Twelfth Grade Hispanic/Latino Curriculum Lesson Plan Puerto Rican Migration to the United States

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1 Twelfth Grade Hispanic/Latino Curriculum Lesson Plan Puerto Rican Migration to the United States Content/Theme: Grade Level: Textbook Connection: Migration 12 th Grade United States Government - Democracy in Action, Glencoe. Unit 5, Chapter 14, Section 1 A Nation of Immigrants pg Benchmarks: S.S.B.2.2: Understands past and present trends in human migration and cultural interaction and their impact on physical and human systems. S.S.C.2.4: Understands the distinction between citizens and non citizens and the process of citizenship. Time: Two to Three class periods. Objectives: 1. To understand the social and cultural impact of Puerto Rican migration. 2. To understand the concept of migration vs. immigration. 3. To write descriptive essays. 4. To obtain information from various sources. Materials: Videotape Puerto Ricans (can be obtained as a loan from the Department of Multicultural Education Call Sandy Mann at ). Attached reading selection. Preparation: The videotape should be available and ready for the first class period. Make enough copies of the reading selection for all the students. Activities: 1. Start the class period with a brainstorming activity to assess what students know about migration vs. immigration. Have students record answers or record them on the board or an overhead. 2. Ask the students what they know about Puerto Rican migration. Use a map to point out the island of Puerto Rico and its relation to the United States. Point out the major areas of Puerto Rican settlement in the United States mainland. 3. Write the following major points on the board or use an overhead projector: = United States took possession of the island 2. Jones Act of 1917 = Granting citizenship 3. Greatest migration = One million migrants 4. Let the students know that they will be watching a videotape. Ask the students to think, take notes, and provide answers to the following questions. (Teacher may allow students to view the video privately so he/she may pause the tape to digest the information being presented at various times.) Why did Puerto Ricans begin migrating? Why do Puerto Ricans migrate rather than immigrate? Why is the United States referred to as the mainland in relation to Puerto Rico?

2 Should Puerto Ricans be welcome to migrate on and off the mainland based on economic conditions? Is it right for one country to possess another place? Should the United States offer Puerto Rico independence? Statehood? Commonwealth status? What are the differences between the three generations of Puerto Rican women documented on the video? What are the similarities between the three generations of Puerto Rican women documented on the video? 5. After watching the videotape, divide the class in groups of four or six students and ask them to discuss their notes. Ask two or three groups to share the results of their discussions with the class. 6. Provide copies of the reading passage below for the students to read at home as homework. Tell them that they will receive a quiz the following class about the information included in the videotape and the reading selection. 7. Start the next class period by asking the students to answer the attached multiplechoice questionnaire. Collect the questionnaires and score them. 8. After the questionnaires have been collected, divide the students into the same groups and ask them to collectively write an essay that answers ALL three of the following: (Teachers may have students choose to give a speech about their topic.) Discuss different views of race in Puerto Rico and the United States. What was the Jones Act and how did it affect Puerto Rico? Is discrimination on the basis of social status, culture or race justified? Should Puerto Rico be given statehood? 9. Ask a student representative from each group to present the essay to the rest of the class. 10. Facilitate a whole-class discussion on the issues presented by the essay 11. Collect the essays from each group and score them. ESOL Strategies: Cooperative Learning, Read aloud, Visuals Assessment: 1. Student participation and presentations. 2. Attached multiple-choice questionnaire. 3. Student essays using the information that appears on the attached reading passage, the videotape, and other methods of gathering information used by the students. References and Additional Resources: Dinnerstein, Leonard, Roger Nichols and David Reimers. (1990). Natives and strangers Blacks, Indians and immigrants in America. Second Edition. New York: Oxford UP. Marden, Charles F. & Gladys Meyer. (1978). Minorities in American society. Fifth Edition. New York: D. Van Nostrand. Multicultural peoples of North America video series: Puerto Ricans. Videotape. Schlessinger Video Productions.

3 Puerto Rican Migration to the United States Puerto Ricans are one of the largest Hispanic groups in the United States. They have lived in the United States for over two hundred years. Their relationship with the United States has been shaped by the age of imperialism, particularly the years The Jones Act of 1917 made all Puerto Ricans, whether they lived in Puerto Rico or in the United States, citizens of the United States. Since then, as citizenship requires, Puerto Ricans have been soldiers in U.S. uniform in every foreign war of conflict of the United States. Puerto Rico has produced its share of important actors, musicians, baseball players, executives, and politicians. General checkpoints on Puerto Rican Migration to the United States All Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States by birth. Puerto Ricans have the same privileges and rights as other citizens of the United States. They have the same monetary system as the rest of the United States, they use the same passport when they travel abroad and they have fought and died for their country, like many other Americans in the every war since, and including, World War I. Puerto Ricans make up the second largest group of Hispanics living in the mainland United States (Mexicans are the first). According to the 2000 census, 3.5 million Puerto Ricans live in the United States and Alaska and Hawaii, and nearly 4 million live on the island of Puerto Rico. Spanish is the official language of Puerto Rico, however, many Puerto Ricans also fluently read, write, and speak English. Puerto Ricans frequently travel between the mainland (United States) and the island of Puerto Rico. Family, economic opportunity, and vacationing are some of the reasons for this frequent travel. Since Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States, their migration to the mainland is no different than New Yorkers traveling to Florida for the winter. Puerto Ricans have made important contributions to the United Sates in every walk of public life. In addition to fighting in U.S. military uniform, they have been important actors, musicians, baseball players, executives, and politicians. Some of the most famous Puerto Ricans are the following: Ricky Martin, Rita Moreno, Roberto Clemente, Raúl Julia, Tito Puente, Jennifer López, and Marc Anthony. The Jones Act of 1917 and the Age of Imperialism Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship when Congress passed the Jones Act of Congress was forced to act because Puerto Ricans were dissatisfied with the way they were being treated by the United States at that time. It was important to the United States during World War I to have good relations with Puerto Rico and its people. The Jones Act also made Puerto Ricans available for the draft. Nearly 20,000 Puerto Ricans served alongside other Americans in U.S. uniform. In the years , the United States intervened militarily in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. United States soldiers directly ruled several of these places and the United States had a heavy influence on the politics and economics of all of them.

