As the Latinx population in the United States continues to grow, it is more important than ever for high school students to be exposed to Latinx history. No longer can the stories and experiences of these people be reserved for one class. Instead, teachers must find ways to incorporate the study of Latinx communities into every social studies class. By studying race, ethnicity, and their intersections, each student will understand how these categories and the people they represent have shaped the history of the US.
Incorporating these ideas is essential within New Haven Public Schools. Because of the large and ever-growing student population that identifies with various Latinx cultures, many New Haven students have personal connections to these identities and the overall theme of migration. Many Latinx students throughout the nation have a direct personal relationship with migration. Many students have migrated or know of someone who has experienced the various complexities of migration. Integrating Latinx stories into the U.S. History Through Film course allows students to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the curriculum, fostering a sense of relevance and personal connection. This emphasis is often, sadly, completely ignored in the mainstream high school social studies curriculum. As a result of this exposure, all students will become more invested in their learning and develop a deeper understanding of the historical experiences of Latinx communities while learning about previously unheard historical stories.
Throughout this unit, students will be able to recognize and dispel myths and stereotypes about the Latinx community while examining Latinx portrayals in films. This unit promotes cultural appreciation and enhances students' critical thinking and media literacy as they critically analyze visual representations in cinema. Students gain a more inclusive understanding of Latinx experiences by developing these vital skills.
Given unlimited time, it would be ideal to delve into the intricacies of various Latinx cultures and their representations in film. However, due to time constraints, this curriculum's scope and sequence will specifically concentrate on Puerto Rican history and their film depictions. However, it is vital to acknowledge the richness and diversity of Latinx communities with students before delving into this unit. Although this unit will only scratch the surface of Puerto Rican history and culture's unique aspects and contributions, students will gain a valuable glimpse into Puerto Rican migration experience connected to U.S. History.
All students must understand the history of America's ties to Puerto Rico, which remains a colony of the U.S. Currently, the social studies curriculum often overlooks the connected histories of mainland America and Puerto Rico. Students will draw connections to topics previously covered in other classes, such as Civics and U.S. History, by being exposed to these histories. Students gain insights into the impact of imperialism, the struggle for self-governance in this colony, and the ongoing changes surrounding Puerto Rico by studying the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.
Integrating Latinx stories into the U.S. History Through Film course will give students a more engaging and relevant educational experience. It allows them to connect with the material personally, challenges stereotypes, and fosters a more accurate understanding of Latinx history. By exploring the complexities and examining the history of Puerto Rico's relationship with the United States, students develop both a better perspective and empathy. Students will critically analyze historical narratives through this unit and actively contribute to a more inclusive understanding of the United States and Puerto Rico.