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This lesson plan is on Cesar Chavez and the difference that a single person can make

Subjects:

Language Arts, Social Studies  

Grades:

2, 3, 4  

Title – Cesar Chavez Lesson Plan
By – Nathan Simmons
Subject – Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level – 2-4
Nathan Simmons

Lesson Plan: Cesar Chavez

Content Standard: Understand the importance of individual action and character and explain how heroes from long ago and the recent past make a difference in others’ lives

Performance Standard: Read and listen to biographies on Cesar Chavez and explain his significance in the past and present

Measurable Objectives: By the end of the lesson, students should be able to know and/or do the following:
1. Students will interpret and use timelines to map out Cesar Chavez’s life
2. Students will analyze multiple causes and effects of Cesar Chavez’s actions to help migrant farm workers
3. Students will map out the areas on a California map that Cesar worked and helped the migrant farm workers

Skill Objectives:
1. Read Cesar Chavez and La Causa by Naurice Roberts
2. Listen to teacher read Cesar Chavez by Ruth Franchere and fill-in taking notes sheet
3. Write quick writes throughout discussing why Cesar Chavez is an important person in history

Key Vocabulary:
Boycott: a peaceful way of protesting by asking people not to buy a certain things
Fasting: another peaceful way to protest by not eating food for a period of time
Huelga: Spanish word for strike
Migrant farm workers: farm workers that move to different farms to find work
Pesticides: poison used to kill bugs on plants at farms
Protest: to say that you don’t like something
Stoop Labor: work that causes a person to bend over all day
Strike: a group of people who stop working to protest unfair conditions in their jobs
Union: a group of workers uniting to discuss their jobs

Materials/Resources needed:
Cesar Chavez by Ruth Franchere
Cesar Chavez and La Causa by Naurice Roberts
Cesar Chavez: Leader for Migrant Farm Workers by Doreen Gonzales
Map of California
Taking notes Graphic Organizer
Key Vocabulary Sheet
Timeline Graphic Organizer
K-W-L Diagram
Vocabulary/Effects Graphic Organizer
Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer

Into Activities:
Activity 1
1. Show a map of California; point specific areas where Cesar Chavez worked and lived
2. Since he was a migrant farm worker, be sure to point out different towns and cities in San Joaquin Valley and other parts of California (Half Moon Bay, San Jose, Fresno, Sacramento, Bakersfield)

Activity 2
1. Hand-out Key Vocabulary sheet
2. Demonstrate vocabulary words to help students visualize farm work, for example, “stoop labor” students could bend over and pick up objects for a period of time to get a feel of stoop labor
3. Demonstrate by acting-out a strike or protest to help students visualize vocabulary

Activity3
1. Preview texts that students and teacher will be reading, by showing the covers of the books
2. Show pictures from the books

Activity 4
1. Have students think about the vocabulary and pictures and do a quick write for five minutes in their journals about “Why they think Cesar Chavez is an important person”

Cesar Chavez
What I Know What I want to know What I learned
Activity 5
1. Post a large K-W-L diagram: in the front of the class on the blackboard

2. Ask students questions about what they know about Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers; fill-in first section of diagram with their answers
3. Ask students what they want to know about Cesar Chavez, fill-in second section of diagram with their answers
4. Leave diagram in front of class until the end of lesson

Through Activities:
Activity 1
1. Hand out taking notes sheet to students with the following topic questions on them: How did Cesar Chavez help migrant farm workers? What were the reasons did he have for helping the migrant farm workers? How has Cesar Chavez affected farm workers today? Where did Cesar Chavez work and help farm workers?
2. Read excerpts from Cesar Chavez: Leader For Migrant Farm Workers, including excerpts from primary and secondary sources from the book, for example, on page 42, read field workers explanation on why farm workers don’t complain about their work. Also, read descriptions of stoop labor
3. Have upper-level students cooperatively read Cesar Chavez and La Causa and fill-out taking notes sheet
4. While upper-level students read their books, read Cesar Chavez to the rest of the class; have them fill-out taking notes sheet

