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The Forgotten Americans

Classroom Resources


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

Discussion Questions

Grade Levels: 7-12

Overview: Students will discuss how neighborhoods differ and the assets and liabilities of poor communities. They will also explore how community organizing and grassroots organizing has produced political, social and economic change.

Objectives About Colonias:

The student will:

  • Use The Forgotten Americans film, the PBS Web site and the Internet to find information.
  • Demonstrate research skills and reading comprehension.
  • Demonstrate media literacy skills.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn about other cultures.

Objectives About Colonias:

  • Most people say that colonia residents can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, but is anything more needed?
  • What must teachers take into consideration when dealing with students living in colonias?
  • Which colonia is one of the largest in the Rio Grande Valley?
  • Gangs are attributed to what?
  • Why are many children unsupervised after school?
  • Why will more than half of students not graduate from high school?
  • What is the major threat that 90 percent of colonias face?
  • What percentage of colonia children go to college?

Questions About Your Town:

  • Where are the poor communities in your hometown?
  • What are the problems in those communities?
  • What assets do those communities have?
  • What buildings are being re-purposed for a use other than what was originally designed?
  • What new buildings are being built?
  • What services are lacking in those communities?
  • Do residents have access to new technologies such as DSL lines, cable and other telecommunications?
  • How do most residents get around?
  • Where do most residents work?
  • What is missing in these communities?
  • How are these poor communities different from your neighborhood?
  • How are these communities the same?



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