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Curriculum Guide


  • pg 1
									Daniel FitzMaurice
SED 720
DR. Cooks

                                            Curriculum Guide

Current Research

1. “An Inquiry Approach to Teaching U.S. History” by John McClymer


This article presents an instructor‟s approach that challenges traditional notions of “scarcity” that tend to
dominate most history courses. John McClymer instead presents a pedagogy of “abundance” that utilizes
the vast resources available on the internet, such as online libraries, primary sources, political cartoons, etc.,
which allow students to do inquiry-based learning, do their own research and discover history for
themselves instead of having an “exposition,” or teacher-centered style, dominate the learning. Students are
encouraged to ask their own questions, design their own projects and make decisions about important
issues in history by comparing and contrasting their research and findings with their classmates, making
links between these issues and establishing a “show and tell” learning atmosphere. The instructor requires
students to submit notes through email which are then collected on a website where the students can view,
comment on and learn from each other. The class is therefore set up like a workshop where learning comes
from the students and guided by the instructor.

Literacy Aspect

The inquiry approach to teaching and learning history provides students with a new discourse where they
are given the opportunity to do their own research and discover different answers to “big questions.” The
students should be “baffled” as McClymer writes, hoping that their learning will come from wonder. The
students are to utilize technology, especially the internet, including primary sources and multimedia, to do
research and to report back in the form of detailed notes. In addition to technology literacy and research
skills, students are engaging in peer learning, where they can view examples of their peers‟ work and
contribute to discussions by adding their own take on important historical issues. This is an excellent
example of interpersonal literacy.


The significance of this article to me as a teacher in training is that I must recognize that the traditional
methods and presentations of history are antithetical to the way students learn. The pedagogy of scarcity is
very limiting and problematic as it robs students of real learning and tends to force-feed information to
them, presenting a one-sided exposition. The inquiry-based approach is intended to give ownership of the
learning to the students, to make it worthwhile and meaningful to them personally by letting them pose
questions and give their own interpretations of history, much as real historians do. If done properly, and
this is an approach that really needs to be practiced and planned out well, teachers can impart a sense of
power to students, giving them a reason to feel like what they are doing in a history course is important and
that they are preparing for real life situations through these methods.

2. “Introduction” by Ross Dunn. Issues in Global Education, Newsletter of the American Forum for Global
Education, issue 151.

This article discusses the four major contending models of World History and how these have influenced
the national and state standards for history/social science. The author also offers his opinions and
recommendations on how the standards and world history curriculum in general could be improved.

The four models discussed are Western Heritage, Different Cultures, Contemporary Studies, and Patterns
of Change. Western Heritage is an eurocentric model which aims to inculcate the values of western
civilization in young Americans, an essentialist standpoint which places inherent attributes of western
values and culture at the forefront. Different Cultures investigates the positive aspects and relationships
between different cultures and focuses on internationalism and grew out of the multiculturalism movement
of the past two decades. Contemporary Studies focuses on recent major world developments, such as
globalization, wars, ethnic conflicts, contemporary processes and crises, and the role of NGO‟s and the UN.
The past is used more as a way to understand the current situations. Patterns of Change borrows from social
sciences some of the analytical contexts and vocabulary and shuns the importance of origins or strict
causation in favor of understanding that groups are constantly “in flux” and that historical inquiry is “open
and fluid,” and comprised of problems to investigate.

Dunn favors the Patterns of Change model and notes that most state standards for history display an uneasy
blending of the Western Heritage and Different Cultures models. They also don‟t offer any rationales for
why these standards have been chosen or the order for studying them. He notes that the national standards,
which when introduced in the mid-90‟s caused quite a public controversy, especially the political right‟s
objections to them, are a step in the “right” direction, meaning towards the Patterns of Change model. He
argues that state standards have been slow to adapt or take elements from the national standards.

Literacy Aspect

Dunn is calling for history education to become more centered on studying and investigating problems on a
large scale, rather than focusing on a one-sided interpretation or strictly a cause-effect relationship. He
would certainly oppose a strictly westernized, or eurocentric, model, as well as focusing overly on all the
different cultures. The idea that an uneasy blending of these two has been the dominant model in history
curriculum also bothers Dunn. He wants to have „communities of inquiry” where students can find out
where they belong in the grand scheme of world history. The literacy being promoted in this regard is again
one of questioning and inquiry, where students participate in a new discourse of community learning and


The position of Dunn is one that calls into question the history content standards of many states (including
California) and mainstream textbooks. He believes that the national standards are actually a step in the
“right” direction, that is invoking the Patterns of Change model. As a pre-credential social science teacher,
it is essential to be aware of the current debate over the standards and what educators in the field are
advocating. The state standards for California do indeed seem to be an uneasy blending of “the West and
the rest” and the need to critically evaluate them is evident.

