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South Carolina United with Immigrants

2018 Safe and Supportive Schools Campaign

Middle School Lesson Plan
*Lesson will be adapted for other grade levels
Prepared by: Timothy Monreal

● Students will be able to describe the increase of immigration to South Carolina.
● Students will be able to identify myths and misconceptions about immigrants.
● Students will be able to explain why immigrants may be at risk for bullying using
informational texts.
● Students will be able to organize their understanding of immigrants.

● One or two 60 minute class periods

South Carolina State Standards, English Language Arts (6-8):

● Inquiry-Based Literacy Standards: Standard 4: Synthesize integrated information to
share learning and/or take action.
● Reading - Informational Text: Standard 6: Summarize key details and ideas to support
analysis of central ideas.
● Reading - Informational Text: Standard 12: Read independently and comprehend a
variety of texts for the purposes of reading for enjoyment, acquiring new learning, and
building stamina; reflect on and respond to increasingly complex text over time.
● Communication: Standard 1: Interact with others to explore ideas and concepts,
communicate meaning, and develop logical interpretations through collaborative
conversations; build upon the ideas of others to clearly express one’s own views while
respecting diverse perspectives.
● Writing - Standard 6: Write independently, legibly, and routinely for a variety of tasks,
purposes, and audiences over short and extended time frames.

South Carolina State Standards, Social Studies

● South Carolina Social Studies Standard 8-7: The student will demonstrate an
understanding of the impact on South Carolina of significant events of the late twentieth
and early twenty-first centuries.
○ 8-7.4: Summarize key economic issues in present-day South Carolina,
including...the influx of immigrants and migrants into the Sunbelt, the increased
protection of the environment, the expanding number of cultural offerings, and
the changes in tax policy.
● Social Studies Literacy Skills for Social Studies
○ Analyze evidence, arguments, claims, and beliefs.
○ Integrate information from a variety of media sources with print or digital text in
an appropriate manner.

Introduction and Purpose

As a coalition of member organizations and individuals actively engaged in efforts to
address the needs of immigrants and their families in South Carolina, South Carolina United with
Immigrants is increasingly concerned about the safety and well-being of immigrant children in
the state. In a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Artiga and Ubri (2017) write:

“Immigrant families, including those with lawful status, are experiencing

resounding levels of fear and uncertainty...and parents and pediatricians said that
racism and discrimination, including bullying of children, have significantly
increased since the election.” (p. 1).

It is our hope that schools can help counter such negative developments by providing a safe and
supportive environment for all students, regardless of status, at school. As all students, including
undocumented students, are entitled to a free public K-12 education via Plyler v Doe, it is
imperative that schools actively work to decrease bullying related to immigration status while
repairing misconceptions and erroneous stereotypes that circulate the state of South Carolina. For
this reason, the following lesson aims to increase knowledge about immigrants in South Carolina
as well as increase support for immigrants youth in our schools.

Helpful Resources in Preparing to Teach the Lesson

● Immigrants in South Carolina (American Immigration Council, 2017):
● Is There Really an Immigration “Line ? (Green, 2017):
● Time to Break the Myth: There’s No Such Things as ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’
Immigrants (Lei, 2017):

*A final word: This lesson aims to improve school conditions for immigrant youth by raising awareness
to their realities and clarifying misconceptions. In preparation for this lesson we highly suggest you
preview the lesson with any immigrant students you may teach. The purpose for this is twofold. First, this
is their reality. They are the experts and as such some may have valuable information to share and/or add.
This is not to burden these students with the additional task of teaching others, rather it is honoring their
experiential knowledge. Second, although not expected or intended, it is possible that the lesson may
trigger memories that are uncomfortable or painful for immigrant students. If you have any questions,
comments, or ideas please share them by contacting SC United With Immigrants. (

