Sunday, October 21, 2007

Takaki Chapter 8 and Group Work

I have never been a fan of working in groups. I find it much easier to work alone and have control of the results of a project. My experience with group projects has been pretty bad even if the final results were good.

If I had my druthers I would always let people work individually on a project or exercise. However my colleagues at work love group assignments and almost always encourage teachers to work together in groups. I go along because they I don't want to rock the boat and for the most part the teachers like to work in groups as well.

This week I will break the class into groups and have each group focus on a specific aspect of Chinese immigration. I will have one group create testimony that they would give to Congress in support of the Chinese Exclusion act. I would have another testify against the act. I would have one group represent a Chinese man living in the United States without his family and the benefits of staying in the United States vs returning to China. I would have a fourth group represent the family left behind in China and the impact of this person not being in China to support the family. The last group would represent a person who has lost a job due to Chinese immigration. I would have each group do research and then present their materials to the class showing the different aspects of the issues relating to Chinese immigration.

In addition to Takaki I would have students look at the material from the Chinese in California Collection especially the themes presented within the collection, the California as I saw It collection of first person narratives about life in early California (a good example is The Last of the Mill Creeks, and Early life in Northern California, by Sim Moak which has a chapter that focuses on discrimination of Chinese immigrants after the Railroad Strike of 1877 and the presentation on the Chinese within the Immigration feature and the section on Immigration within the American Memory Timeline .

Outside of LC I would refer students to the California Historical Society California History online which has a wonderful section on Chinese Immigration to the United States, NARA's Our Documents collection that has information and an image of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the main NARA site with a section on searching for information relating to Chinese exclusion , the Chinese Historical Society of America which has a presentation on the Exclusion Acts and the PBS series on Becoming American that focused on Chinese Immigration.

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