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There Are At Least 187 Reasons to Read Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera

Author: Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera’s 187 Reasons Mexicans Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007 is meant to be political and personal, provocative and soothing, historical and imaginative. Covering 36 years of Herrera’s creative work, this book is as much a hybrid of genres, languages, and styles as it is a blend of Mexican-American cultures and identities. It asks the question of what it means to be Mexican as it also asks what it means to be American. The physical and cultural borders of ethnic identity explored in this work offer multiple representations of individual and collective Mexican-American identities. In particular, the selected poems can be a wonderful tool for helping provide a historical context for older students as they examine current immigration issues in the media. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Freedom, Fairness, & Equality

In this guided presentation, student will wrestle with the essential question: how deep is our commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  They will learn about five historical examples of restrictive immigration law and policy and apply essential teachings of Dr. King in order to understand the value of youth civic engagement.
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Year Released: 2015

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Teaching Freedom, Fairness, and Equality

In this immigration and civic engagement lesson plan, student will wrestle with the essential question: how deep is our commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  They will learn about five historical examples of restrictive immigration law and policy and also about the value of young people’s voices in movements to secure rights.

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Year Released: 2015

9-12

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Juan Felipe Herrera Offers Insight into the Migrant Farmworker Experience for Youth

Author: Juan Felipe Herrera

Recently, I excitingly told my young daughters we were going to wake up early and go berry picking at a “pick your own” farm. My three year old exclaimed “I don’t want to pick berries at a farm I want to pick them at a store.” Although it was funny, it made me realize how disconnected we are as a society to our food sources and the nameless people who make it possible for us to have fresh fruits and vegetables on our tables.  Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Book Review for Homesickness: An American History by Susan J. Matt

In a nation that’s been around for over 200 years, a surprising number of Americans still trace their ancestry to the countries where their families immigrated from before they came to the U.S.  Among the many persistent myths of U.S. immigration, is the one of eternal optimism and relentless enthusiasm despite the hard work and formidable distances from home.  Yet few likely consider what their ancestors went through emotionally when leaving behind their birthplace and all things familiar to them to make a home in the United States.  Historian Susan J. Matt discusses this in her book Homesickness: An American History. Matt chronicles how Americans from the early settlers to the present have long missed home – even as, in more recent centuries, they encourage dismissing this feeling of persistent longing. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Health First Protections for Migrant Workers: Social Justice in Action Video and Service Project

In a video and service project “Health First, Protection for Migrant Workers,” students brought awareness and assistance to migrant farm workers as a result of our community grant awarded to Delia Lancaster, a teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Palm Bay, Florida.  Through their work, teachers are now provided with a Common-Core aligned model to have students launch a donation drive to collect supplies to protect migrant workers laboring in hazardous conditions, as well to conduct research and interviews on health and safety issues in order to educate their school and community in two student-produced news broadcasts.

For lesson procedures and Common Core alignment, please click here.

Year Released: 2015

Middle School and High School Levels

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Educate, Celebrate, and Empower: Build an Inclusive School Community

The one-week immigration community outreach project and lesson plan meets three objectives: 1) to educate students on the experiences of the immigrant population; 2) to celebrate and welcome immigrant students; and 3) to empower all students to implement a social justice project. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Middle School 6-8 and High School 9-12

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How Educators Teach Immigration and Digital Storytelling in the Classroom

In our most recent tweet chat we co-hosted on May 4th with middle school teacher Brian Kelley at #engchat, we initiated a thought-provoking, generative discussion with English and ELL teachers as well as vested learning partners on the benefits and challenges of creating digital stories on immigration with students. Our piece “Teach Empathy With Digital Immigration Stories” published today on Edutopia addresses some of these considerations and steps to support and share student writing of immigration experiences digitally. 

In addition, we’re highlighting a few of the insights shared with us from the tweet chat that will further enhance such a classroom project to create a positive learning culture where diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and belief systems are appreciated.

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Year Released: 2015

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story

Author: Paula Yoo

Winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award presented to exemplary books written for children each year, Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story is another top-notch biography by Paula Yoo, who also wrote the popular Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds. Shining Star tells the little-known story of Anna May Wong, a Chinese-American born at the turn of the century. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Lesson Plan: Immigration Status Privilege Walk

In this Common-Core aligned lesson plan, students will randomly be assigned an immigration status:  "citizen", "lawful permanent resident", "undocumented", or “DACA recipient.” After a brief discussion of what the terms mean, students will take a step backwards or forwards in response to a series of stated ‘benefits’ and ‘limitations’ conferred by the assigned fictional immigration status. Students will then discuss what it felt like to be moving backwards or forwards as well as how these barriers affect all groups.

Extensions and adaptations provided for learners at multiple levels.

Year Released: 2015

9-12

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