extension activity

IV. Procedure:
(Session One)
1. Instruct students that they are going to play a fun game called "Look, Say, Find!" Use hand motions as you say, "Look, Say, Find!":

  • "Look" with one hand in saluting position over eye
  • "Say" by touching hand to mouth
  • "Find" by extending arm and pointing from far left to right

2. Pronounce then spell the graphic/word. Repeat pronunciation and spelling. Encourage volunteers to independently model pronunciation/spelling. Be sure to ask Second Language Learners to share oral and written Spanish (or their own native language) as you move through graphics.

3. Prompt thought about each graphic with age-appropriate vocabulary and conversational language.

For example: Show graphic of children playing and ask:   What are these children doing? How many children are there? Where do you think they live? How old are they? How do you think they are feeling right now? Have you ever played like they are playing? What kind of weather are they playing in and what season does it seem to be where they live? Do you think you would have fun playing with these children? Continue by encouraging students to independently express their understanding of each graphic through conversational language.

4. Ask each student to take a turn at placing a sticker on the graphic you call out. Ask individual students to identify, pronounce, spell and describe graphic.

(Session Two)

5. Silly Willy Word Play! Model how to read, interpret and role play the first Silly Willy Word Play command - "Animals." For understanding, say the command and slowly model movements. For example: The duck loudly quacked as he circled right! (Say it and make like a duck.) Teaching tip: Pair English Language Learners with English language speakers so they can imitate and model their native language for each other as they move through the exercise.

1. The eagle soared high in the sky.
2. The tiger ferociously growled.
3. The horse galloped down the trail.
4. The fish swam quietly through the reef.
5. The chimpanzee chattered as he climbed up the tall tree.
6. The bees buzzed around in the hive.

Nature (with some helpful suggestions)
1. The gentle wind blew through the valley. (arms up, bend at waist)
2. The rain danced as it fell from the clouds. (finger motions/tippie-toe)
3. The sun sizzled in the sky. (arms flailing, sizzle noise)

1. The tree swayed in the forest.
2. The ball rolled down the hill.
3. The kite zigzagged in the sky.

1. The friends shook hands.
2. The class applauded the teacher.
3. The teacher hugged every student.

Assessment: Students should actively participate in activities identifying picture-word associations and correctly model conversational language and movement through role play.

Extensions in Learning:

  • Watch the Maya & Miguel episode The Doubtful Prince to experience more language skill building and fun word play.
  • Incorporate technology by helping students print out a list of 5-10 familiar content words on the computer. Cut out each word, arrange and glue onto construction paper (leaving space for illustrations). Cut out graphics for each word to reinforce picture-word associations. This can also be used to create a larger classroom collage or bulletin board.

For Early Language Learners, reinforce picture-word association by exploring these bilingual books:

  • No More Spanish (Get Ready for Gabi Series #3) by Marisa Montes (Ages 7-9)
  • A Crazy, Mixed-Up Spanglish Day (Get Ready for Gabi Series #1) by Marisa Montes (Ages 7-10)

Related National Standards (These are established by McREL; click here to visit the McREL website).

  • Relates new information to prior knowledge and experience
  • Uses meaning clues (e.g., pictures, picture captions, title, cover, headings, story structure, story topic) to aid comprehension and make predictions about content (e.g., action, events, character's behavior)
  • Understands level-appropriate sight words and vocabulary (e.g., words for persons, places, things, actions; high frequency words such as "said," "was" and "where")
  • Listens to classmates and adults (e.g., does not interrupt, faces the speaker, asks questions, summarizes or paraphrases to confirm understanding, gives feedback, eliminates barriers to effective listening)


  • Types on a computer keyboard, using correct hand and body positions
  • ses a word processor to edit, copy, move, save and print text with some formatting (e.g., centering lines, using tabs, forming paragraphs)

Visual Arts

  • Uses visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas

Physical Education

  • Uses concepts of space awareness and movement control with a variety of basic skills (e.g., running, hopping, skipping) while interacting with others

Related National Standards for ESL- Grades Pre-K-3 (These are established by TESOL at URL:
Goal 1, Standard 2 -To use English to communicate in social settings: Students will interact in, through and with spoken and written English for personal expression and enjoyment
Goal 2, Standard 1 -To use English to achieve academically in all content areas: Students will use English to interact in the classroom

The website for The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel (available in English and Spanish) includes lesson plans, music, and online learning activities.

This 2-hour ESOL workshop is available for parents, teachers, and child care providers.
PBS Ready To Learn is supported by a cooperative agreement from the U. S. Department of Education, PR/Award Number R295A00002.