3. “National Association for Multicultural Education: Criteria for Evaluating State Curriculum Standards”


This paper presents the criteria that the N.A.M.E. organization uses to evaluate state curriculum standards.
These criteria are broken down into five key concerns, which are inclusiveness, diverse perspectives,
accommodating alternative epistemiologies/ social construction of knowledge, self-knowledge, and social
Quoting: “Specifically, state curriculum standards designed to guide public education need to include the
particular contributions, distinct heritages and values, as well as the multiple ways of knowing that
represent our diverse population. Curricula should be designed to facilitate the development of individuals
who appreciate the complexity of the human condition and who can effectively negotiate the diverse
cultural contexts of U.S. society. Such individuals must acquire critical understanding and appreciation of
their own cultural heritage as well as the cultural heritages of the diverse groups that are represented in our
collective national identity. Similarly, through curricula and school-based experiences individuals should
become critically engaged with the principles of social justice for all people. Ultimately, curriculum
standards must do far more than simply stress the multicultural composition of the United States. Rather
they must also outline classroom practices that help educators impart the knowledge, skills, and
dispositions necessary for individuals to participate fully and meaningfully in our multiethnic and
multiracial society.”

The organization stresses the need for standards to be openly discussed and open to review. And finally,
standards must include fostering a discussion of why and how we are teaching what we are teaching.

Literacy Aspect

The literacy aspect outlined in this article is clear: for students to become literate in the multicultural
discourse and to be participants in “our multiethnic and multiracial society.”


The significance of this system of standards evaluation for educators lies in the timeliness and relevance of
such a system, considering the diversity of the social and cultural make-up of our society at present and in
the future. Standards must be attuned to the needs and reality of the public school system, in which the so-
called “minority” populations make up the majority of students.

4. “Mexican Arts, Culture Frame Learning,” by Ellen Delisio. “Lessons from our nation‟s schools” series,
Education World. 2003.


The article describes the Telpochcalli elementary school in Chicago, which integrates Mexican arts and
culture into the curriculum. The students are predominantly from Mexican-American families. The school
has all bilingual teachers and employs two full-time artists in residence. A major goal of the instruction is
to encourage the students to embrace and learn about their culture, while at the same time becoming fluent
and literate in both Spanish and English. Some of the major projects done by students have included
immigration studies, including how their own families immigrated to the U.S.


The literacy aspects from this article are many. First, the students are immersed in the language, culture and
art of their families‟ Mexican heritage, which provides them with a way to connect themselves to their
culture and the history of their family. This form of literacy is absolutely essential for developing a sense of
identity and self-respect, for if you don‟t know your history you won‟t be able to truly know yourself in the
present. Secondly, the artistic literacy comes from the integrated arts curriculum. Third, the students are all
taught in both Spanish and English, thus acquiring a bilingual discourse.


This school strikes me as an extraordinary example that hopefully can thrive and lead to more schools like
it. The school is indeed small and has its share of problems, such as lack of space and some needed
improvements for complying with the federal No Child Left Behind initiative. However, the need to
educate students in an environment that is comfortable and conducive to learning strikes me as an essential
one, and the Telpochcalli school goes far beyond this by integrating cultural heritage, music, arts, and
language into daily instruction. This shows the strength of commitment that a community of parents and
educators can demonstrate to promote and sustain quality education.

5. “Using Primary Sources on the Internet To Teach and Learn History” by Deanne Shiroma
ERIC Identifier: ED442739
Publication Date: 2000-07-00
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education Bloomington IN.

This article is divided into three sections:
(1) types and uses of primary sources, (2) using the Internet to obtain primary sources, and (3) exemplary
World Wide Web sites providing primary sources. It is designed to help educators (especially history)
utilize the many types of primary sources available to them and how to find them through the internet (with
search engines such as Ask Jeeves and Metacrawler) as well as numerous web sites such as the national
archives and records administration and american memory sites. Primary sources are essential tools for
learning about the past, providing the means to analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions by examining
them. The author points out the adage, learning is not received, it is achieved. In using the internet to find
primary sources, the author notes that “surfing” used to be the most popular method, but now has been
replaced by search engines. There are also many engines that are “kid-safe”


The article promotes the study of primary sources, which are an ideal way for students to build reading,
analytical, and critical literacy, just to name a few.


The significance of utilizing primary sources in history education is widely documented, yet the importance
of this article is that it provides numerous examples of where exactly to search and how to go about
searching by providing specific sites and search engines.

Lesson Plan Critiques

1. Lesson Title: Through the Eyes of Native Americans


This lesson is for 8th grade social studies and presents an interactive slide show/ lecture where students role
play as Cherokee Indians on the Trail of Tears (history alive). The opening is a journal write, and the end
involves reading a legend of the Cherokee Rose and a short story for homework.


This lesson has clearly defined objectives which are aligned to the standards and a well-rounded group of
activities. The interactive slide lecture should be a fun way to get the students involved and reading primary
source materials will give first-hand accounts of actual people that were involved in this event (trail of
tears). The material seems to be age-appropriate and should keep the students engaged.

The lesson could probably be expanded to a couple of days that would cover more material from the
removal of native americans from their lands. I don‟t know what the previous or following plans were, but I
think it would be worthwhile to do this lesson for more than one day.


If I were to use this lesson in secondary school history (US, 11 th grade), I probably wouldn‟t use the role
play segment. The students might think they were above it or it was stupid. (I don‟t think this is true, but
from the students‟ view perhaps). I think that I would also bring in some passages from the book “Bury My
Heart at Wounded Knee,” a classic text on indian removal. If there were a film that I felt would be
appropriate, then I would try to show some clips from it, but I don‟t have one in mind now.

2. Lesson Title: The Elasticity of Demand


This lesson deals with the concept of elasticity, looking at changes to a good‟s price and the effect on
consumer demand. There will be a 20 minute lecture and a 30 minute group activity. The lecture defines
elasticity and describes the characteristics. The group project is to analyze the merits of a fast food joint
proposal for the school and to market the joint and create an ad.


This lesson has clear steps and is aligned to the standards for 12 th grade economics. The lecture segment is
well-designed and to the point and will provide the necessary information for the group project to follow.
The group project for the fast food classroom looks to be a great idea and will get the students thinking in
numerous ways, including economically, hypothetically, where they must predict who will be buying this
product and creatively, to design a marketing strategy and advertisement for their product. The students
should be interested in this topic and project since it involves something they might spend a lot of their
money/ time on.


Perhaps bring in some discussion of the current market value of oil and how our nation‟s policies have been
shaped by oil acquisition and consumption. This is alluded to in the opening, but I don‟t think that it is
discussed again in the lesson. This could possibly be another lesson altogether, since it is such a huge issue
right now. Talk about OPEC and the role of cartels in setting price standards.


I would use this lesson in an economics course and it could also be adapted to be used in a discussion with
the book “Fast Food Nation” which deals with the evilness of the fast food industry. This book was used by
an economics course at the high school I am currently at. I like the project aspect of critiquing the plan to
open a fast food joint and also giving the students a chance to be creative; I will try to do this as much as
possible in my classes.

3. Lesson Title: Equality Before the Law: School Segregation and Integration


This lesson is intended to be used in a 12th grade American Democracy course. It deals with the topics of
segregation and discrimination and the standards that may or may not justify such segregation (Supreme
Court cases, laws, interests of the country/schools). Especially covered is segregation in school, from de
facto to de jure, and how the segregation came to an end through legislation. The lesson is delivered
through lecture for the first half and then small group discussion and presentations.

The opening is an excellent attention-grabber, which is an “unknown” pulitzer prize winning photo of a
Boston rally where white students are attacking an african american man (from april 5 1975). The students
are immediately drawn in and asked to think what this picture might be about. The topics of discrimination
and segregation in general are then introduced in a lecture, then school segregation in particular. This is
good to give some background first so the discussion can be meaningful. The students will also learn from
each other as they give short talks about their group discussions. And finally, they get the facts on the
picture and some good statistics that describe racial populations in Boston‟s public schools.