Activity 2
1. Teacher reads excerpts from Cesar Chavez: Leader For Migrant Farm Workers, primarily from chapter 5 “Huelga!”
2. Lecture about how Cesar used different peaceful ways to protest: boycotts, strikes, fasts
3. Demonstrate effectiveness of each example by having students fill-out worksheets based on vocabulary, like this one:
Vocabulary Definition Effect
Boycott A peaceful way of protesting by asking people not to buy a certain things Farm owners can’t make money because no one is buying their products
Strike A group of people that stop working to protest unfair conditions at their jobs Farm owners have no one to work on farms, the crops rot and die causing farm owners to lose money
Fasting A peaceful way to protest by not eating food and only drinking water for a period of time Gains sympathy from people to acknowledge protest
4. Parts of “Effect” on graphic organizer can be blank and students have to fill-in what they think the effects are

Activity 3
1. In groups, students will answer comprehension questions. Questions will relate to topic questions on taking note sheets. They can use their notes and books to answer questions.
2. Use lightweight questions for basic understanding of general information, such as, When was Cesar Chavez born? Where was Cesar Chavez born? What is a migrant farm worker? What is stoop labor?
3. Use heavyweight questions to help students gain understanding of more complex issues in Cesar Chavez’s life, such as, What are all the ways Cesar Chavez protested the unfair treatment of the migrant farm workers. Give five reasons why Cesar Chavez wanted to help the farm workers? In your opinion, should Cesar Chavez help the migrant farm workers? Why did the farm workers need Cesar Chavez to help them? What were the causes that made Cesar Chavez want to help the migrant farm workers?

Activity 4
1. Have students fill-out cause and effect sheet, which analyzes Cesar Chavez’s life in chronological order
Causes:1. Cesar’s family can’t pay the taxes on their farm2. Cesar’s family can’t find work 3. Cesar works on the farms4. Cesar joins the CSO (Community Service Organization)5. Cesar was not happy about the farm workers where treated, not enough is done to help them, he organizes the workers in marches and strikes Effect:1. Cesar Chavez moves to California2. Cesar family has to move where they can find work, Cesar goes to over 30 schools3. Realizes how hard the work is, feels bad for the poor farm workers4. CSO helps farmers register to vote, sets up meetings where farm workers can discuss problems5. Farm workers strike demanding fare wages, Cesar asks for nationwide boycotts on grapes, he fast as a peaceful protest to gain sympathy from the nation, new laws are made to help farm workers
2. The students should have most of these issues on their sheets:
3. For lower-level students, leave out parts of “Cause” or “Effect” and have them fill it in

Activity 5
1. Have students fill-out a timeline of important events in Cesar Chavez’s life: When he was born, when he moved to California, when he graduated from the eighth grade, when he joins CSO, when he begins strikes, when he starts fasting, when he died
2. Students shouldn’t focus on dates; they should focus more on getting the correct order
3. For upper-level students, have them fill out a blank timeline; lower-level students can fill-in partially done timeline

Activity 6
1. Have a large blank map of California and have students fill-in at least five cities and towns where Cesar worked and helped the migrant farm workers
2. Students should be able to point out or draw a circle where San Joaquin Valley

Beyond Activities:
Activity 1
1. Have students do a quick write for five minutes on the topic “After reading about Cesar Chavez, why is he an important person in history?”

Activity 2
1. Read last 5 pages of Cesar Chavez: Leader For Migrant Farm Workers, emphasize to students that Cesar Chavez accomplished everything through non-violent ways
2. Have students get in small groups and discuss other ways Cesar Chavez could have helped migrant farm workers through non-violence
3. Have each group think of one way and present their ideas to the class

Activity 3
1. Refer to K-W-L diagram and ask students what they learned? Fill-in their answers

Assessment:
1. Have students either write a letter to Cesar Chavez, that could be sent to his wife, and in the letter have them thank him for helping the migrant farm workers or have them write a paper on “What do you think would happen to the migrant farm workers, if Cesar Chavez was never alive”
2. They can use all their notes, books, and materials to help them write their assignment

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