Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Lesson Plan: Philip Vera Cruz, Justice for Farm Workers

LESSON 1 | LESSON 2 | LESSON 3 | WORKS CITED

Download all unit components [zip]
 

GRADE
9-11
SUBJECT
Ethnic Studies, U.S. History,
English Language Arts
NUMBER OF LESSONS
3
LESSON 1
CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE AND THE RISE OF A RURAL
WORKING CLASS.
Suggested Time:
75 minutes
California U.S. History and Geography Standard 11.8:
Students analyze the economic boom and social transformation of post-World War II America.
California U.S. History and Geography Standard 11.10:
Students analyze the development of federal civil rights and voting rights.
Reading Standard 7:
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
Writing Standard 4:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Writing Standard 5:
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
Speaking and Listening Standard 1:
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively…
MATERIALS
1. “America Is in the Heart” excerpt
2. “An Immigrant’s Haiku Records Great Dreams” poem
3. “Corrido Pensilvanio” poem
4. “Immigrant Voices: From Punjab, India to Angel Island” video. Run time: 7:28
5. “Lesson 1 Class Work Homework Philip Vera Cruz UFW” handout
6. “Profits Enslave the World” handout
7. “Songs of Gold Mountain” poem
8. “Unit Slide Philip Vera Cruz Justice for Farm Workers”
ACTIVITY 1: Quick-write/journal prompt (20 minutes)
1. Pass out “Lesson 1 Class Work Homework Philip Vera Cruz UFW” handout. Remind students to keep all handouts for homework assignment.
2.
In order to connect to students’ prior knowledge and introduce some of the themes of the unit, have students complete a journal or “Quick-Write” for the following question (refer to Unit slides for the writing prompt):

How might working in a factory compare with working on a farm?

3.
Students will write silently for 10 minutes. Options: Have students write a short paragraph, create a Venn Diagram or side-by-side drawings that contrast the two.
4.
Debrief: Debrief with students. Stress the apparent differences between the two, then point out that farm work in California agriculture is similar in many ways to work in a factory. Just like workers in factories began to form unions to protect their rights, so too did California agricultural workers struggle to form unions
ACTIVITY 2: Lecture/Note taking -- Brief History of Agriculture/Workers in California Note Taking (30 minutes)
1. To introduce the history of the agricultural workers in California, show Lesson 1 of the “Unit Slide Philip Vera Cruz Justice for Farm Workers”.
2. Have students take notes in the Lesson 1 handout while watching the slides.

Teacher Notes on Slides:

  Slide 5: Features of California Agriculture
Modern California agriculture (during the period of statehood) started out producing wheat for local and foreign markets. Because of the conditions (small labor supply and scarce water) wheat production was highly mechanized. Only very large farms could support this mode of production because the capital required to invest in machinery was very expensive.
  Slide 6: Geography and Climate
California is uniquely situated to fill a niche market; it is able to produce many “summer crops” during the mild winters. Multiple crops per year are also possible.
  Slide 7: 1890s-1940s
Due to soil depletion and a variety of other factors, wheat production went into steep decline by the late 19th century. Smaller farms producing a variety of exotic crops emerged. The nature of the crops stimulated the growth of canning and packaging industries, which hired large numbers of women workers in particular, who worked in packing plants and canneries that operated much like factories. During this period in the 1930s, the Dust Bowl, which brought about severe dust storms that damaged agriculture through much of the Midwest, brought about a large migration of workers to California.
  Slide 8: Farm Workers
California agriculture continued to rely primarily on a migratory workforce that followed the harvest schedule. Large landowners dominated farming in the Central and Imperial Valleys. These landowners acquired labor through a system in which bosses would find and deliver workers of their own ethnicity or race to the places they were needed. This system of intermediaries and the temporary nature of farm jobs mimicked the relations of capital and labor in industrial firms because personalist or paternalistic relations between the owner and employees was essentially eliminated. Additionally, the tasks themselves were extremely repetitive, low-skill, and monotonous.
  Slide 9: Multiracial/Multiethnic Workforce
From the very beginning, California farm labor has been multiracial and multiethnic. The race and/or ethnicity of the workforce has changed over time, largely due to historical circumstances. Chinese workers were very common until the late 1800s, when the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act reduced their numbers. Japanese, Mexican, Sikh, and Southern/Eastern European immigrants filled the void until WWI. By that time, Japanese immigration had been curtailed by the Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907, Sikh and European immigration declined due to the war and, later, restrictive quotas. After the Spanish-American War, Filipinos were increasingly recruited to work in the mines and fields of the Western part of the United States. Mexican workers were a significant presence in the West from the early 20th century when Mexico was in the midst of a revolutionary civil war. Although hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans were deported during the Depression years, by the 1940s and 1950s, thousands of Mexican workers were coming to the United States through a temporary federal worker program known as the Bracero Program. By the middle of the 20th century, most farm workers were Mexican or of Mexican descent.
  Slide 10: Effects of Racial and Ethnic Differences
Growers and labor bosses intentionally maintained racial and ethnic differences among workers. Separation impeded unionization efforts by limiting contact between workers, maintaining linguistic differences, and fostering conflict and competition. Ethnically or racially-based labor gangs were also viewed as being more productive because they often united friends or family members or, at the very least, compatriots in a frequently hostile work environment. Therefore, while gang labor could benefit workers individually by making work more bearable, it made large-scale unionization very difficult, especially given grower hostility toward unionization and their influence over law enforcement and state government. Additionally, when racial or ethnic groups did try to strike, bosses would hire other ethnic groups as strikebreakers.

