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This unit examines the struggles Mexican immigrants have faced in the U.S., comparing the conflicts faced by migrant laborers in the early 20th century to those plaguing present-day Mexican immigrants. I am an 8th grade language arts teacher and will be using non-fiction texts as well other first-person perspective texts to teach this concept. Since Charlotte, North Carolina has seen an enormous increase in the number or Latino, specifically Mexican, immigrants during the past fifteen years it is important for my students to learn about the new face of Charlotte. Instead of teaching the strategies for reading non-fiction by using many unrelated topics, I decided to use news articles, editorials, political cartoons, first-person narratives, corridos, a film, short stories and a novel that address the issues surrounding Mexican immigration to the U.S. In order to teach the components of a news article, editorial and feature story I have selected six texts the students will read in order to identify the features of each as well as compare and contrast the information about important issues like border control, the 700 mile fence, family conflicts involved with immigrating, legal versus illegal immigration, and many other issues surrounding this controversial and significant topic.
(Developed for Language Arts, grade 8; recommended for Language Arts, grades 7-8, and English, grades 9-10)