Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

¡Huelga! A Social Studies Unit on the Farm Worker Movement

This curricular unit contains six (6) 75-minute lessons in Social Studies for grades 6-8. The unit is centered on history and civics themes relevant to migrant farm labor movements. Lessons can be used as they are written, or they can be adjusted to meet the needs of each classroom. This unit was developed by Erin Lierl, who currently teaches part-time in a New Orleans charter high school while pursuing her M.A. at Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

The curriculum utilizes the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History by the National Council for the Social Studies. The unit follows the C3’s inquiry arc, comprising four sequential dimensions: 1) Forming Questions, 2) Applying Disciplinary Concepts and Tools, 3) Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence, and 4) Communicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action.

In Dimension 1, students are exposed to issues surrounding migrant farm labor in the United States and develop compelling and supporting questions for potential research. In Dimension 2, students learn about the history of the farm worker movement led by Larry Itliong, Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta and apply civics concepts to explain the role of labor unions. Participating in a mock trial, students organize evidence and make arguments about the past through role play and reflection. In Dimension 3, students evaluate evidence for reliability and relevance. They approach supporting questions through basic internet search skills.

Finally, in Dimension 4, students design community organizations and action plans intended to address issues they have discovered through research. They design posters which can be used to communicate conclusions through grade-level or school-wide exhibitions. The culminating project also presents the possibility of students creating sustained civic engagement through the organization of authentic community projects.

A PDF of the Complete Curricular Unit is available for download. Please note that the links to the student packets and PowerPoints cannot be accessed directly from the Complete Curriculum Unit. These packets and PowerPoints are available for download from each Dimension listed below.

RELEVANT RESOURCES The following books are available for check-out from the Lending Library:
  • The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, by Francisco Jiménez
  • Cesar Chavez: A Photographic Essay, by Ivan Stavans
  • Strike! The Farm Workers’ Fight for Their Rights, by Larry Dane Brimmer

Explore these books, and other print items and films available for check-out through the Latin American Resource Center Lending Library. Explore historic and current labor organizations and worker movements in Latin America and the United States by viewing the Lending Library Guide: Labor Organizers and Worker Movements.


General Latin America + People
Nora Lustig
Professor - Economics, Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Latin American Economics