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The Forgotten Americans
Classroom Resources

Delve into this complex subject with your students.


Focus: Las Colonias
Filmmaker's Journal
An Inside Look
A Colonia Experience
Build A Community  
Classroom Resources
Press Room

Welcome Teachers and Parents!

Here are three interdisciplinary units that each include: a glossary of terms, a discussion guide and a project to engage your students in a dialogue about poor communities, the importance of community in our society, and lessons on how to create change in a community. These teaching aids were designed for students in grades 7-12 and are standards-based.

Use these materials to engage your students in a thoughtful and lively discussion encouraging them to consider their own experiences, what they have learned from the film The Forgotten Americans, and what they have learned from others about how people connect in communities.

These questions and guides were developed by the Llano Grande Center for Research and Development in conjunction with teachers and high school students who live in or near colonias in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Their own efforts to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods are a model for understanding how powerful it is when people work together.

Please send us your feedback on how you used these teaching guides and what results you found. Thanks.

Life in a Colonia (Download PDF)
Teachers or parents may use this unit to begin a discussion about life in a poor neighborhood. It encourages students to go beyond a classroom discussion and to view their lives in a different way.

Community Organization (Download PDF)
This unit enables teachers and parents to discuss with students how communities are organized. It encourages discussion on what it takes to mobilize a community, to make a change, and how our political system works.

Your Town (Download PDF)
The last of the three units encourages students to examine what assets and liabilities are relevant to poor communities and what it takes to make a change in a neighborhood. It is just the beginning step for a discussion about life in less fortunate communities.

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