Accessing Inquiry for English Learners through Primary Sources will be offered at the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) in Northampton, Massachusetts in a two-session format, meeting Thursdays a month apart, October 19 and November 16.
Whose stories would your students like to learn about in your curriculum? Give them this anonymous survey to find out!
Topics that students care about can be one of the most powerful incentives to engage in class, and even, when it is in the balance, to come to school. As we bring the year to a close, finding ways to look ahead with excitement is part of the prescription for all of us.
In this blog post, we offer a variety of teaching resources, and invite you to plan to join us for the July course “Emerging America: Immigration Issues in Perspective for Diverse Students.”
In 2010, when Emerging America first focused on teaching strategies using primary sources to engage and support English Learners, we built the course content around immigration history, expanding the investigation to include the history of American communities that speak languages other than English. A key part of making curriculum accessible to all learners is teaching topics, concepts, and skills that are directly relevant to their lives. Not all English Learners are immigrants, of course. Yet many are, and today’s volatile politics of immigration impact all English Learners.
This lesson uses the 21st century “travel ban,” ruled constitutional in 2018, as an entry point to explore previous shifts in US immigration policy. More specifically, students will use primary sources to examine social contexts of three specific immigration laws (Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Immigration Acts of 1921 & 1924, and Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952) in order to understand who was banned or excluded from the US and why.
From Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project, this powerful site offers more than 60 curated lists of literature and history books on social justice and multicultural points of view for children, young adults, and educators. Book lists are organized by topic areas–including Changemakers, Disabilities, Immigration (and specific immigrant groups), Organizing, and Voting Rights!
A new lesson for high school students uses primary sources to engage students, including those whose reading levels may not yet be at grade level, in exploring the changes in policy in who is admitted to the United States.
The novel Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, offers an immigrant story that can engage all students in themes of loss of home, fairness to workers, and struggle in new situations. It is available in Spanish (print and audio versions) as Esperanza renace. Set in the Great Depression, it is an entry point to historical inquiry, and the following lesson has been written with access for English Learners in mind.
This lesson encourages students to visualize the journeys and lives of immigrant children in the early 20th century and also of immigrant children today. It features video interviews with kids who have recently immigrated and archival photos of child immigrants from the turn of the 20th century. The multi-day lesson is designed to help elementary school students learn from primary and secondary sources, and also uses historical fiction and imaginative prompts to develop understanding and empathy for the immigrant experience.