The Child Migrant: Evaluating the Journey to the United States through Film and Nonfiction Text

byBrandon Barr

This unit explores the ways film represents the challenges and opportunities associated with children migrating from Central America to the United States. In this unit, students will watch Which Way Home for two purposes: to learn about documentary as a mode of filmmaking and to activate prior knowledge about immigration from Central America. Students will read the text Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario and discuss each chapter in class, reflecting on Enrique’s experiences in the text. Finally, students will view the film Under the Same Moon and learn about elements of a film review to write their own version of a film review. This unit is written for middle school English Language Arts students assuming that they know little about film study or criticism; the content of the texts is not suitable for students in grades younger than middle school.

(Developed for Language Arts, grade 6; recommended for Language Arts and Social Studies, grades 6-8)

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