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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of a high school student in the classroom.
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Migration From Latin America

Video Summary: Since the 1960s, unprecedented numbers of Latin Americans have left their homes to move to other countries. Some risked their lives to escape dangerous conditions; others sought better opportunities. For the vast majority, their destination was the United States. But why did they choose to come to America? And how does America decide whom to welcome? Tenth-grade students in Mavis Weir's geography class explore these questions as they study the migration trends from six Latin American countries: Mexico, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Cuba.

Ms. Weir divides the class into six groups, each representing a different Latin American country. Using both primary and secondary resources, students examine the economic, political, and environmental circumstances that cause people to leave one country for another. The groups are given a packet of informational materials on their assigned country and then asked to create a product that illustrates the conditions in that country and the reasons for migration. As the lesson concludes, each group presents their product to the class and answers questions posed by Ms. Weir.

This lesson was designed by SPICE, the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education.

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