Show the class a large world map and have each student put a colored pin on their country of
origin. Ask each one to give a brief description of his or her country. Allow time in class for the
students to make a drawing that represents an aspect of their native country.
Have a general discussion about the students' feelings about America. Keep a list on the
board of words they use to describe their new country.
NOTE: It is recommended that you view the film before showing it to students.
Introduce the film and give the students these questions as a focus for viewing:
Which student has experiences like yours?
Do any of the students express feelings that you sometimes have?
Let the students view the film in 10- to 20-minute segments and take notes in order to answer
the focus questions above. Have a class discussion after each segment, using the guidelines
described in the Post-Viewing discussion below.
Let the students first discuss their reactions to the film in small groups. Then open a class
discussion about the video. Give each student a chance to describe the parts that resonated
with him/her the most.
Specific questions to prompt discussion:
1. Could you identify with any of the teens in the film? In what way?
2. What were some of the challenges these students faced? Would adult immigrants face the
3. What do you think of the adults in the film? Do you think they should have acted differently?
4. How did you find the American students in the film? Do you think they should have acted
Have the students start a journal that they will write in throughout the school year. They can
express themselves in writing or through drawings if they prefer. Let them write their first entry
in their native language, even if their English skills are relatively good. Later in the year, they
may want to translate this into English. Topic suggestions include:
· the trip to America
· first impressions of their new country
· people who helped them or people who didn't
· feelings about their new school
· making new friends
Set aside some class time each week for the students to write in their journals.
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