There’s a lot going on right now.
As Trump’s first 100 days continue, we will be doing our best to provide resources and materials that can be immediately useful. If there’s something in particular you’d like to see, please let us know.
For today, some background reading and lesson plans.
From EdSurge, a piece about how Social Studies and Civics teachers in particular are scrambling to keep up with the first weeks of the new administration. We recommend clicking through; the article mentions several tech tools that help students understand how the US government functions–or, has functioned up until now.
One of those teachers is Sabrina Brooks, a seventh grade humanities teacher at San Francisco Friends School, who began her class yesterday by having students read and discuss material in Nicholas Kristof’s editorial, “President Trump, meet my family.”
Brooks didn’t have Kristof’s editorial etched into her lesson plans until this weekend, when protests around the country unfolded in response to the travel ban. But it fit with the unit she has been teaching on decision-making in times of injustice. The unit, as Brooks describes, looks at “history of immigration policy marginalization of at risk groups, the factors that led to Hitler’s rise, and the behavior of people who were bystanders and upstanders in these contexts.”
From The New York Times, a lesson plan appropriate for high school and college students, “Analyzing Trump’s Immigration Ban: A Lesson Plan.” The lesson relies mainly on articles but does incorporate video elements that could be skipped if students do not have easy access to tech in the classroom.
Mr. Trump’s executive order fits into a larger pattern of U.S. history. In 1882, Congress excluded Chinese immigrants from entering the U.S. Later it prohibited almost all Japanese immigrants. And still later it gave preference to immigrants from Northern and Western Europe, making it difficult for people from other parts of the world to immigrate to the U.S. But the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 changed all of that. It did away with the national origins quota and banned discrimination based on where a person was from.
However, with Mr. Trump’s pronouncement on Jan. 27, the U.S. once again excludes immigrants based on national origin from countries like Iraq, Yemen and Sudan.
This activity invites students to analyze Mr. Trump’s stated purpose for his executive order (as explained within Section 1 of the text), then consider three pieces in The Times that question its effectiveness, legality and interpretation of American values.
The lesson plan also includes a list of other lesson plans from The Times’ Learning Network that educators may find helpful.
The Times directs readers, finally, to a post over at Facing Today: “3 Ways to Address the Latest News on Immigration With Your Students.” The post is an excellent starting point for any investigation into these issues and policies. The material here is organized around three main points:
- Affirm the right to education and respect for all students…
- Use the ‘universe of obligation’ to consider how we define our responsibilities towards others…
- Put debates about immigration and refugees into historical context.
An added bonus is, strangely enough, the comments section. Teachers who are currently figuring out how to deal with these issues in their own classrooms are weighing in.
More as we have it.