VIDA ~ Values for Immigrants Discovering America
Overview Freedom, liberty, rights, responsibilities. What motivates new immigrants to adopt these values? Stories of our heroes, past and present, can challenge youngsters to read about leaders in the news. They integrate Internet research and computer technology with their study of American history and literature. Then, students compare patriots from the past ~ George Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Dr. Martin Luther Jr., etc. ~ with present day patriots ~ Secretary of State Colin Powell, Congresswoman Nydia Vasquez and Governor Gary Locke, etc. They identify values-related quotations and begin portfolios that eventually include persuasive essays, family interviews, letters to elected officials, poems and reflections. Reading stories about Coming to America with non-bilingual kindergartners improves literacy skills and underscores the diversity of America. Local veterans, clergy and older students visit the class and show how good citizens can enjoy a VIDA or LIFE ~ full of positive values and democratic principles.
Assessment Teacher checks & scores documents in portfolios. Progress in Social Studies and oral English is evaluated by frequent teacher/student conferences and written teacher feedback.
Software or Materials Used For Word Processing, Desktop Publishing, Graphics: Microsoft Office; for illustrating documents: KidPix; for Internet research: Navigator & Explorer; for documentation: digital and 35mm camera; for books on Coming to America.
Web Sites Web Sites on Patriots Past & Present
Keywords American values, American history, Bill of Rights, citizenship, Coming to America, Declaration of Independence, democracy, flag, freedom, immigrants, patriotism, patriots, peace, conflict resolution, responsibilities, rights, poetry, military, The Constitution of the United States, veterans, work ethic
Final Words When new immigrant students investigate American values through news and literature, they balance their own perceptions with those of their parents and other community members. This is an enormous step toward developing a love for one's adopted country and exploring citizenship.
Teacher Tip Internet research enables developing citizens to participate in an ongoing dialogue about the true meaning of patriots. It is also important that students describe their own Coming to America stories to each other before they work with younger children.
E-mail contact Raymundo Rustrian firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher Bio Raymundo Rustrian (now at Guild Elementary School) taught Grade 5 Spanish bilingual students at the Ohrenberger Elementary School. Former banker, oil industry researcher and feature writer, he brings to the classroom a business perspective that motivates students to prepare for successful careers. A devout believer in the power of art to inspire learning, he integrates his own watercolor and chalk designs into daily lessons. This teacher capitalizes on his experience as an immigrant from Mexico by celebrating the several Hispanic cultures in his classroom and emphasizing the importance of English for active participation in our democracy. Selected as Teacher of the Year in his school's West Roxbury neighborhood, Raymundo is the recipient of several grants that recognize excellence in education.
Subject Areas Social Studies, English Language Arts
Grade Levels K - 5
Students Bilingual upper elementary students tutor Regular Education and SPED kindergartners