The issue of immigration and young people, even small children crossing Mexico and then attempting to cross the treacherous stretch of desert into the United States is sad and alarming considering the deaths that continue to multiply each year. The poet Martín Espada, one of our greatest living poets who follows in the tradition of Pablo Neruda or Walt Whitman’s zeal for democratic activism, wrote a beautiful poem based on a real life incident in his life. He states in an interview that he didn’t have the vocabulary for the poem for nearly thirty years. It is written in the style of a corrido.
The resource includes a link to a video interview, links to the text of the poem, the video of his reading the poem, links to resources about conducting Socratic Seminars, and links to The New York Times series Room for Debate on “How to Stop the Surge of Migrant Children.” There is a link to an NPR story on corridos and immigration. The teaching packet contains a guide for conducting Socratic Seminars in a manner that allows for an organic fluid discussion, with a unique scoring rubric. This is perfect for AP Literature, AP English Language, American Literature, SAT/ACT review and Common Core assessment. Common Core standards included.
Key words: AP English Language, AP English Literature, American Literature, argument, immigration, poetry, sociology, economics, social justice, Martin Espada, non-fiction, corridos, Mexico, Common Core standards
Update for September 2016: Inserted cover image onto product. Added CNN video on migrant children and a Junot Diaz interview with Stephen Colbert. Added writing prompt and lesson for it. Added audio of Espada reading the poem. Added Toolbox of poetry analysis videos. Add rhetorical triangle graphic organizer.