Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

12. Migrant

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Problem-Based Learning Projects

"How can I get my students to think?" is a question asked by many faculty, regardless of their disciplines. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method that challenges students to "learn to learn," working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. These problems are used to engage students' curiosity and initiate learning the subject matter. PBL prepares students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources." -- Barbara Duch, University of Delaware

  1. Imagine that you have been asked to create a museum exhibit on the migrant struggle in the United States. Using the archive and literature in this unit, choose ten to fifteen items that you feel are representative of this topic. Then write a justification for the pieces that you will display. How did you decide on these items? What values seem most important in what you have chosen to display? How do your items reflect those values? What does it mean to be a migrant worker in the United States?

  2. You are a high school teacher, and you've just finished teaching a unit on Hispanic and Latino/a writers. Imagine that you must now compose an essay exam for your students. Write three questions that you would like to have your students explore. What themes are important to the unit? What symbols or images have remained influential?

  3. Imagine you are on the school board for your local district. A group of parents, students, and teachers has circulated a petition asking that more Hispanic literature that focuses on migrant issues be included in the curriculum. Other parents, students, and teachers have sent letters saying that the current curriculum is fine. The board is going to hold a community meeting to decide the issue. Take the position of wanting to include these works, and prepare a presentation to support your point of view. How will you make your argument? What kinds of evidence will you cite to demonstrate the educational value of these works? How will you construct your argument so that it addresses the concerns of those who think there is no reason to include these works in the curriculum?

  4. You are a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and you've been assigned to write an article on how U.S. employers take advantage of migrant workers. You want to begin the article with a history of employer-migrant worker relations in the United States. What would you include in your history? Where would you begin? Which groups would you focus on? What writers would you refer to and why?

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