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Lessons for Students in Waking in Oak Creek

On the morning of August 5, 2012, six worshippers were murdered at a Sikh temple in the small Midwestern town of Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Many of the persons present at the time of the shooting were women and children. The lone gunman identified himself as a white supremacist. The senseless violence was halted by the bravery of Lieutenant Brian Murphy, shot 15 times during the attack. Too often we hear similar stories of hate and racism and less frequently do we hear about how families of victims, schools and communities come together to grieve and to remember, to rebuild and work together to ensure that such violence doesn’t happen again. 

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Year Released: 2016

Book Review of Untwine by Edwidge Danticat

The accident, which opens the novel, is enough to get any reader — young or old— hooked on its plot. The blend of lyrical, poetic language with the at times sarcastic, witty teenage dialogue keeps it fresh and uniquely told. Untwine by Edwidge Danticat is a novel that probes fantastically into identity, loss, grief, and resilience with a gripping storyline.  

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Year Released: 2016

Just What is Executive Action? A Lesson From the Principal’s Desk

Much has been made of the president’s use of executive action in order to carry out the nation’s laws. It is a vague term that puzzles many in the media and raises large questions. Is it legal? Is it an abuse of power? Is it constitutional? Has it been used by Democratic and Republican presidents alike?

As suggested by the title, “Just What is Executive Action? A Lesson from the Principal’s Desk” students will apply inductive reasoning skills about individual school policies that are determined by the principal in order to understand what execution action is and its limitations. Students will apply their knowledge of school policy in order to define executive action in their own words as well as to read the media for accuracy and bias. An extension of this activity is also available for students to closely read a report Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present published by the American Immigration Council.

  • For lesson procedures, Common Core standards alignment, please click here.
  • For the student handout close-read of Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present, please click here.
  • Click here to tell us how you’ve used this lesson plan

 

Year Released: 2014

9-12

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Writing A Way In: Multiple Perspectives on Executive Action

The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Action has been greeted with joy, relief, sadness, and contempt.  How can one decision trigger so many varied responses?  By weaving non-fiction accounts into creative writing, students will be able to write their way into understanding the multiple perspectives that surround this immigration issue. 

  • For lesson procedures, Common Core standards alignment, please click here.
  • For the corresponding classroom PowerPoint, please click here.
  • Click here to tell us how you’ve used this lesson plan.

 

Year Released: 2015

9-12+

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A Land of Refuge or Refusal? Perspectives on the Refugee Experience in the United States

In this immigration lesson plan, students analyze key ideas in an academic article that provides background on the refugee experience in the United States, including examples of welcoming and exclusionary responses, as well as the impacts of these disparate reactions. After analyzing the author’s claims and evidence, students then apply one of those claims to the current refugee crisis in order to answer the question: how is America a land of refuge, refusal, or both?

This lesson encourages critical thinking from students in a very public discussion, both in the United States and abroad, about the worldwide refugee crisis. In recent years, the United States has welcomed 70,000 refugees per year. The President has indicated he intends to admit 85,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2016, including 10,000 from Syria. This increase has been criticized by some who believe the United States should do much more to protect those fleeing dire situations and by some who fear that welcoming Syrian refugees may compromise our national security. In considering the appropriate U.S. response.

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

Year Released: 2015

9-12

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The First American Settlers and the First Thanksgiving

Learn and discuss the myths and facts surrounding the first Thanksgiving and the first immigrants by engaging students in a thought-provoking and humorous read-aloud that challenges them to identify dominant and resistant readings of this national holiday.

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

Year Released: 2015

3-5

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Three Books by Dinaw Mengestu to Explore the Immigration Experience with Students

As educators, one of the great joys is introducing students to fiction that allows students to see themselves in characters they thought were nothing like them and which they shared little in common. It is one of the most effective ways to teach empathy, broaden understanding, and disprove stereotypes. It is the stuff of “a-ha” moments, meaningful connections that transcend the classroom, and Dinaw Mengestu’s novels are ripe with these potential moments for high school students. His character-driven narratives highlight the universal tensions between home and displacement, loss and renewal, as explored in the migration experience. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Lessons on Acceptance and Forgiveness: A Tale of Two Americas

In this immigration lesson plan, students will read a brief version of Rais Bhuiyan’s inspiring story of forgiveness towards his attacker after being a survivor of a hate crime in the days after 9/11 because he was an immigrant. Students will then watch and respond to a Ted Talk by author Anand Giridharadas on Bhuiyan’s story as well as listen Bhuiyan speak about his story and his efforts to build the World Without Hate foundation. Student will be asked to consider what does acceptance and forgiveness mean to them as well as how their school can contribute to making a world without hate.

This lesson is adaptable to English Language Learners and readers at multiple levels.  It was developed by teacher Julie Mann, an ESL and Human Rights Teacher at Newcomers High School, Long Island City, New York and distributed with her permission.

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

Year Released: 2015

9-12

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Lesson for Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s The Danger of a Single Story

In this lesson, students watch and respond to novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s Ted Talk “The Danger of a Single Story.” In this 18:39 minute video, she tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice and relays the potential risks for misunderstanding a group of people when only a single story is shared as representative of that culture. This film and corresponding discussion guide can enhance the reading of diverse literature in the classroom and lends itself to a discussion on the benefits of diversity.

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

 

Year Released: 2015

10-12

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Analyzing Immigrant Contributions through Data, Story, and Voice

In this immigration lesson plan, students will explore the contributions of immigrants have made to their home states and localities though an analysis of data and story.  Students will demonstrate understanding by writing an evidence-based argument that answers the question: how have immigrants contributed to my state, district, city, or town? Students will also be asked to reflect on common assumptions about immigrants and their roles in U.S. society.

Extensions and adaptations are available for English Language Learners and readers at multiple levels.

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

Year Released: 2015

9-12

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