All of my students are recent immigrants, many from Mexico, so I have developed several novel studies using books like Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan and Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario. A perfect introduction to these books is looking at the relationship between the United States and Mexico, beginning with the U.S. – Mexico War.
The Zinn Education Project has an amazing activity that we use every time, U.S. Mexico War: “We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God”. It is a tea party mixer where the students can take on the voices of key players in the war. They are able to build their understanding of this historical event by listening to each other. This flipped classroom approach is amazing for ESL students given that language is learned socially, so structured activities like a tea party are excellent learning opportunities.
I am so grateful for this activity, and it is a success every time!