Two major exceptions to the tendency for ethnic/racial groups to compete were the Mexican-Filipino Lettuce Strike of 1930 and the Japanese-Mexican labor strike against growers in Washington state in 1943. In the first case, hundreds of Mexican and Filipino farm workers spontaneously walked off the job in response to declining wages and working conditions. They were eventually joined by 5,000 other farm workers and started a wave of labor militancy that was viciously put down by growers. The 1943 Japanese-Mexican labor strike took place in response to a police order restricting the movement of male workers of Japanese and Mexican descent to certain areas of Dayton, Washington. Hundreds of Mexican workers (primarily braceros) and Japanese workers (on temporary leave from internment camps) struck until the city agreed to lift the restrictions.

ACTIVITY 3: Working Class Experience Discussion (25 minutes)
To have students understand the reality of working in America that many immigrant workers faced, in comparison to the idealized dreams they had for immigrating to America. Have students read and analyze poetry from Chinese, Japanese, Sikh, Mexican, and Filipino workers. Ask students:
What similar themes or issues do you see?
What common struggles or challenges do they face?
Despite common struggles, what factors might inhibit worker solidarity?
ACTIVITY 4: Homework
Ask students to complete page 2 of the Lesson 1 Class Work Homework handout.
Write a poem or series of haikus depicting life for workers in California in the early 1900s.
 
OR
Imagine that you are a farm worker in California writing a letter home to your family. How would you describe life in California for your family? Be sure to include sensory details and historical facts about the nature of California farming.
LESSON 2
CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE AND THE RISE OF A RURAL
WORKING CLASS.
Suggested Time:
70 minutes
California U.S. History and Geography Standard 6. 11.5:
Trace the advances and retreats of organized labor…including the United Farm Workers in California.
Reading Standard 4:
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone.
Speaking and Listening Standard 1:
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively…
MATERIALS
1. “Academic Vocabulary Philip Vera Cruz UFW” handout
2. “Filipino American Farm Worker History Timeline” handout
3. “How Filipino American Workers Reached America” handout
4. “Lesson 2 Class Work Homework Philip Vera Cruz UFW” handout
5. “UFW Movement Philip Vera Cruz Excerpt” handout
6. “Unit Slide Philip Vera Cruz Justice for Farm Workers”
7.
Little Manila: Filipinos in California’s Heartland, KVIE video, 2013. Run time: 26 min 46 sec Source
ACTIVITY 1: Quick-write/journal prompt (10 minutes)
1. Pass out “Lesson 2 Class Work Homework” handout. Remind students to keep the handout for a homework assignment.
2. In order to connect to students’ prior knowledge and introduce some ideas for this lesson, have students complete a journal or “Quick-Write” for the following question (refer to Unit slides for the writing prompt):
In what ways can one person’s life story represent the history of a people? Think of your own life, or your parent’s life.
How does your life story represent the history of a people?
3. Students will write silently for 10 minutes then have them share their ideas/writing with a partner. Make sure that students take turns sharing and listening.
ACTIVITY 2: Video Note taking Activity (30 minutes)
1. To have students learn about Filipinos in California’s farming regions, show students the video Little Manila: Filipinos in California’s Heartland. Show students the first 17 minutes.
2. Have students take notes on page 2 of the “Lesson 2 Class Work Homework” handout while watching. Use questions on the slides to guide student note taking or as a check for comprehension afterward.
When and why did Filipinos begin to come to the United States?
What kinds of work did Filipinos find?
What were the conditions in which they worked?
How were Filipinos received?
How did Filipinos impact Stockton?
How did gender imbalances impact the Filipino community?
ACTIVITY 3: Reading, Academic Vocabulary (30 minutes)
1. To have students learn about Philip Vera Cruz and his early life, pass out “UFW Movement Philip Vera Cruz Excerpt” handout and “Academic Vocabulary Philip Vera Cruz UFW” handout.
2. Introduce unit vocabulary to students:

Instruct students as they are reading “UFW Movement Philip Vera Cruz Excerpt,” use context clues to determine the meaning of the words in the Academic Vocabulary. Then write their own original sentence about the farm workers movement using the terms.

3. Have students read the excerpts silently (until end of Paragraph 20) and take notes on the sides.
4. After reading,
Do you see any similarities between the Black Lives Matter founders (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi) and Lily Chin? Explain using at least one example from the text.
Have students answer the following questions on their handout:

     • Who was Philip Vera Cruz and why does the article’s author admire him?
     • Identify 4 key events in Philip Vera Cruz’s early life.

5. Pass out “Filipino American Farm Worker History Timeline” handout and “How Filipino American Workers Reached America” handout.
6. To have students connect Philip Vera Cruz’s life to the greater Filipino American experience, have students read “How Filipino American Workers Reached America”. This reading will be important for the next activity.
ACTIVITY 4: Homework - Creating a Graphic History of Philip Vera Cruz’s life and the Filipino American Experience
For this activity, students will depict the history of Philip’s life by alternating his personal experiences with larger historical events affecting Filipinos in the United States
The goal is to show how the struggles and accomplishments of Philip Vera Cruz can represent the larger Filipino presence in California.
Students should complete the homework in “Lesson 2 Class Work Homework” handout. Encourage creativity! Remind students to reference the unique features of California agriculture.
LESSON 3
CONSTRUCTING THESIS STATEMENT
Suggested Time:
50 minutes
California U.S. History and Geography Standard 11.8:
Students analyze the economic boom and social transformation of post-World War II America.
California U.S. History and Geography Standard 11.6.5:
Trace the advances and retreats of organized labor…including the United Farm Workers in California.
California U.S. History and Geography Standard 11.10:
Students analyze the development of federal civil rights and voting rights.
Reading Standard 4:
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone.
Reading Standard 7:
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums, determining which details are emphasized in each account.
Writing Standard 4:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. CCS
Writing Standard 5:
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
Speaking and Listening Standard 1:
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively…
MATERIALS
1. “Lesson 3 Philip Vera Cruz UFW Textbook Revision” handout”
2. Little Manila: Filipinos in California’s Heartland, KVIE video, 2013. Film.
Run time: 26:46
3. “Speech by Andy Imutan” handout
4. “UFW Movement Philip Vera Cruz Excerpt”
5. “Unified Coalition UFW” handout
6. “Unit Slide Philip Vera Cruz Justice for Farm Workers”
ACTIVITY 1: Quick-write/journal prompt (in student notes or journals) (10 minutes)
1. Pass out “Lesson 3 Philip Vera Cruz UFW Textbook Revision” handout
2. In order to connect to students’ prior knowledge and introduce some ideas for this lesson, have students complete a journal or “Quick-Write” for the following question (refer to Unit slides for the writing prompt):
What are some advantages and disadvantages of learning history from textbooks?
3. Have students write silently for about 10 minutes. Then as a class, create a T-chart to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of learning history from the textbook.
Advantages
Disadvantages
1.
1.
4. Lesson Introduction: By introducing Lesson 3 to students, tell students:

“Textbooks do not present history in its totality. Oftentimes, textbooks exclude important narratives, including narratives that are important for ethnic minorities. In order to have a more complete understanding of the past, today you will look at a variety of primary and secondary sources.”

