Key Activities for Achieving Desired Results

Phase I: Stimulates student interest and raises essential questions.

The Teacher:

    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 in French and Spanish. Target language information can be also be found at

    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 supporting information.

    • How will knowledge of other languages and cultures help us collaborate in investigating solutions to global issues?
    • What cultural clashes occur as a result of migration and/or immigration and what possible solutions can we determine?

Phase II: Focuses on content and language functions needed to assist students in meeting performance outcomes.

    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 they experienced.

    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 immigrants encountered.

    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 organizer.

    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.

Phase III: Involves students in performance tasks that address the 3 modes of communication.

    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 class.

    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.