Enrique’s American Dream (Book Creation)

By Luis H, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • High School


  • Current Events

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Lesson Time

540 minutes. Plus a longer period to accommodate guest.


Now days there is a misconception and lack of understanding regarding Latino young children immigrating to the United States. As a project in our High School Spanish class our students will interview ESL students that went through that traumatic experience, create and design a small book to share their stories with the Middle school Spanish class students. This lesson will give a true account of the ordeal, pain and suffering young children endure to come into this country. Our students will learn to transmit and transform that information by designing a young children’s book.  

National Standards

Visual Arts:   Standard 1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes to the visual arts. Language Arts:   Standard 1. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process. Standard 3. Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions. Standard 4. Gathers and uses information for research purposes. Standard 8. Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.   Thinking and Reasoning:   Standard 2. Understand and applies basic principles of logic and reasoning. Standard 5. Applies basic trouble-shooting and problem-solving techniques. Standard 6. Applies decision-making techniques.


Students will:
  • Understand the unimaginable hardship and peril many Central American children go through their travel from their countries to America to find a better way of life here in the USA.
  • Understand the reality of families torn apart and the modern immigrant experience.
  • Identify the reasons and motives that force so many families to break apart to pursuits the American dream.
  • Demonstrate artistic abilities through design.
  • Write and illustrate a book for younger audiences about Enrique’s Journey.


Book “Enrique’s journey” by Sonia Nasario. Book “The Immigrant Experience” by Thomas C. Wheeler. Interview ESL students that migrated to the USA. A local designer that can meet with students to help them put together a book, give them ideas to how design a book for younger audiences.


Computer with internet access Sketch/drawing paper Crayons Tape Glue Construction paper Scissors Stapler Markers Composition books


Words related to the particular topic. Ilegales Mojados La bestia Madrinas Arrocera Migra Frontera El bus de lagrimas


Day 1 and 2. Students will read “Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario.   Day 3. Students will read “The Immigrant Experience” by Thomas C. Wheeler.   Day 4. Teacher will make arrangements to invite ESL students to his/her class and interview them about their journey from their countries to the USA. Teacher should discuss beforehand what questions to ask. If limited English, teacher may translate the questions and answers.   Day 5. Break students into groups to start working on the project of creating a book for younger children. The teacher will explain that each group is responsible for creating a book for younger audiences based on the first hand stories from the ESL student’s experiences. The information from the books, Enrique’s Journey, “The Immigrant Experience” is to be use as references. The pages must include illustrations of the most important, dramatic, tense, and joyous moments. The use of simple sentences to explain the story’s plot, and any brief explanations they can provide to help American children understand aspects of Hispanic culture.   Day 6. Students will use the internet to research more about Latin culture. Library books will be available for research and or examples. Students will spend entire periods designing and /or creating children’s books. Students may draw their own pictures, use clipart, magazine clippings, etc. The point is to be creative and learn about creating and designing a book for younger students.   Day 7. Bring a guest presenter that can help students with the task of crating, designing, and producing children’s books.   Day 8. After the students learn about children’s books, Latino culture, and storytelling in class they will have the opportunity to build up, redesign, improve, change, and/or modify their books.   Day 9. Students will showcase their designs in front of the class. Teacher will monitor a “Designers Critique Time” in which the class may give feedback to the presenters. Teacher should encourage wild ideas, defer judgment, build on other’s ideas, allow one conversation at a time, be visual, and go for quality. Day 10 and 11. High school students will be challenged to design innovative literary solutions to teach middle school students about the real struggles many of Latino children endure to come to America. This project will also be in conjunction with Reading class in which they will give teachers a survey on children’s books. Students also take notes, and/or videotape class (with school approval and parental media form) Students should do further research online or at the library on learning styles, teaching aids, ways of presenting information and storytelling.   Day 12. Final designs will be brought and presented at the middle school students. High school Spanish teacher will coordinate with Middle school Spanish teacher so High school students may have the opportunity to share their book designs with the middle school students during Spanish class. High school students will focus in presenting their final written story including their own drawings to the middle school students. They can even bring the ESL student in which they based their stories.  


High school students will present their final books and literary solutions to Middle school students.   ESL students will express their views on the children’s books present.   A rubric including reading, participation, involvement, creativity, and engagement will determine student’s grades.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Children’s books can be read in elementary schools where Spanish immersion or regular programs are in effect.

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