Unit 1: Life in a Colonia
unit is designed for grades 712. Before showing the video
of The Forgotten Americans, brainstorm with students about
the conditions necessary for life and what things students consider
"extras." For example, ask if owning a car is a necessity
or an "extra."
the video and discussion questions to explore this idea further,
specifically in reference to colonias. The first 10 minutes
of the film describe colonia demographics, how
these communities emerged and what problems residents of these communities
must face. Engage your students in a discussion about colonias,
but you do not have to limit the discussion to these specific communities.
Consider expanding the discussion to talk about Appalachian communities,
Native American reservations or poor communities in your area.
using this video to begin a discussion about the history
and economics of the colonias. Here are some questions
to ask your students after they view the video:
the glossary of terms and the discussion
questions to further shape your discussion and your students
understanding of colonias. Then once you feel familiar with
the issues and history of colonias try
the experiment listed at the end of the unit.
encourage you to share your experiences with this discussion guide,
the results of your experiments, and your essays. Please send
your feedback on how you used these teaching guides and
what results you found.