UNM’s Latin American and Iberian Institute previously hosted a K-12 professional development workshop on teaching about the US-Mexico border. Keira and Katrina created an accompanying online resource for educators that I have personally found to be extremely helpful for understanding the complexity of the region.
Resources for Teaching about the Border is a gateway to dozens of carefully crafted K-12 lesson plans that were created by the Kellogg Institute, the Bracero History Archive, New Mexico State University’s Center for Latin American & Border Studies, Teaching Tolerance, and dozens of other reputable organizations.
Lesson plans cover diverse border issues in the areas of history, economics, immigration, media, and physical landscapes. Some examples include:
Border Legends, Myth & Folklore (NMSU): This lesson introduces students to the narrative forms and tales unique to the US-Mexico border. The lesson explores the modern “folklore” of the border region, focusing particularly on La Llorona and El Chupacabra.
Immigration Myths (Teaching Tolerance): Students confront the foundation of bigotry by dispelling stereotypes and myths associated with Mexican immigrants.
The Mexican Drug Wars on Twitter (NY Times Learning Network): In this unique lesson, students are introduced to drug trafficking and street level violence on the Mexican border. The lesson explores how social media can be used to intimidate and disseminate propaganda, or alternatively, as a powerful organizing tool.
Border Teatro (NMSU): Students analyze the unique elements of the Chicano art form of the theater. The lesson also explores the Chicano farmworker’s movement of the 1960s.
In addition to acting as a clearing house for border-themed lesson plans, Resources for Teaching about the Border provides access to historical documents, studies on borders and identity, photography exhibits, independent media, and other generally useful resources for learning about the topic. Feel free to explore.
Hope this helps,