This is a collection of 3 activities to do with your middle school students to inform them on the topic of Puerto Rican statehood. This topic has been debated and voted upon numerous times in recent US history, and is especially relevant today. Through small and large group readings, discussions, and videos, students learn about the topic so that they can make an informed decision on their position. You can do 1, 2 or all 3 activities and still educate your students on the topic, depending on how much time you'd like to spend.
Brief summary of the activities:
Activity 1: Students are grouped together, and each group reads a different article and answers basic comprehension questions. Then as a class, students share what they've learned. The articles (which are MLA cited at the end of this document) provide information on different important aspects concerned in the Puerto Rico statehood debate (geography, economy, pros and cons)
Activity 2: As a class, students watch two short news videos on previous Puerto Rican statehood debates to learn the pros and cons of the situation. There are large group discussion questions that follow.
Activity 3: Independently, students read an article that discuss the pros and cons of Puerto Rican statehood. Students then get in groups and are given a side on the issue (pro statehood or anti-statehood). Groups then come up with reasons to support their position. Groups share their reasons as we make a large pro and con chart together as a class. Then students anonymously vote on the statehood issue.