Questions to Initiate and Guide the Creative Reading Dialogue

Crossing the border without the appropriate documentation is at the present  moment against the law. But laws are not always just or appropriate. This is why every state and the nation have legislators who are constantly engaged in revising existing laws and creating new ones.

There have been times when slavery was legal, women were not allowed to vote, people of different races could not marry… all those laws were unjust and were finally repealed. Better laws were created.

Currently legislators are debating how to create more just and efficient immigration laws.immigrants

Descriptive Phase

 Why did Mónica and her mother moved from El Salvador to México?
 How was Mónica able to come to the United States?
 What is Mónica’s dream?

Personal Interpretive Phase

 Are you an immigrant? Do you know anyone who was born outside of the United States?
Have you heard anyone tell how they came to the United States?
 What are your dreams?

Critical/Multicultural/Anti-Bias Phase

 Why is it said that “the United States is a nation of immigrants”?
 How have immigrants contributed to the United States?
 Have you ever witness someone being teased because they speak English with a foreign accent? Because  they, or their family, come from a place other than the United States? How does that make you feel?
 What do people mean when they say someone is an illegal or an undocumented immigrant?

Creative/ Transformative Phase

 What can we do when someone is teased because they, or their family, come from a place other than the United States?
 How can we recognize the contributions of immigrants?


Questions for the Analysis of the Composition and Structure of the Text


The text says What does it mean?
How do you interpret it?
Since the United States often has influence on the
events in their countries, they find it appropriate
to seek asylum here.
Just like previous immigrants to this country
—British, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Danish, as well as Jewish people of many nationalities— the majority of Latinos come in search of better living conditions.
The reasons for global poverty, both for individuals
and for countries, are complex and must be addressed.
Not all laws are just, moral, or ethical.


Activities Students San Do Individually or in Groupsdancinghomebig

  Research who are some of the people we admire and celebrate for having worked to promote:
Changing unjust laws
 Ending slavery
 Securing women’s rights to vote
 Defending human rights
 Ending school segregation
 Promoting inclusion and equality

  Engage students in a word study of the word Immigration (root migra from the Latin migrare = moverse)
 Migration — act of moving , usually groups of people or animals, from one place to another
 Emigrate — usually said of people moving from their country of origin to another
 Inmigrate — settling in a country different from the country of origin.
(Observe that migrate and inmigrate may refer to the same action but from different points of view. Emigrate, to leave, that is refers to what has been left. Inmigrate, to arrive, that is what has been reached.)

Related wordsSpanish CognatesUse in a sentence

Transference: Observe that while the English prefix is -im, the Spanish prefix is in-

 Engage students in expression their opinion in writing. This template may be useful in giving them practice on a cohesive way of expressing and supporting ideas. There should be no space limit on the paper for them to write their thoughts.
After they finish writing, have students read each other opinions in pairs, and share with the whole group.

Write your opinionreturntosenderbig

Think  — Write  — Share — Listen

After reading Latino Immigration to the United States

I believe that ___________________________________
because _______________________________________.
Some people think that _____________________________,
nevertheless I believe that ___________________________
and besides _____________________________________.
When I read the words _____________________________
___________________________________ I think that
______________________________________ and I believe
we must consider __________________________________.
I agree (or I disagree) with __________________________
because ________________________________________
Therefore my opinion is _______________________________


A Creative Writing Transformative Education Activity

Invite students to identify the human qualities they appreciate, for example by asking them to answer:  What do you admire in other human beings?
When you admire someone it’s because that person is…?

Make a word bank of all the words they provide: honest, compassionate, gentle, strong, hardworking, joyful, etc.

Have students organize these words alphabetically and create a way to preserve them with opportunity to expand them, either a large chart to keep in a classroom wall, a small notebook for each student, a document that you can project as needed.

For several days ask students to find new positive adjectives that can be added to the list. Encourage them to ask their relatives for adjectives of qualities they admire.

Once you have developed a large and strong list, ask students to create acrostics using these adjectives. They may be individual acrostics of themselves or acrostics of their relatives. These acrostics can be used to produce:

 individual books – one page for each letter
 family books — one page with the individual acrostic of each member of the family
 collective books — one page with the individual acrostic of each student in the class

Preserve the bank of positive adjectives. It can be an excellent tool and an inspiration to students to imagine what they need to do in order to be seen as possessing those qualities. On Unit XIII we offer a variation of this activity, for which it will be useful to refer back to this bank.

The Transformative Education Principles supporting these activities and the methodology of Authors in the Classroom can be found in: www.authorsintheclassroom.com.

Specific examples of Acrostic Books can be found at: http://authorsintheclassroom.com/2-recognizing-human-qualities-acrostic-book/


Related Books Grades 2-4


Celebrate Martin Luther King Day by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

fromnorthtosouthFrom North to South by René Colato Laínez

mydiaryfromhereMy Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Pérez

mynameisjorgeMy Name is Jorge on Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina

mamathealienMamá the Alien by René Colato Laínez

dearprimoDear Primo. A Letter to My Cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh

panchorabbitPancho Rabbit and the Coyote by Duncan Tonatiuh

twowhiterabbitsTwo White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago

Related Books Grades 4-8


Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta

esperanzarisingEsperanza Rising by Pat Muñoz Ryan


Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez

enriquesjourneyEnrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario