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Lesson Plan June 25, 2021

Underreported Stories of Migration: The Missing Pieces of a Holistic Story


This unit was created by Emily Otten, a 5th grade Humanities teacher in New Haven, CT, as part of the spring 2021 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program on Stories of Migration. It is designed for facilitation across approximately ten 60-minute in-person or virtual class periods.

For more units created by Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellows in this cohort, click here.

Unit Objectives:

Students will be able to…

  • Analyze nonfiction texts and print media about migration
  • Use texts and images to draw conclusions and form opinions
  • Distinguish between mainstream news stories and underreported news stories
  • Utilize various forms of media to share their thoughts and opinions

Unit Overview:

How are migrants portrayed in the news and media? Who gets to tell the story of migration, and what aspects of the story tend to go underreported? How do these stories, and the perspectives from which they’re told, impact our own perceptions of migration?
In this unit, students learn to identify underreported stories of migration, and what is missing from mainstream media representations of migrants’ experiences. They analyze nonfiction texts and images, practice identifying perspectives in media, and synthesize their learning to form a new understanding of migration. In their final project, students communicate how their perspective on migration has grown or changed through a creative project, original news story, or existing news story edited to provide a more holistic picture of migration.

Performance Task:

After studying underreported stories of migration from various points of view, students will understand how identity and intersectionality impact migration and experiences of migrants. They will engage the themes in their final projects as they include these missing pieces in their own work.
Students will synthesize their learning to draw conclusions about the importance of missing information in stories of migration. After studying underreported stories of migration, they will use their new learning to create or edit news stories and add missing information in order to create a more holistic view of migration.

Scope and Sequence:

  1. What do I think of migration? Introduction to vocabulary and major concepts
  2. How is migration portrayed in mainstream media?
    • Independent study—workshop model
    • What is “breaking news”?
  3. What is missing from mainstream stories of migration? 
    • Independent study—workshop model
    • What is an “underreported story”?
  4. Where do the missing pieces fit into mainstream stories of migration?
    • Synthesizing information
    • Creating a holistic picture of migration
  5. Beginning final projects
    • Introduce rubric, answer questions, begin planning
  6. Workshopping final projects
    • Peer review
  7. Finalizing projects
    • Projects are due today
  8. Sharing final projects
    • Gallery walk
    • Observations, questions, stars, and wishes
  9. Now what do I think of migration?
    • How has our learning changed my understanding of migration?
    • Determining how our views have changed and why

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Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees