This provides teachers the materials and guidance for students to learn different perspectives on the issue of illegal immigration, discuss them and listen to each other in a respectful and civil manner, and appreciate differences while finding common ground.
With news and materials from left, center and right sources plus a structured process for discussion, teachers, administrators and parents can be assured that multiple points of view are discussed and respected in a civil, beneficial manner.
☛ Teachers! Have you done the Relationships First component in your classroom yet? Consider starting with it to establish a solid foundation. ☚
Resources to Build your Own
First, students need to understand the issue better including viewpoints from across the political spectrum. Here are a variety of resources to include.
Immigration Issues page on AllSides: Give your students a good understanding of the background. AllSides Issue pages provide background information, current news and opinions, think tanks and more.
Balanced Dictionary: Reveals how different people from across the political spectrum think and feel about the same term or issue.
AllSides Balanced Search: A search engine that quickly and easily shows multiple perspectives. Google and other search engines often only give you the most popular perspective, burying or leaving out alternative viewpoints.
As your students discover such diversity in perspective, you may want to look at our Media Bias section. Try having your students rate their own bias and rate the media bias of news sources and Think Tanks.
Next, you want the students to participate in a healthy, collaborative dialog
Participate in an Online Video Dialog:
Mismatch.org: Connect with students across the country with different backgrounds and political perspectives for a respectful video conversation.
Engage in conversations in person:
Participate in an Online Text Dialog:
Share your opinions on these questions or request a new agree/disagree question be posted. Students are encouraged to backup their opinions with research.
Have a specific question for students to discuss online? Email us to start a new Classroom Dialog
★ This can be done as a single class or over several class periods. Extending the lesson will allow for more in depth understanding.★
Also see how this program complies with Common Core standards.
Collaboration: Students will discuss illegal immigration while working in small groups (if a large class) or as an entire class.
Civil conversation and conflict resolution: Students will learn how to listen, understand and respect one another’s views, especially when there are differences of opinion and background.
Research and analysis: Students will have a deeper understanding of the different perspectives on illegal immigration, including their own, their classmates, and the country at large, through researching the topic across biases and discussing.
Homework prior to class:
Students will spend 20-30 min looking at the most recent news about Immigration from different perspectives.
Optional based on class size: Teacher divides students into small groups, preferably a mix of biases. (Have students complete a simple bias quiz for homework 2 days prior so the Teacher has a chance to evaluate if similar has never been conducted previously.)
What is your point of view on immigration?
What should be done about illegal immigration?
Should America build a "wall"? Why or why not?
Should we have an "open border" between the U.S and Mexico? Why or why not?
Should we have an "open border" between the U.S and Canada? Why or why not?
How do we reduce immigration?
What is the best solution?
Should the U.S. deport illegal immigrants? Certain ones or all illegal immigrants?
What would deporting all illegal immigrants do to our economy?
Should the U.S. give illegal immigrants amnesty? Why or why not?
Should it be illegal to hire illegal immigrants?
What is the DREAM Act and do you think is was a positive or negative development?
Who are the DREAMers and why are they called “DREAMers?”
Why was it important for the DREAMers to state their names out loud and in public?
Deeper Meaning questions:
What is at the heart of the matter for you? (In other words, what is that really matters to you related to immigration?)
What is your personal, family or friend’s experience that informs your beliefs about immigration?
Where is it on your top-10 list? Why?
Final Questions to pose to students, either as homework or just as a wrap up:
Has your point of view changed on immigration after talking with your peers? Why or why not?
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?