Kids #TalkJustice Immigration
In the United States immigration is a polarizing issue. My family has lived very close to it through Kris’ work with the Office of Social Justice. No matter where your opinion lies, understanding and looking at the big picture of global immigration is eye-opening.
Start by talking through your own ancestors journey to the United States, Canada or wherever you call home. Most likely, there is a story there. The story probably mirrors the story of immigrants today seeking a better life for their families.
Talk about Jesus’ clear call to welcome the stranger in our midst. You will be pretty amazed at kids ability to grasp this one. I see it everyday play out in our school with a large immigrant population. When Kris brings home pictures from the border or teaching aides, our kids stare at them with surprise. They ask with wonder, “there is really a wall like that?”
That is why we talk justice, to assure them that their childlike hearts are pretty perfect the way they are.
Immigration Discussion Starters:
Help your family go deeper:
- Talk about root causes of immigration-
- looking for jobs to provide for their families
- to be re-united with family
- fleeing violence, gangs, war
- religious or ethnic persecution
- Does America use immigrant labor? Do we use low-skilled workers to do jobs not many others choose to do?
- What might happen to our food sources if their was no farm labor?
- How do you feel about a wall separating two nations?
- Some families wait 15-20 years for a green card to see their families. What do you think of this time period?
- What if you found out as a teenager that you were not a legal citizen, but had lived in the United States most of your life?
- Some families live in constant fear of separation- how might this effect your family?
- Would you hope others might change laws that this is not a reality anymore?
- How can you welcome immigrants in your community?
- How can you honor culture and traditions that are not your own?
- How can you reach out to students in your school that are new immigrants?
Kids Books about Immigration:
Brothers in Hope by: Mary Williams
One Green Apple by: Eve Bunting
Waiting for Papa’ by: Renee Colato Lainez
The Colour of Home by: Mary Hoffman
The Name Jar by: Yangsook Choi
Inside Out and Back Again by: Thannha Lai
Migrant by: Maxine Trattier
From North to South by: Rene Colato Lainez
My Diary From Here to There by: Amada Irma Perez
Goodbye 382 Shin Dang Dong by: Frances Park
14 Ways to Take Action!
- Explore stories of kids who recently emigrated to the United States from Scholastic
- Take a virtual field trip of Ellis Island
- Use immigration lesson plans from PBS teachers
- Play the immigration game at tenement.org
- Use dozens of lesson plans from tenement.org
- Watch the Great American Melting Pot from Schoolhouse Rock
- Use this lesson plan about The American Dream
- Interactive lesson On the Fence about the US and Mexico Border
- Look through the photos of NPR On the Road: Borderland
- Watch Papers the documentary film about undocumented youth for older kids
- Read through 40 days of Scripture “I Was a Stranger” Challenge
- Read two poetic views of immigration
- Send a card to detained Moms and their children in the Angel to Angel Project
- Watch refugee and asylum seeking children tell their stories
An immigration Twitter List to follow
Follow our About Proximity #TalkJustice Pinterest Board.
#TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. Invite friends! We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.
What is your families immigrant story? How has someone from another culture deepened your life? What does welcoming the stranger mean to you?