Unit on Immigration Made possible by a grant from the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Program, Towson University, Dr. Colleen Ebacher and Dr. Ronn Pineo Lesson/Activity 1: What is an American? (1 Day) (This is the warm-up for the entire unit, really.) Objective: TSW examine, possibly for the first time, what makes he/she an American (or not). Anticipatory set: TSW answer the questions below individually. Answer the following questions below and be prepared to discuss: 1) Who are the Americans? 2) Where is America? 3) Is there more than one America? 4) Are you American? 5) Why/Why not (for number 4)? Procedure: After answering the questions below individually, the students will share their answers with the class and discuss and debate. The teacher will help guide the discussion only when necessary and act as a facilitator as students debate. Assessment: The entire discussion is the assessment. Students will turn in their answers in addition to sharing aloud. Lesson/Activity 2: When Did Your Family Become American? (2-3 Days) Objective: TSW research and then realize that unless they are 100% Native American, America (the United States) is made up of centuries of immigrants and their histories. Parents of the students will also be involved in this activity and therefore reminded of their immigrant history. TSW also be better informed about current bills in Congress in regards to immigration laws. Anticipatory Set: Ask the students, “When did your family first come to America?” Observe how many students know and don’t know the answer to this question. Discuss. Procedure: The students will complete the following activity: Take home the following questions to your parents and or grandparents/family and ask them to help you answer them. You will have approximately 4 days to complete this. If your parents are unable to help you, several famous Americans will be provided for you to choose from, and then you may answer the questions in regards to their history. (This last sentence will not be on the actual activity to insure as many students as possible will research their own family history.) Questions 1: When did your family first arrive in the United States and from which part of the world? Questions 2: Why did they come to America? Question 3: Does anyone in your family and extended family speak a language other than English? Question 4: Where in America has your family lived, extended family included, past and present? Question 5: When, then, did your family become American? Assessment: Volunteers will share their answers aloud. Hopefully there will be several histories from many places and discussions will be easily fostered. After discussions and sharing family histories, students will submit their research. Lesson/Activity 3: Interview with “Jessica” (2-3 Days) Objective: TSW analyze testimonials from a primary source to gain a better understanding of the real life situations involving the risks people take and the sacrifices they make to come to America. Anticipatory Set: Ask students again why their families originally came to America and share aloud. Procedure: Part 1: Show PowerPoint of photos and videos from Mexico to teach students how beautiful Latin America is and all that is left behind when immigrants leave their homeland to come to a strange new place to help provide a better quality of life to their families, here and back home. Part 2: Show edited video of interviews with Jessica and her stories of dangerous border crossings, family tragedy, working conditions here in America for undocumented workers, and her return to Mexico and current situation and feelings about her 3 years in America. The students will have a guided video quiz to help them make some connections while watching the video. The video quiz will also have some reflection connections for the student to answer at home and submit. Hopefully the students will make any connection on their own, unsolicited, between Jessica’s story and their family’s, when applicable. Assessment: Discussions will be observed and submitted work will receive comments. Further discussions may be necessary if time allows. Lesson/Activity 3.1: What is it like to be an immigrant? (1 Day) Anticipatory Set: Ask students if they have been out of the country? What did it feel like? What were the similarities and differences with America? Discuss Objective: TSW experience what it might be like to be in a situation where nobody speaks your language, perhaps another country, a grocery store, and gain a better understanding of what it might be like to be an immigrant in another country. Parents (in younger classes, Frederick County teaches Government to 14-15 year-old freshmen) again may be involved and learn from the experience as well . Procedure: TSW visit a Latino market/taqueria in Frederick or neighboring counties and buy 2-3 small items or groceries. These markets almost always consist of employees who speak only Spanish and minimal English. Be prepared to deal with the frustrations and questions about the language debate. Supply students with a short list of questions on what to observe or notice about the experience. Assessment: Student will write/present response paper about the experience w/ guided questions. This may also be a possible extra credit, (or what I prefer to call Enrichment Challenge ). Lesson/Activity 4: Citizenship Test (1 Day) Objective: TSW appreciate some of the stresses of becoming a citizen and appreciate the language barrier from a different point of view. TSW will also be reviewing his/her government knowledge for Maryland State curriculum. Anticipatory Set: Ask students if they think they could pass the current citizenship test now that they have had almost a full year of government class. Then, hand out the official U.S. Government Citizenship test questions in Spanish! Tell them that this will be part of their class grade. Procedure: Discuss the language of the test briefly, its fairness, get some comments and get the students a little fired up. Then take up the tests in Spanish and hand out the same test in English (without multiple choice). Have students answer 25 of the 100 questions the U.S. government releases for prospective citizens (The questions are being updated this year in several cities as field questions). Handout another set of 25 questions (different questions), this time with multiple choice answers. After the tests, explain that the real tests are not administered with multiple choice answers, and that it is administered orally, face to face with a government employee. Discuss the tests afterwards. Assessment: Grade the tests and observe and facilitate discussions. Lesson/Activity 5: Create an Immigration Bill in Mock Congressional Committees (2 Days) Objective: TSW use what they have learned over the past lessons/week about immigration, drawing from family history as well (hopefully) to create a realistic, yet compassionate bill/law that can maintain a state’s sovereignty while still making the “American Dream” available to as many as possible. TSW examine the role of compromise when Congress meets to pass legislation, especially on passionate and divisive issues. Anticipatory Set: The students will read the Immigration Act of 1990 to understand what the current immigration policy is, reminding students also, that America still has the largest legal immigration in the world. Procedure: Divide students into groups (possibly Republican and Democrat, but not necessarily, and then into House of Reps and Senate if numbers allow). One student may be President. Have students follow skeletal procedure of passing a bill, allowing for debates, speeches, vetoes, and all. Students will use what they have learned from previous lessons on Congress and passing laws. Assessment: Observe, guide, and facilitate the Congressional sessions.
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