Safe and Supportive School Lesson

1) Connect to prior knowledge and teacher preassessment:
● Ask students what they know about immigration.
○ To facilitate discussion teachers can use a K-W-L chart (Facing History,
n.d) and in small groups students can fill out the “K” (what do you know
about the topic, immigration?)
○ After sharing what was listed students can fill out the “W” (what they
want to know about the topic, immigration?)
2) Explain purpose and objectives:
● The teacher explains that through the lesson students will learn more about
immigration to South Carolina as well as various myths and misconceptions that
people have about immigrants. The larger purpose is to make sure school a “safe
and supportive” place for all students, especially immigrants.
3) Watch one or both of the videos about immigrants in schools:
● To Be Happy | An Immigrant Student's Tale (KCPT, 2017):
● Saengmany Ratsabout (Ratsabout, 2013):
3a) Teacher ask students, based on videos what are challenges for immigrants in schools?
Why does every child has the right to be safe and respected in school?

1) Teacher will share that South Carolina is a state with a growing immigrant population
● Show visual (below) and ask students what the notice. (Image Source: Migration
Policy Institute. U.S. Immigration Population by State and Country: South
● Maria’s Story (National Immigration Forum, 2017):

2) Teacher shares that the class will be reading some informational texts to better
understand immigrant lives. Teachers may select one or both of the following resources:
● 10 Myths about Immigration (Teaching Tolerance, 2011):
● Living in an Immigrant Family in America: How Fear and Toxic Stress are
Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health (read just the executive report, Artiga
and Ubri, 2018):
Each of the above informational texts is split into clear sections so a Jigsaw strategy
might work best. In this strategy groups of students are assigned a different section of the
text (for example one of the ten myths from the Teaching Tolerance article). Students
read their assigned section individually before breaking into groups to read it again out
loud. In their small groups students must come up with a two sentence summary of their
section that they must present to the class. Finally, the whole class comes together to read
the text and share their summaries.
3) The teacher creates a chart with two columns, strengths and stereotypes, on the board,
on a slideshow, or on a big sheet of paper. Using the information they learned in the
lesson the whole class fills in the two columns of the chart.

Beyond and Extension

1) In in small groups students can fill out the “L” (what did you learn about the topic,
2) Based on what students learned they can create a poster, poem, drawing, piece of art,
or action plan that expresses how/why schools can be safe and supportive for
immigrant students.
● Teachers can send student examples to Tim Monreal ( to
be featured on the South Carolina United With Immigrants website.

Other Extension Possibilities

1) Students complete role playing scenarios about immigrants and/or other marginalized
student groups
● See Teaching Tolerance’s (n.d.) Role Playing resources for examples
2) Students write letters to local elected officials about the need to provide safe and
supportive schools for immigrant students.
3) Students can work with other students, staff, and administration to create an action
plan to improve their school’s support of immigrant students.

Additional Resources
● Refugee and Immigrants Youth and Bullying in School: Frequently Asked Questions
(Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services, 2010)
● United States Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina Civil Rights Program

American Immigration Council. (2017). Immigrants in South Carolina. Retrieved from
Artiga, S., & Ubri, P. (2017). Living in an Immigrant Family in America: How Fear and Toxic
Stress are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Retrieved from
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services. (2010). Refugee and Immigrant Youth and
Bullying: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from
Facing History. (n.d.). K-W-L Charts. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from
Green, M. (2017, November 1). Interactive Timeline: The Twisted Roots of America’s
Immigration System (with Lesson Plan). Retrieved March 26, 2018, from
KCPT. (2017). To Be Happy | An Immigrant Student’s Tale. Retrieved from
Lei, I. T. (2017, December 12). Time to break the myth: there’s no such thing as a “good” or
“bad” immigrant. The Guardian. Retrieved from
National Immigration Forum. (2017, February 21). Maria’s Story. Retrieved March 25, 2018,
Ratsabout, S. (2013). Minnesota’s Immigrants | Saengmany Ratsabout. Minnesota Digital
Library. Retrieved from
Teaching Tolerance. (n.d.). Appendix B: Role-playing. Retrieved March 26, 2018, from
Teaching Tolerance. (2011). Ten Myths About Immigration. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from