Twenty-five percent of students in our classrooms today have at least one immigrant parent. This reality exists within an increasingly hostile context in which both leaders and citizens perpetuate myths and misunderstandings about immigrants, often through generalities.
Educators can help dispel these destructive messages and create inclusive spaces for all students by turning to individual stories of immigrants, with and without documentation, who are trying to make their way in American society. The faces and voices of fellow humans convey a truth that divisive rhetoric cannot suppress: migration is our shared human story.
In these lessons, students will listen to interviews and view photographs from the story “To Live More Free,” using the content as an entry point for social critique and the exploration of past and present realities of race, land, place, immigration, civil rights, laws, and legislation.
For more information on DOK, see DOK Slide Wheel
Classroom computer, projector, and speakers to display images and play audio from “To Live More Free”
Ask students to respond to the following questions in writing or discuss them with a partner:
Have you or anyone in your family ever migrated from one place to another? What do you know about it? Share the who/what/when/where/why/how of the situation, using the information you know.
Consider sharing an example from your own life to help generate ideas. Give students time to think about and record their responses, then conduct a think-pair-share to review responses as a class before moving on.
You may choose to divide the class into three jigsaw groups, assigning each group a different person profiled in the story “To Live More Free.” Using student devices or classroom technology, each group will listen to their person’s interview and complete the accompanying handout. If this is not possible, listen to each interview as a whole class.
Introduce the student response notes chart and tell students they will use it to track and record information from the interview. If they need more language scaffolding, ask them to read along using the transcript and write down information in the sentence frames.
Play each interview at least twice, asking students to listen first without taking notes so they can focus on the overall structure and audio. On subsequent sessions, ask students to listen for specific information to include in the notes chart. Give students time to record facts for each section of the notes chart, then conduct a think-pair-share as an informal assessment of their comprehension. Appoint a spokesperson for each jigsaw group, and ask them to report their findings to the rest of the class.
Introduce the reflection questions of the handout, and ask students to review their previous notes for their assigned person. Give students time to think about and record their responses, then conduct a think-pair-share as an informal assessment of their comprehension. Repeat the process of appointing a spokesperson for each jigsaw group, and asking them to report their findings to the rest of the class.
Distribute the image analysis handout. Distribute copies of the “To Live More Free” photographs, or project the photographs to the whole class. Ask students to closely study the photographs of their assigned person, then to respond to the handout questions. Give students time to respond to the questions, then conduct a think-pair-share as an informal assessment of their comprehension. Again, repeat the process of appointing a spokesperson for each jigsaw group, and asking them to report their findings to the rest of the class.
After students complete responses to the reflection questions and/or image analysis, conduct a think-pair-share or whole group/Socratic Seminar-style discussion on these ideas. For a more extensive and structured discussion, you may choose to incorporate the discussion handout of essential questions and/or discussion rubric.
ELL and SPED Supports: Scaffolded assignment options, English/Spanish audio, interview transcripts
TAG Extensions: SOAPS Text Analysis handout to use during and after listening, optional extensions
1) Student response notes chart/image analysis (Formative)
2) Reflection questions/closing discussion (Summative)