Palouse Prairie 5th graders studied our country’s long history of social movements and people coming together to create change in their expedition, We
the People, Se Se Puede!
We began with early U.S history and the opposition against the British crown which led to the U.S Revolution and the making of a new country. While some may argue that protests are “unpatriotic”, the students came to see that dissent is one of the foundations of American identity. The language of our Founding Documents has legitimized countless social movements throughout our history, as Americans have demanded that the U.S live up to its ideals of “All men are created equal” and “We the people…”
Following early U.S history and learning about the government, our main emphasis was on Latinx Civil Rights of the 1960s and 1970s and contemporary immigration issues. Their product bloomed from a study on the 1960s migrant farm workers fight for justice. This movement, led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, eventually led to the recognition of The United Farm Workers Union. Students came to see how successful social movements aren’t spontaneous, but carefully organized. To help others recognize their lack of equality, farm workers and activists organized meetings, marches, protests, and boycotts, leading to a victory for California’s migrant farm workers.
However, upon researching and working with the University of Idaho’s College Assistant Migrant Program, the 5th graders learned that farm workers today still have many of the same issues—low wages, laws that don’t protect them, unhealthy working conditions, and other forms of discrimination.
In order to help raise awareness around this issue and help migrant farm workers, the students created linoleum block prints that represented migrant farm work and/or immigration. Posters with their artwork helped advertise for a hygiene drive for migrant farm workers of Idaho. Students also wrote descriptions of their artwork which are included in the materials download.
How This Project Can Be Useful
- Demonstrates the important role that outside experts can provide in both an information and motivational sense
- Shows a connection between history and the present which lead to a community action
- Eye-catching artwork spurs the audience to want to know more
- Downloadable material includes descriptions from each student
Common Core State Standards
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