4 The United States government first took interest in Puerto Rico because of the Spanish-American War of The United States felt that it must control Puerto Rico as a matter of national defense. The United Sates felt that if it did not control Puerto Rico, a foreign power would take control of the island. The Spanish-American War ended in 1898, but the United States Marines directly ruled Puerto Rico from The United States justified its actions with the Monroe Doctrine (1823) and the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (1904). The Monroe Doctrine proclaimed U.S. policy not to accept any new imperialism in the western hemisphere. The Roosevelt Corollary gave the United States the right to intervene in other countries in the western hemisphere in order to maintain stability. Both the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary were important because they were the foundation of U.S. foreign policy in the western hemisphere. Neither, however, was ever passed as an act of Congress. Consequently, neither had the moral force of law. The United States Congress passed the Foraker Act in The Foraker Act established a civilian government in place of the U.S. Marines, but the government was still tightly controlled by the United States. The president of the United States directly appointed all top officials. The United States Congress reserved the right both to nullify legislation passed by Puerto Rico s Chamber of Deputies and to pass legislation directly for Puerto Rico. The Foraker Act strengthened U.S. control over Puerto Rico. It no longer seemed that the U.S. government was imposing its will since the U.S. Marines were gone; however, Puerto Ricans hardly had more say in their government than before. Since the U.S. government was no longer using military might, its control of the Puerto Rican government seemed more legitimate to the rest of the world. Puerto Ricans were not happy with the Foraker Act. They put pressure on the U.S. government to give them greater autonomy. The Jones Act was the result of this pressure. The Jones Act did not give Puerto Rico greater autonomy as an island, but it did give individual Puerto Ricans more freedom as citizens of the United States. Puerto Rico and United States Business The United States profited economically from its relationship with Puerto Rico. Labor costs were cheaper than in the mainland United States and, consequently, profits were higher. Sugar grew particularly well in Puerto Rico and it was also in high demand on the world market. Several U.S. businessmen made fortunes in Puerto Rico. The profits gained by U.S. business did not benefit most Puerto Ricans. In 1930, three absentee sugar corporations controlled 59% of the island s wealth. The sugar industry employed many Puerto Ricans, but this made the Puerto Rican economy fragile. When disaster struck sugar plantations, as it did when major hurricanes hit in the 1920s and 1930s, it also struck Puerto Ricans, who were left without work. The growth of the sugar industry had weakened other industries that were less wealthy and that could not complete with the sugar industry for workers. These industries, consequently, could not absorb the surplus workers suddenly created by natural disaster. With no other place to go, many Puerto Ricans went to the mainland United States.

5 The influence of the United States on Puerto Rico s economy directly affects the rate of migration to the United States mainland. When the economy is poor, more Puerto Ricans move to the United States. When the economy is strong, migration decreases. The Role of Culture Many people in the United States government felt culturally superior to Puerto Ricans. Anti-Spanish rhetoric in the United States was very strong during the Spanish-American War of 1898 and afterwards. The opposition to Spain, the country, spread to all things that had Spanish influence, including Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans showed their political abilities many times. They fought alone for independence in 1868 and forced the Spanish government to grant them a considerable amount of autonomy including a locally elected government and elected representation in Spain s Parliament. It was their pressure again that led to the passage of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico did have a different culture from the mainland United States; however, this did not mean that Puerto Ricans did not know how to be politically organized. Attempts were made to abolish Spanish as the official language of Puerto Rico, even though Puerto Ricans had spoken Spanish for over four hundred years. Officials from the United States tried to make English the official language, but they failed.

6 Puerto Rican Migration to the United States Name Date 1. Which statement best described the status of Puerto Ricans? a. Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States. b. Puerto Ricans are migrant workers c. Puerto Ricans are immigrants with special privileges in the United States. d. Puerto Ricans have their own nationality in Puerto Rico, but automatically become citizens when they travel to the United States. 2. The document that gave Puerto Ricans their current status in the United States is: a. The Monroe Doctrine b. The Foraker Act c. The Constitution of the United States d. The Jones Act 3. The United States decided to annex Puerto Rico because: a. Puerto Ricans asked them do so. b. Puerto Rico was important to the U.S. militarily and economically. c. Puerto Rico was about to invade Cuba. d. Puerto Rico would provide many soldiers to fight in World War I. 4. After the United States annexed Puerto Rico, most Puerto Ricans: a. Were happy because they now had more jobs and could play baseball. b. Were resentful because they were not asked if they wanted annexation. c. Were indifferent because life did not change much. d. Were motivated to move to the United States so that they would improve their lives. 5. Which of the following best describes how Puerto Rico s annexation most benefited the United States? a. The United States did not benefit from annexing Puerto Rico. b. The United States no longer had to pay tariffs on goods sold in Puerto Rico. c. United States businesses profited from cheap labor costs, Puerto Ricans served in all U.S. wars, and they have contributed to life in the U.S. in many other ways. d. The United States was able to produce more sugar do domestic consumption.

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