Key Activities for Achieving Desired Results
Phase I: Stimulates student interest and raises essential questions.
Phase II: Focuses on content and language functions
needed to assist students in meeting performance outcomes.
1) Introduces the unit by posing the following questions:
- How has world population shifted over the past decade?
- How does the movement of people across the world affect the earth and its citizens?
- Why do people move to certain areas and abandon other regions?
2) Elicits from students previously learned vocabulary and
language functions as well as unfamiliar expressions required to
discuss the questions. He/She creates a semantic map that outlines
pertinent ideas as well as language functions and grammatical
structures. (See Glossary for a
definition and example of a semantic map.)
3) Implements activities and tasks to assist students in
acquiring new vocabulary and functions needed to discuss the
topic (high numbers, comparatives and superlatives, expressions
of opinion, geographic formations). Students might write
definitions of the expressions in the target language, they play
concentration, password, or other vocabulary games and they
practice comparative and superlative expressions as well as
giving opinions and ideas.
4) Provides charts of population distribution in the target
language to spur ideas and to surface students' prior learning
on the topic. Charts can be obtained from the Population
Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C. or online at www.prb.org in
French and Spanish. Target language information can be also be
found at www.searchenginecolossus.com.
5) Asks students to work in pairs. Students scan the data making
comparisons about population density in different regions of the
world and reflecting on the guiding questions. They make
inferences about the impact of population growth and about the
reasons for migration. They share ideas with a partner and then
discuss the topic with the whole class. The teacher categorizes
students' ideas in a concept map.
6) Displays a map of the country/region the class is studying.
Working in small groups, students examine the geographic
features of the area, the available resources, and climate in
order to draw conclusions about why people might be attracted to
the area. They jot down ideas individually and they share their
thoughts with a partner comparing responses and developing a
"top five" list of reasons to move to the area. To debrief the
activity, the teacher uses the cooperative learning strategy,
"Four Corners." (See Glossary for an
explanation of this strategy.) As students gather in various
parts of the classroom with classmates who selected the same
answers, they discuss responses and defend their positions with
- How will knowledge of other languages and cultures help
us collaborate in investigating solutions to global
- What cultural clashes occur as a result of migration
and/or immigration and what possible solutions can we
Phase III: Involves students in performance tasks that address the 3 modes of communication.
1) The teacher provides thumbnail sketches of people who have
immigrated to the target culture. (Internet links in Teacher
Resource section provide articles and interviews with people who
immigrated to various countries). This handout serves as a
foundation for vocabulary building and fact finding. After
reading the sketches, students complete a comprehension guide to
note significant information in the readings (Activity Sheet 1).
In order to complete the task appropriately, the teacher may
review formulaic questions and answers pertaining to personal
identity information (age, birth date, nationality, place of
origin, physical and personality characteristics).
2) Pairs of learners assume the identities of the immigrants
portrayed in the sketches. They discuss their reasons for
moving, the benefits of their move, and some of the problems
3) Using the Cooperative Learning Technique "Numbered Heads"
(See Glossary), students read articles
or excerpts from books or view video clips dealing with issues
facing immigrants living in the target culture. They take notes
on the readings/videos focusing on cultural experiences that
4) Assuming the identity of one of the people featured in the
article, book, or video, students write a diary entry describing
an incident they suffered.
The teacher may develop exercises to review the past tenses
needed to write the diary entry.
5) Individual students choose an immigrant who has made a
contribution to the country and culture they are studying.
They research the person's life and accomplishments, complete a
curriculum vitae (Activity Sheet 2) and assemble artifacts and
props that illustrate his/her impact on the culture.
6) Students next create a "living wax museum" in the
classroom (See Glossary). On the first
day, half the class dresses as famous immigrants and stand near
a backdrop with information, props, pictures and realia
illustrating the individuals' lives and contributions. Assuming
the roles of docents and museum visitors, the remaining
students circulate through the exhibits. When they approach the
"wax figures," the person tells his/her story. Students gather
pertinent information and record the data on a graphic
7) Students use the information gathered to create an "electronic
bulletin board" (See Glossary)
highlighting achievements of those individuals voted the most
honorable by the class. Alternatively, the class might choose
the person who has made the most significant contribution to
his/her adopted homeland and then make a video about the
individual for the school library.
1) Students conduct interviews of classmates, family and/or
community members who immigrated from the target culture to the
United States (The teacher may wish to review question formation
beforehand.). They focus on reasons for moving, difficulties
encountered, ways in which they maintained their native customs
and traditions and experiences and challenges that occurred
between the immigrants and their American born children. If it
is not possible to locate native speakers of the target
language, the teacher might video interviews to be shown to the
2) Students report to the class on the results of their interviews.
3) Students work collaboratively to devise solutions to the
challenges experienced by immigrants. Each group creates a poster
campaign to display suggested solutions.