Globalization: Immigration as a Manifestation

Unit 2: Primary Purpose & Context

Primary Purpose

The purpose of the following activities is for students to define and understand migration issues in the United States and Senegal and how these issues are linked to globalization. Each activity can take 1-3 class periods; it depends on how in depth the educator would like to go.

The lesson plans address the issue of immigration using a critical literacy approach adapted from Stephanie Jones’s work in Girls, Social Class, and Literacy (2006) and Paulo Freire’s work in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970).

Students will work to deconstruct texts, “deconstruction” meaning, “the tenet of critical literacy that promises to keep us aware that all texts are constructed and therefore can be deconstructed, taken apart bit-by-bit to unveil power, perspective, and positioning” (Jones, 2006, p. 75). Students will explore perspective, positioning, and power of the creator of the text, the text itself, and the reader (Jones, 2006, p. 79-82). “Text” does not strictly refer to written text; it can also be viewed as artifacts in the box, movies, movie clips, song… etc.

Then, students will work to reconstruct texts through social action, “reconstruction” meaning an exploration of counterstories that have been created in response to immigration and student creation of counterstories.
Reconstruction is not always about creating new pieces of literature or written texts, it also encompasses the overt reconstruction of identities. In our three-dimensional world stratified by class, race, gender, religion, language, sexuality, dis/ability, and so on, reconstructing identities of people who have been marginalized and devalued over the course of time is crucial in the work of critical literacy. Part of this reconstruction takes place through talk, breaking the silences that have taken up too much space in the past, and through new representations in physical texts, multimedia, and social interactions. (Jones, 2006, p. 76-77).
Students will work towards change by taking social action. Students will create a social action piece that gives a voice to those who have been made voiceless by issues of immigration and media portrayals of immigration in the United States.


Middle/High School ELA/Social Studies Course