Students will understand the impact of Migration Farmworkers in Utah by participating in a day in the life activity.
National Arts Standards:
TH:Re7.1.4. a. Identify artistic choices made in a drama/theatre work through participation and observation.
TH:Pr6.1.4. a. Share small-group drama/theatre work, with peers as audience.
UT Core Standards:
Standard 2.1- Describe the historical and current impact of various cultural groups on Utah
Amelia’s Mindfulness exercise
We will all stand in a circle and pantomime some actions that many people do every day. I will assign each of you a number. When I call your group to do an action, in your spot you will start performing the action. If your number was not called, I want you to observe what your classmates are doing. What actions help you understand what they are doing?
Assign students a number 1-3.
Clearing the table
Taking out the trash
Folding the laundry
Let’s all go back to sitting on our spots. What were some of the choices that you noticed being made by your classmates? How were some of their actions different from how you did them? What things were similar between all of your actions?
What are some reasons you might be doing these tasks? Do you think doing these tasks will be something you have to do every day?
For some people it is? Cleaning, picking things up, and folding are things that some people do in order to earn money and help provide for their families. One of those groups of people are Migrant Farmworkers, whom we are going to be talking about today.
Who knows what a migrant farmworker is? (an individual who moves from place to place to find employment in agricultural work.) What do you know about migrant farmworkers? Think about some of the tasks during our pantomime activity, what are some things you think migrant farmworkers would do from there? Write their answers on the board.
Migrant farmworkers are a big part of the Utah population as they help make sure that we are able to get the food that we need from the farms. It takes a lot of work and strength to be able to keep up with the demanding life. I have invited a special guest to come in and tell us about their experience as a migrant farm worker. When I put on this hat I will become Alex, a migrant farmworker from Utah. As Alex tells her story I want you to pay attention to all the things that she does during a normal day.
Hello there class, my name is Alex. I understand that your teacher wants me to tell you about my life as a migrant farmworker.
I get up every day before the sunrises. I need to beat the sun to the fields if I want to finish as much as possible before the heat of the day comes. I quickly get ready for the day and jump on my bike to travel the many miles to reach the fields that I will be working at that day. I start the day by walking through the fruit fields and picking all the ripe fruit ready for harvest. This takes me a long time, but I love getting to climb in the trees and smell all the delicious fruit. Then I head off to my least favorite job, working the harvest machines. In order to pick the harvest that takes a long time to use your hands he must use the big machinery to bring in all of the goods. This is a hot and heavy job as I sit up on top of the tractor and breath in all the dirty smoke coming from the engine. Thankfully the machines are meant to make the task easier, so I don’t have to be on it for very long. Once those have been completed, I will then go and help package the fruits and vegetables that will be going to market. Most of the workers work in a production line where one packs the fruit, one closes the package, and the others load the fruit into boxes or on to the truck. Usually I help with packaging. I help put the apples in their boxes and help bag all of the onions. After I go with my friend Jaime in the truck to drop off all the produce ready to go to market. By the time all that is done night has fallen but my day is still not over, I still need to clean up and get rid of any of the fruits and veggies that weren’t good enough to be sold. I gather these to be made as fertilizer. After these long grueling days, I ride my bike back home. I do this every day until all the work in those fields have been done. Once there is no more to pick, I pack up my belongings and begin the journey to the next fields that will need workers.
Thanks for letting me come and talk to you guys. You have been a great class! I hope to see you soon and tell your teacher that I say hi.
Step out of role. What did you guys think of Alex and her story?
What are some of the things that you noticed that farmworkers need to do? (Write their answers on the board with the list already created in step 2). Migrant farmworkers do a lot, it is no easy job. Today we are going to become farmworkers and get a small glimpse into the lives that they lead. I will be splitting you up into groups of four and together you will pick three tasks that you would like to explore. You will then create a scene that shows the life of a farmworker. You can’t just do those three events, remember to think about the things that happens between each event. How far do they need to walk? Are they sweaty and hot from the whole days’ work? Think of all the things that might be included in a day while you are accomplishing those tasks. Once you have completed your scene, we will be performing them for the rest of the class.
Split class into 4 groups. Give students time to create and rehearse their scenes.
Gather the groups back to their dots. Invite each group to come up and perform their scene to the class.
After the scenes ask: What were some of the tasks you saw each of the groups doing? Was there anything you learned about the farmworkers you didn’t know before? How did it make you feel to spend a small amount of time in their shoes? How do you feel about the people who do this every day for their jobs?
After discussion release students to line up to head back to class.
Discussion on what they learned about migrant farmworkers:
What were some of the tasks you saw each of the groups doing?
Was there anything you learned about the farmworkers you didn’t know before?
How did it make you feel to spend a small amount of time in their shoes?
How do you feel about the people who do this every day for their jobs?