The lesson has a lot of good information and may be too much actually for one class period. The author of
the plan notes this and states that probably two classes would be better, one for lecture/discussion and the
second for presentations. However, I think that such an important topic should be fleshed out for at least a
week, especially since it directly relates to students‟ realities. It would be worthwhile to spend more time
on the background of discrimination and segregation, and maybe to give a local flavor to the subject by
talking about San Francisco schools (if teaching in SF, or bay area in general, just substitute the district).


I would like to use a lesson such as this for a class on American Democracy. It is a very relevant topic for
students and should be of interest to them. It could also be used in an US history class when talking about
the civil rights movements. The fascinating school segregation debates would make for a great unit even,
and to broaden it, the issue of segregation and discrimination in a larger context could be an entire course,
perhaps under a sociology banner. But for my own class, it would be excellent to discuss this topic and give
some time to the landmark decision of Brown vs. Board of Ed. (Kansas 1954).

4. Title of Lesson: Experiencing Discrimination


This lesson deals with discrimination on a personal experience level, where students will go through a
simulation in the classroom. This simulation has a “privileged” group that receives red cards and
“discriminated” group that has blue cards. The red group has all the rights, and the blue group must sit on
the floor and not have a vote. The point of the simulation will be to give students a taste of discrimination
to prepare them for the upcoming unit on African American Civil Rights. They will discuss major civil
rights events for the rest of the class period to assess prior knowledge.


This lesson has an immediate appeal as a hands-on experience for the students. It gives them a chance to
personally experience discrimination and then to talk about the experience and how it made them feel. This
involves directly in their learning and links the experience to the material. It is a good way to get them to
start thinking about civil rights and what the struggles were for millions of people. Also excellent is the
follow up activity, which is an actual literacy test from Louisiana that was given to anyone who could not
prove a fifth-grade education. This test is ridiculous to say the least, beginning with the instructions and
then following with all the purposefully confusing questions.


There isn‟t much that I would add if using this lesson, other than having more time for discussion after the
simulation. There is allotted time, but only lasts 15 minutes. The questions that are designed for discussion
are good and should promote ample discussion, such as what could you have done to challenge the


I believe this would be an interesting lesson and could make the students get involved and even cause the
discriminated students to get quite angry. Therefore, it would be important to get to know the students well
before doing this lesson, if I chose to do so. It is designed for 11 th grade US history and this would
definitely be appropriate. They may not be willing to go along with it, so I would have to make sure to “sell
it” well by being strict from the beginning and not look like I‟m joking around.

5. Title of lesson: The Diary of Anne Frank and the Holocaust


This lesson is designed for a 9th grade level in history or english. Using a variety of texts about the
Holocaust and Anne Frank, students will read texts individually, summarize the information and retell the
information to their group. The groups will then compare the information from the different texts and
discuss their meaning and importance. The students will utilize the “jigsaw” method of collaboration.


The lesson has a good variation of materials for students to learn from, these being written texts, audio
clips, documentaries, etc. The students gain media literacy in these exercises. The students also are
responsible for learning from each other in the Jigsaw method, which encourages peer connectedness and
communication skills. These group skills are useful for many other tasks as well are this is a good way to
practice them.


For a two day lesson, there is not much detail in the lesson plan that goes beyond the basic procedures.
What are the expected results of the periods? Are there questions that the students should answer?
These would be helpful and should be developed. Also, the students may not be able to get into some of the
readings or may not be interested in them. Perhaps try to bring in some present day connections that will
keep students engaged.


If I were going to use this lesson plan, there are some things I would want to add. First, I would need to
assess the prior knowledge of the students by doing some kind of journal write or a K-W-L chart quickly at
the beginning. We could then discuss these more afterward to reconnect to the material. Also, I would try to
bring in some present day or recent connections, maybe how there have been ghettos in San Francisco? I‟m
not exactly sure how this could be tied in but might be helpful. Also, maybe have students try a diary entry
of their own to put themselves in her place.

Original Lesson Plans

The following lesson plans are part of a unit that I designed on the recent developments and trends in the
Americas, specifically Mexico, Central America and Cuba. The class is Modern World with 32 students.
                                                  Lesson 1

                               The State of Democracy, a work in progress
                                             Monday, week 2

Focus on Central America
The tumultuous decade of the 1980s left many Central American nations in economic, political and social
ruin as the 90s began. The leadership of then-president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, was essential in forging
a peace treaty for the region, with the drafting the Esquipulas II accords of 1987. His Foundation for Peace
and Human Progress continues the hands-on work to democratize and demilitarize the region.
This lesson will allow students to evaluate the ongoing process of “democratization” and how the trend of
demilitarization has led the rank and file military officers into the economic sector.

