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Lesson Plans

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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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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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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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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