This lesson plan focuses on introducing the play, the Romance of Magno Rubio.

Lesson Plan Materials:

• The Romance of Magno Rubio short story


Love Hurts: Students will be asked to describe their understanding of love and how they may have or have not experienced heartbreak or extreme disappointment. This is introduced in the notion of “love” in The Romance of Magno Rubio. In fact, the character of “Clarabelle” in the short story is an allegory for America, or the American Dream as experienced by Filipino immigrants. Clarabelle breaks Magno’s heart in the same way that the racism and poverty of the United States caused incredible anguish for Filipina/o immigrants who had believed that the United States was a golden land of opportunity.

Step 1
Have the students do a freewrite for 10 minutes.

Ask them to address the following topic:

Have you ever loved someone who did not love you back?
If not, can you come with up an example of that you know of when someone loved someone but they did love back. You can use examples from friends, family, movies, stories, novels.

Step 2
Ask a few students to share what they wrote.


What’s Love Got to Do with It: Students and teachers will break down the title of The Romance of Magno Rubio

Step 1
Write the name “Magno Rubio’ on the board.

Step 2
Give the students two minutes to draw a person whose name is Magno Rubio.

Step 3
Have them share their drawing with one other person. And have them come up with five descriptive words that would describe a person called Magno Rubio.

Step 4
Ask the students to share a couple of their words with the rest of the class.

Step 5
Then lead a discussion about the name.

Ask them to imagine that the word Magno can mean big. It can also be short for Magnificient. What then would this person look like?

Step 6
Then have the students read the first description of Magno Rubio.

Step 7
Ask then what they think:

Does the description of Magno Rubio look like your perception of the name? Why or why not?

Most likely the students’s perceptions would be different from the description and in many ways it could be considered that Carlos Bulosan was aiming to be ironic.

Step 8
Then introduce the concept of “irony.”

Irony is an implied discrepancy between what is said and what is meant.
Three kinds of irony:

1. verbal irony is when an author says one thing and means something else.
2. dramatic irony is when an audience perceives something that a character in the literature does not know.
3. irony of situation is a discrepancy between the expected result and actual results.

Step 9
Have the students describe how irony is being used by Carlos Bulosan.

Before the students continue to the read the story, have them try to figure out the ways the three kinds of irony might be used in The Romance of Magno Rubio. Focusing the on the title of the story.

How is the name “Magno Rubio” ironic? What does “Magno” mean in Latin? What does “rubio” mean in Spanish (it means “blonde”)
How might be the notion of “romance” be ironic?
What do you guess might be ironic about the story?

Why do you think Bulosan named the main character “Magno Rubio” and titled the story this way?

Step 10
Have the students read the entire story for homework. Have them write a journal on how the story represents the three kinds of irony.


Problems/Questions of the Day: What does Magno Rubio represent? How is irony used in the short story?
Connection: Students will connect their own personal understandings of love to The Romance of Magno Rubio.
Assessment: Ask the students about what they learned from this lesson plan and how it might be improved.