Objectives/ Outcomes:
Students will be able to evaluate the processes of democratization and demilitarization in the Central
American region.
Students will be able to describe these trends and their effects on the citizenry and economies of Central
American nations. (Standards 10.10 all and 10.11)

Article, “Doubtful Democracy,” by Maricel Sequeira
Article, “Oscar Arias…”

Instruction/ Activities:
The lesson will involve lecture and discussion, combined with reading parts of two articles.
 Lecture and discussion notes to accompany article reading will not necessarily follow a linear progression,
as the topics are interrelated and cross-referencing will occur.

I.       Democratization
         A. following the signing of the peace accord in Guatemala in 1996, the process has been slow
            and unstable, but has led to popularly elected governments in each country.
         B. However, the lack of equality in income distribution continues to plague the region, with the
            gap between rich and poor continuing to widen
         C. Example of Costa Rica

II.      Demilitarization
         A. Significant reduction of the military budgets
             1. Guatemala: 2.6 to 1.1 percent of GDP
             2. Honduras: 8.4 to 1.3 percent
             3. Nicaragua: 28.3 to 2 percent
             4. El Salvador: 3.5 to 1.9 percent
         B. As the militaries lost political power, expanded their participation in the economic sector
             1. report on “Soldiers as businessmen,” describing the role of armed forces in banking and
                  business, private security
             2. ethical issues of armed forces switching to profit-making activities
III.     Social Questions
         A. “State of the Region” report of 1999
             1. widespread poverty
             2. lack of education, health care and basic necessities, such as potable water and food
                 especially severe among rural, indigenous peoples
         B. Costa Rica as an exception to the rule
             1. nearly universal health care service
             2. attractive to foreign investment due to stable democracy, stable economy, independent
                  judiciary, skilled labor force
Students will be evaluated informally on their informed participation in class discussion, which will work
towards a synthesis of the material in which the students will be asked to describe the processes of
democratization and demilitarization and evaluate the progress of these trends.

Read the section in Americas on the indigenous Mayans in Guatemala, pgs. 263-270 and the selected pieces
from the Zapatistas (EZLN) in Voice of Fire

Literacy Aspect:
Students will be reading scholarly essays that encourage critical thinking and should provoke them to ask
higher level questions, such as WHY have these nations developed in such peculiar fashion? HOW has
Costa Rica developed differently? HOW do democracy and demilitarization relate? Students will also
participate in class discussion and practice peer communication literacy.


                                                 Lesson 2

           Indigenous Rights Movements: What is a Zapatista? Who is Rigoberta Menchu?
                                        Tuesday, week 2

Journal write: What struck you most from the reading last night? What would you consider a main goal of
these groups? What would you consider a point of victory for these indigenous groups? (5 minutes)
While students are writing, put on the board two columns, one “Guatemala Mayans” and the other
“Zapatistas.” This will be used at the end of class in a whole-class compare/ contrast exercise.

Objectives/ Outcomes:
Students will be able to compare and contrast the main struggles and goals of two indigenous movements,
specifically those led by Rigoberta Menchu and Francisco Cali in Guatemala and the EZLN, or Zapatistas,
in Chiapas, Mexico.

Segment on “Children of the Sun” from PBS series, “Americas: Latin America and the Caribbean”
Video of press conference/ interview with Zapatista members (if can find one)
Voice of Fire

Instruction/ Activities:
1. Start with a short review of the readings. These reading selections are examples of both primary and
secondary sources. This exposes the students to different styles of writing and provides a chance to
compare and contrast how these sources present information.

The Americas book is not a typical textbook in that it is organized more like a narrative tapestry, telling
multiple stories and weaving them together. The section the students read, Valleys of Blood, tells the story
of the indigenous peoples of Guatemala and their battle for survival against the brutality of the military
regime, known as “La Violencia.” The author‟s (Peter Winn) comprehensive style of history focuses on the
social and human aspects of the struggle, describing in detail the forced movements of hundreds of
thousands of indigenous and the destruction of their culture and communities. However, the positive side is
also emphasized, by describing the rise of a “pan-Mayan” identity following “La Violencia” that includes
many efforts to unify ethnic Mayan peoples in their fight against racism and for cultural and human rights,
typified by the activism of Menchu and Cali, as well as the work of scholars and other cultural institutions.

