The following lessons and materials were created by Laurisa Murray, a teacher at Mira Mesa High School, who incorporated immigration into a unit on racial profiling. This unit is part of the California State University (CSU) Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC). The profiling unit explores multiple forms of discrimination and profiling and debates the ideas as to the reasons and possible necessity for it. Students focus on reading texts with multiple views and perspectives and argue from those standpoints. The unit encourages growth from students in the areas of argument, collaborative discussion, multiple perspectives and reading with an emphasis of comprehension and author point-of-view.

Materials include:

  • An anticipatory set
    • Through role-playing different identities, students develop an understanding of certain vocabulary words associated with the unit, such as: identity, stereotype, discrimination and profiling. Students also have the opportunity to explore their own identity, discrimination and bias.
  • A lesson focused on SB 1070, an immigration law in Arizona
    • This lesson can be taught toward the end of the racial profiling unit that is part of ERWC. With this unit, students have previously read and studied different types of profiling, including: police profiling, hiring based on appearance and affirmative action. They have also practiced close-reading strategies with different articles about the topics. Additionally, they have worked on developing their own views and arguments on the topics. In this lesson, students first explore in-depth one stakeholder’s perspective on SB 1070. They then engage in a discussion where they have the opportunity to hear and challenge other perspectives. For homework, they are asked to enter the conversation themselves.
  • Socratic Seminar Assessment
    • This lesson plan serves as a way to assess students at the end of the profiling unit. It is a Socratic Seminar activity in which students are verbally assessed on their knowledge of a subject, their ability to synthesize and their ability to cite evidence from materials covered throughout the unit, such as: readings, films, visuals, etc. ERWC teaches students to “enter the conversation” and synthesize arguments. Mrs. Murray determined that teaching students to examine multiple perspectives, or “lenses”, was also necessary. This lesson also stemmed from the realization that in order for her students to be able to persuade and argue effectively, they needed to see all the issues and perspectives in the debate or conversation on the topic.
  • On Demand Essay Assessment
    • This prompt serves as an assessment piece for the unit. Students are asked to respond to the following question: “To what extent do you agree or disagree that discrimination and profiling is justified?” They must cite evidence from resources covered in the unit. Scoring is based off of the attached rubric (EPT Rubric).

These lessons address the following Common Core State Standards:

  • W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
  • RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RI.11-12.5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
  • RI.11-12.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing