IMMIGRATION LESSON PLAN
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you are doing or learning to do."
Lesson plan for immigration facts, songs, documentary materials, videos, and extension activities unit!
**All items with the two red stars have student worksheets with activities in the 55 page unit. Many of the resources have both English and Spanish versions for various levels of classes.
**Play this acoustic version of the song, “Un Besito Más” by Jesse & Joy and have the students guess what they think the song is about. The students will probably guess that it is a love song, but actually Jesse & Joy wrote the song in honor of their father right after he died. Because this Mexican duo has a Mexican father and an American mother, they later decided to produce a music video for the song featuring the topic of immigration in the United States. Many of the resources in this immigration unit are focused on immigration information and on extending student thinking about current events in the US related to this topic.
Next, have the students take this excellent online immigration quiz on PBS - Tell the students the following: Test yourself to see how much you know about immigration. Write down your score out of nine!
**Now, give the students the lyrics for “Un Besito Más” and have them just listen to the acoustic version of the song and start to sing the lyrics. The song is very basic and repetitive so they will catch on quickly. Do not show the students the music video yet.
**Next, have the students carefully watch the music video.
After the music video concludes, ask them again what the topic of the song is. Hopefully, they will all tell you that it is a beautiful music video that depicts the immigrant experience in the US.
**To follow up, have the students learn more about the artists, Jesse & Joy, with the included videos and materials. Be sure to show the students the two videos when Jesse & Joy win the Grammy for the song, "Un Besito Más" as they are powerful videos. Also, share the included facts about immigration, immigration vocabulary & images to describe, and the other compelling music videos and songs.
“Wake Me Up” tells a beautiful immigration story. Watch the surprising ending!
**The documentary, 30 Days, features Minuteman Frank George, whose goal is to stop illegal immigration into the United States. The documentary follows him as he goes to live with a family of illegal Mexican immigrants in a tiny apartment in the heart of Los Angeles. This documentary is so well-done! There are documentary questions and quizzes included in the immigration unit!
“No me vas a olvidar” is an animated music video about a father who leaves his family to cross the border to provide for them. This video shows the desperation felt when families are separated.
Watch “La Bestia” animated music video about the dangers immigrants face on board the train they take from Central America through Mexico to get to the US.
Los Peligros de la Migración - Learn interesting information about the immigrants who board cargo trains and travel across Mexico from Central America in hopes of getting to the US safely.
A bordo de 'La Bestia', el tren que trae a inmigrantes al país de las oportunidades
Music video about illegal immigration that shows the role of “El Coyote”.
La Santa Cecilia sings “Ice = El Hielo”. The music video shows immigrants who live their lives working hard but they ultimately get picked up by ICE and then deported.
The music group, La Santa Cecilia, wins the Grammy for the song, “El Hielo”. Read this article to learn about their lives as the children of immigrants who are proud of their accomplishments and their heritage.
“Welcome to America” - Thought-provoking music video about problems in America including immigration
Children Of Illegal Immigrants - Learn how the children of illegal immigrants cope when they must return to their parents’ home country due to their family’s deportation. CBS News video in English!
“Carlitos” - Animated music video about domestic violence, poverty, drug abuse, and family violence - Please preview this video to make sure it is appropriate for your level of students.
Kahoot for “Un Besito Más”
**Read the included fact sheets about DACA. Discuss with students!
Learn How the United States Immigration System Works - This fact sheet clearly explains all of the options available to people who wish to live in the US legally.
**Have the students read the letter from a detained immigrant mother written to her young son who is in a different detention center. Complete the activity and discuss as a class.
**Have students watch the compelling music video for “American Oxygen” by Rihanna. Have the students write what they think the reality is of the New America.
Then, have the students describe how their ideal America would be if they could design it exactly the way they wanted.
This immigration unit can be taught in one to two weeks, depending on how in-depth you teach the material.
In Spanish Three, we use the movie, Una Vida Mejor, to expand this lesson further since this movie reinforces the issue of family separation perfectly.
In Spanish Two, we use the movie, Which Way Home to extend student learning about immigration. Which Way Home is an excellent documentary that follows unaccompanied minors on their journey from Central America to the United States on board La Bestia.
Feel free to modify the order in which you teach this powerful immigration unit or add your own twist.
See all of our immigration resources here.