Manual Lesson Plans And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

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Linking to Today: Living on Low Wages. Migrant farm workers today still have low annual incomes. Have them assume that they must pay for housing, food, clothing, medical care, and other expenses. What conclusions can they draw?

Teaching And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

Challenge students to work in small groups to design comfortable but inexpensive temporary housing for migrant workers. Each group might create a blueprint of their design and include specifications for materials. Students might consider housing units for families of four, six, or eight. Fruits and Routes. Have students conduct research on the three main migrant labor routes of the s—one branching out from Texas, one from California, and one from Florida. Have students make a map showing these routes. Students might include symbols and a key showing some of the crops harvested, and they might note the ethnic groups that made up each stream of migrant laborers.

Many photographers have documented the lives of migrant farm workers, including such well-known photographers as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, who worked for the WPA during the Great Depression of the s. In this project, students will prepare a photographic exhibit of migrant life from the s through the s, showing how the life has changed and how it remains the same. Suggested Procedure: Divide the students into three groups. Have each group select one of these three time periods: the ss, the ss, and the ss. Instruct each group to do research to find documentary photographs of migrant farm workers.

Suggest that students research not only under the subject of migrant farm workers but also under documentary photography. While some students select photographs, others might research information to prepare captions and other text for their exhibits. Each group should prepare a visual exhibit that includes a title, photographs, captions and explanatory report. Students might also include charts or graphs in their exhibits.

And the Earth Did Not Devour Him Lesson Plans

Lead students in a class discussion on what they can infer about migrant life through the years from the three exhibits. There were a few plays, mostly material from El Teatro Campesino. And there were a few short stories available from small, grassroots publishers.

The explosion of Chicano literature was just around the corner. In that first Chicano lit class I took we mostly relied on Mexican materials.

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You get the picture. I was a pretty voracious reader in high school. I read all the typical American writers that the English teachers recommended. I was enthralled by stories and ideas that were far removed from my own experiences growing up on L. I was captivated by different characters and moved by their motivations and desires and goals — and setbacks.

But I was always looking for characters who looked like my family, talked like my family and, essentially, acknowledged that people like us existed. As a kid in the library the closest I got to that, it seemed, were some works by Steinbeck which included occasional glimpses into the lives of Mexican Americans or Mexicans. Again, this was forty years ago.

Here was a book that — what do you know?


It was about tios and tias and abuelitos. It was about the kind of backbreaking work that many of our families did at one time or another. It was about dreams and meditations that meant something to us. It was about characters and stories and ideas that were ours, as well as being universal. It was a revelation to read that little book so many years ago.

It breaks lots of rules about the structures of literature. It makes up its own rules in some cases.

… And the Earth Did Not Devour Him |

There is no clearly identified central protagonist. There is not really a linear narrative. There is not a cavalcade of named characters with motivations and idiosyncrasies that we customarily follow.