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Lesson Plan June 24, 2021

Why do migrants make the choices they make at different stages of migration?


This unit was created by Tania Mohammed, a public high school teacher in New York City, NY, as part of the spring 2021 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program on Stories of Migration. It is designed for facilitation across approximately three 7590 minute live 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…

  • Explore single stories and counternarratives related to Iranian/Iraqi relations, and their respective implications
  • Creatively explore the intersections of armed conflict, forced migration, identity and health/wellness
  • Identify main ideas, cite textual evidence, and explore author intent/bias through analysis of news stories presented in various media
  • Incorporate personal narrative/experiences to produce clear and coherent writing

Unit Overview:

This mini-unit follows an interdisciplinary unit where students read the novel Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. As part of the unit, students  discussed the inherited trauma that the descendants of two half-sisters in the book, born during the 16th century in what is now present-day Ghana—one enslaved and the other married to a white enslaver—have been dealing with for several generations. Another major component of this novel is migration, as many of the characters move from one place to another in order to escape prejudice, violence, and unrest. While the characters from the novel who had been enslaved were forced to migrate, other characters chose to relocate for more opportunities, freedom, security, and safety.

In this unit, students will explore the topic of migration further by analyzing the complexities of modern-day migration and the difficult choices and challenges that migrants face. For the final project, students will create a Public Service Announcement that captures key themes from the unit, and respond to the following open-ended prompt:

Why do migrants make the choices they make at different stages of migration?

Students will analyze article(s) from Pulitzer Center to gather information and utilize different Apple tech tools such as Keynote, Clips, iMovie to create their PSA. They will then share their work on their school Instagram (IG) Accounts. They will be expected to read and analyze article(s) from the Pulitzer Center and implement rhetorical appeals for their PSAs that include ethos, pathos, and logos.

Since this unit is planned for remote instruction, lessons will include educational tech tools such as Pear Deck and Padlet to make slides interactive and more engaging. These tools allow for immediate student responses and enable teachers to provide instant feedback. Teachers implementing this unit can use tools appropriate for their classrooms and settings.

Essential Questions:

  • Why do people migrate? What do people experience when they migrate?
  • What job opportunities are available for people who are migrating? To what degree do people have choices as they migrate? 
  • How can countries reduce the risks and vulnerabilities migrants face at different stages of migration?
  • How can rhetorical appeals or modes of persuasion including ethos, pathos, and logos help to reach the target audience?

Day 1: Students will discuss  background knowledge of migration based off of the novel “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi
Day 2: Students will closely read a Pulitzer Center-supported article of their choosing from the Issue portal and thoroughly respond to comprehension questions
Day 3: Students will  pose questions to their peers and respond to questions about their chosen articles via Padlet
Day 4: Students will “attack the prompt” for their PBAT (performance based assessment tasks) , view examples of PSAs (public service announcements) and brainstorm ideas for their PSAs using an outline
Day 5: Students analyze how ads implement ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade the audience, and then brainstorm ideas for how they can implement rhetoric appeal(s) in their own work
Day 6: Students will begin a draft of their PSAs by organizing the  information they want to share about the experiences of migrants worldwide and planning a PSA that communicates themes they want to share using  one of the rhetoric appeals
Day 7: Students will continue to work on/ revise their PSAs — as well as provide each other feedback
Day 8: Students will continue to revise and finalize their PSAs
Day 9: Students will be able to present their understanding and  perspective of migration  in a creative PSA posted on student IG accounts and students will reflect on their work and newfound knowledge in a reflection seminar

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