The primary source material from the EZLN, or Zapatistas, are English translations of communiques and
interviews collected in the book Voice of Fire, published by New Earth Press in 1994, the same year the
EZLN declared themselves to be at war with the corrupt Mexican government. The selected readings
highlight the fact that the armed insurgents are not advocating a take over or coup, but rather are willing to
die for their rights (specifically land, equality, justice, freedom and democracy) and their human dignity.
They call for democratic elections and for Mexican “civil society” to respond to their call for democratic
change in Mexico, for according to the Zapatistas, it is only from the actions of civil society that change is
possible. The Zapatistas are not made up only of indigenous people, but their struggle is a centerpiece of
the group, which is made up of many poor farmers who have been marginalized by the PRI-dominated
government. The role of women in the EZLN is highlighted also, including their declaration of
“Revolutionary Women‟s Law” which presents 10 laws for equality and justice in work, family and
community spheres.
(15 minutes)

2. After the review of readings, show the clips from the PBS series (only a short portion of the “Children of
the Sun” piece is about Guatemala) and the press conference or interview with Zapatistas (this is only if
one can be found, there may be a documentary video available). (10-15 minutes)

3. After watching the clips, there will not be much time remaining, so quickly get the students focused on
the columns on the board for Guatemala Mayans and Zapatistas. Students will be asked to give an example
of the formation, the make-up, the goals, a statement, etc. from one of the groups, which will be written
under the appropriate column. This format will enable each student to participate, and idealistically,
everyone would be able to give an example. The chart is a basic way for students to compare and contrast
the groups, and they will need to copy it for their notes. (5-10 minutes)

Students will be evaluated by the validity of their oral responses, which are the examples they give to
compare and contrast the two groups. Ideally, every student would give an example and therefore could be
evaluated individually. Another possibility would be to have half the class represent the Guatemala Mayans
and the other half the Zapatistas and require each student to give a statement that would reflect something
an actual person from their group might say or believe in. This would require more time, therefore each
student would have to come up with their statement for homework and then deliver it the next day.

Read article “No More Silence in the Factories” by Maricel Sequeira

Literacy Aspect:
Students will be working with multiple forms of media in this lesson, including primary source writings
and film clips which will increase their media literacy. They will also be using these materials in comparing
and contrasting two different groups and thus practicing content analysis.


                                                   Lesson 3

                                    Labor Rights and the maquiladoras
                                           Wednesday, week 2
Journal prompt: Should factory workers in the maquiladoras in Mexico and Central America be allowed to
organize to secure their rights, such as 8 hour work day and cost-of-living wages? Take this stance and
argue for or against it: Should they consider themselves lucky just to have jobs?
(5 minutes)

Objectives/ Outcomes:
Students will be able to describe and explain the significance of the maquiladora industry, from the
perspectives of investors, companies, employers, employees, and social activists. (Standards 10.10 and
Students will be able to design a “labor contract,” a realistic agreement that both workers and employers
could agree to.

Article, “No More Silence in the Factories,” by Marciel Sequeira, one copy for each student (34)
Labor statistics for average wages, cost of living estimates, etc. Can be found at World Fact Book.

Instruction/ Activities:
The activity today will require students to utilize the information in the readings that were assigned last
night. The in-class group reading and discussion of the Sequeira article will help provide more information
that students will use for the activity.
1. Ask for students to read what they wrote for the journal write. How did your opinions differ between
     each question? (5 minutes)
2. Lead discussion into the reading from last night, which includes the Sequeira article that will be read in
     class. Have students each read a small section aloud. Explain any unclear passages, words, etc. and
     take any questions. We will discuss more after completing the reading. (7-10 minutes)
3. Students will examine the status of wage laborers and the average wages in different regions and
     among different types of factories. Have students look along with the teacher at the labor statistics
     (which they will have copies of). What are some similarities/ differences? Students will draw
     conclusions based on the reading, discussion and statistics in order to design a mock “labor contract.”
     These contracts should be realistic and acceptable to both workers and employers. Have the students
     work in groups to hash out ideas and brainstorm. Then have the groups report their ideas and the
     teacher will compile these into a list at the front board. The different groups will need to work together
     to decide on which ideas to include, practicing compromise and negotiation skills. The teacher will
     continue to act as facilitator and mediator to move the process along in order to arrive at a workable
     contract. (remainder of class, 20-23 minutes)

Students will be evaluated on the their participation in the discussions and their ability to utilize negotiation
and compromise in drafting the “labor contract.”

Read article, “La Linea: Gender, Labor and Environmental Justice on the US-Mexico Border” by Julie
Light and U.S. Department of State pieces, “Partnership for Prosperity Report” and “U.S.-Mexico
Binational Commission” from 11/12/03.

Literacy Aspect:
Students will be using their readings and statistics to gather information and then draw conclusions from
these through group discussion. Students will practice compromising and negotiating skills to form a labor

                                                  Lesson 4

                                Border Issues, La Linea and Immigration
                                     Thursday and Friday, week 2

Objectives/ Outcomes:
Students will be able to identify and discuss the prominent “border issues” from both Mexican and
American perspectives.

Across the Wire by Luis Alberto Urrea
“La Linea: Gender, Labor and Environmental Justice on the US-Mexican Border” by Julie Light
U.S. Department of State reports, “Partnership for Prosperity Report” and “U.S.-Mexico Binational
Commission Working Group on Homeland Security and Border Cooperation” issued 11/12/03
El Norte film clips

Guest Speakers:
This lesson features speakers from immigration help centers in San Francisco and immigrants themselves
who have experienced “the border” in various forms. Ideal speakers would include the author of the “La
Linea” article, Julie Light, editor of Corporate Watch, a San Francisco-based group, the author of Across
the Wire, Luis Alberto Urrea, Julio Moreno, a Salvadorian history professor at USF, and Juan Jose
Delgado, a professor from Ibero University in Tijuana, Mexico.

Day One

Show series of clips from the film “El Norte” that illustrate what life in border towns can be like for
potential immigrants and what they must do to prepare for crossing the line. Questions to consider: What
did you think about the portrayal of border life? What were the attitudes and mindstates of the main
characters? (10 minutes)

Instruction/ Activities:
Introduce the topic of Border Issues and explain that this lesson will continue for two days. The speaker for
today will be introduced next. (3 minutes)

Speaker for today: Julie Light.
Julie Light is editor of San Francisco-based Corporate Watch, which houses the Transnational Resource
and Action Center. Talk will focus and elaborate on the issues in the “La Linea” article, such as the
booming maquiladora industry and its peculiar qualities, workers‟ rights and the role of cross-border labor
organizations, the suspect environmental and living standards on the border. There will be time allowed for
discussion and questions. (25 minutes)

Students will be informally evaluated on being active listeners and active participants in discussion and
questions following up on the talk by Julie Light. The homework assignment will also be designed to have
the students demonstrate their participation and that they can identify major issues as highlighted by the
article and its author.

Thinking about the reading and the class today, what are the border issues that deserve the most attention?
Please list and describe three. Try to think about these issues from multiple perspectives, such as
governments of both US and Mexico, cross-border corporations and organizations, migrants, workers,
activists, etc. Due for class tomorrow and will be revised and added to as the homework for tomorrow‟s
Read: selected segments from Across the Wire.

Day Two (Long class, 65 minutes)

Begin with discussion of the homework, asking for volunteers to read from their work. (5-7 minutes)

Instruction/ Activities:
Introduce speakers for today: Julio Moreno and Juan Jose Delgado.
Julio Moreno is a professor in the History department at the U. of San Francisco who migrated to the U.S.
from El Salvador in the 1980‟s.
Juan Jose is a professor at Ibero University in Tijuana, Mexico.

Julio Moreno brings to the class his scholarly expertise on Latin America as well as his personal experience
as an immigrant from El Salvador to the U.S. He has co-taught a course on Border Issues at Ibero
University in Tijuana in recent years with Juan Jose, whose expertise on and first-hand experience with the
border in Tijuana are invaluable. For the structure of the presentation, the speakers will have the choice as
to how they will present, either separately or in a back-and-forth discussion style. They will be asked to
speak about their own experiences of and the recent developments along the US-Mexico border, including
the topics addressed in the two U.S. State Department pieces (U.S.-Mexico relations and how the two
countries are building cooperative political and economic alliances). (40 minutes)
There will be a discussion and question/answer session following the presentation(s). (15-20 minutes)

Evaluation/ Assignment:
There will be the same type of assessment and evaluation as the previous class. Students will revise and
elaborate on their writing from last night and add three new issues from today‟s class. Your work should be
reflective of the readings, the guest speakers‟ presentations and the class discussion. Remember, you should
be able to describe the border issues, tell what perspective you are utilizing, and tell WHY these are the
most important for the perspectives you choose. The finished piece (should be 2-3 pages) will be collected
on Monday.

Literacy Aspect:
Students will view film clips from El Norte, a border film in Spanish with English subtitles. This will
increase bilingual media literacy. Students will be active participants in two-days of guest speakers‟
discussions, meeting and talking with professional scholars and authors and getting first hand accounts of
their stories. These interactions provide an excellent chance to practice professional relations and
conversational literacy. Students will also participate in a discourse on border issues and gain a sense of
international relations.


                                                  Lesson 5

       Ouch, that’s harsh! Downfalls and hard times, collapse of Soviet support, U.S. embargo
                                         Monday, week 3

Objective/ Outcomes:
1. Students will identify and describe the important social, political and economic issues that have most
influenced the revolutionary government and people of Castro‟s Cuba.
2. Students will predict what challenges the future will bring for Cuba.

Mix CD with Cuban music: Orishas, Cuban Hip Hop All Stars, Buena Vista Social Club, Los Van Van,
Orquestra Aragon and others, with lyrics, clips (audio or video) from Castro‟s speeches with transcription,
transcript of Helms-Burton Act for overhead

Students should have already received and read the materials from the U.S. State Department (*enclosed).
Make sure to pace the lesson to have enough time to get through the media selections and discuss the
problems explored in each of them. This will most likely take longer than just this class period so plan to
carry over the discussion the next day.

Anticipatory Set/Opening
Journal write: Which policies and programs of Castro‟s government would you consider most significant
and why? Which ones would you consider problematic or harmful for Cuba as a whole/ different
populations within Cuba? (5 minutes) Have music playing for background inspiration.
1.       Ask for any volunteers to talk about their writing. Lead the discussion into examination of the
         Cold War climate that provided the context for Soviet/U.S. positions and policies relative to
         Castro and vice-versa. Discuss Libertad, or Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which codified the
         embargo against Cuba and travel restrictions on US citizens. (10-15 minutes)
2.       Play various clips of speeches by Castro (video and/or audio) and have transcripts for students to
         follow along. These will include Castro addressing his citizens, American leaders, the U.S.
         embargo (or “bloqueo” in Cuba) and other aspects of U.S.-Cuba relations. Discuss what the main
         problems/issues are. Take any questions from students. (20-25 minutes)
3.       Listen to portions of two or three songs, picking ones the students suggest, and continuing with
         more the following day. Students have already been given the music and lyrics and should be
         somewhat familiar with the selections. Discussion questions: How did different artists/groups
         contest, critique, praise their government? The U.S.? We will make a list on board of main
         issues/problems garnered from the different media sources, finalizing at the beginning of next
         class. (10-15 minutes)

Follow-up assignment:
Listen to other songs on the CD and continue working on the discussion questions from the lesson.
Consider the attitudes and the message of the artists. Would you, if living in Cuba, respond to these songs
positively? Negatively? Compare with an “American” response. Write up your thoughts and try to imagine
what life would be like/ youths‟ lives are like in Cuba. This will be to prepare for film tomorrow, “Cuba

Literacy Aspect:
Utilizing popular culture and media (film clips, audio speeches and music) students will discern the major
problems (and the causes of them) that Castro‟s Cuba and Cuban people have faced and continue to face.
Then through discussion, students draw on their new knowledge to hypothesize scenarios for the future.

Lots of material and not much time to cover it. This may be overwhelming, so care must be taken to be
clear, concise and as efficient as possible when delivering content and checking for understanding. Have to
leave enough time for discussion and questions.


1. www.educationworld.com/history
This site has an abundance of materials that will help in constructing lessons, from articles to teacher-
submitted lesson plans to links for many other history and social science related sites.
2.   www.facing.org

3.   www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/index.html

4.   www.history.org/nche

5.   www.globaled.org

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