ACTIVITY 2: Cartoon Analysis (10 minutes)
1. Show Unit Slide Lesson 3 from “Unit Slide Philip Vera Cruz Justice for Farm Workers”
2. To engage students on a different perspective on the founding of the UFW, show students slide #22, the cartoon image
3. Ask students the following questions:
What seems to be the message of this cartoon?
Whose point of view might it represent?
Why might someone have this point of view?
ACTIVITY 3: Opening up the Textbooks (60 minutes)
Note: Written documents can be accessed on line and copies made for student use (working in pairs). Alternatively, students could access documents electronically.

1. Textbook Revision
Pass out “Lesson 3 Philip Vera Cruz UFW Textbook Revision” Handout

a) Round 1: Textbook Account
After reminding students of the essential question for the day, have students read the textbook passage on the Slides and discuss the accompanying questions. Tell students that they will be looking at a number of different sources in order to go beyond the textbook. They will be writing revisions for the textbook that include the role of Filipino Americans in the California farm worker movement generally and the formation of the UFW specifically. Students should record their answers in the “Lesson 3 Textbook Revision” handout..
Handout questions ask:
According to the textbook passage, what role did Filipinos play in the formation of the UFW?
How reliable do you think this source is? Why?
b) Round 2: Little Manila video (17:17 to the end)
Repeat process with the video. Students continue recording responses on the handout.
c) Round 3: “UFW Philip Vera Cruz Excerpt” reading
Repeat process with 1960s: Delano Grape Strike section (beginning of paragraph 21) in “UFW Movement Philip Vera Cruz Excerpt” handout. Students continue recording responses on the handout.
d) Round 4: “Speech by Andy Imutan”
Repeat process with Imutan’s speech. Students continue recording responses on the handout.
e) Round 5 “Unified Coalition UFW”
Repeat process with the short history from the Filipino Labor Archive. Students continue recording responses on the handout.
f) Textbook Revision
Inform students that they should write at least one, well-developed paragraph in which they describe the role of Filipino farmworkers in California agriculture and the early years of the UFW.
Follow-Up: Have students share their “revisions” and have a class discussion about how their research and revisions present a different view of the history of the UFW. You may also choose to have students write a short reflection on what they think about textbooks and how they present history in light of the activity.
2. Extension -- Revising the Textbook Poster Presentations
After reminding students of the essential question for the day, have students read the textbook passage on the Slides and discuss the accompanybbcing questions. Tell students that they will be looking at a number of different sources in order to go beyond the textbook. They will be writing revisions for the textbook that include the role of Filipino Americans in the California farm worker movement generally and the formation of the UFW specifically. Students should record their answers in the “Lesson 3 Textbook Revision” handout.
Students will then present their posters in front of the class or in a gallery walk.
3. Alternative Writing Task
Have students respond to the following prompt in a 5-paragraph essay.
What role did Filipinos play in the early years of the UFW?
4. Beyond the Classroom
Encourage students to research historic Filipinotown, which is located just northwest of central Los Angeles. Students can visit historic locations, eat at Filipino restaurants, and attend Filipino American events.
A mural honoring the struggles of Filipino farm workers, including Larry Itliong, Pete Velasco, Philip Vera Cruz, Andy Imutan, Ben Gines, Pete Manuel can be found there
For information, visit: http://www.historicfilipinotown.org/
A map of Filipinotown is available at: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zdUmT4AOOkn4.k_LvqE9RzHrU&hl=en_US
WORKS CITED
 
 
Primary Reading:
  Wong, Kent, “United Farm Worker’s Movement: Philip Vera Cruz, Unsung Hero,” which includes Philip Vera Cruz’s poem “Profits Enslave the World” Source
Handout Sources:
 
“An Immigrant’s Haiku Records Great Dreams”
 
Bulosan, Carlos, America Is in the Heart, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1946. Available as an e-book at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015000566789;view=1up;seq=72 Carlos Bulosan was a prolific Filipino American writer with radical politics. His poetry and story are well documented in Takaki’s book Strangers from a Different Shore. Teachers might also choose to include a chapter from his book America Is in the Heart, which is available as an e-book (see suggested supplemental texts).
 
“Corrido Pensilvanio”
 
Hom, Marlon K., “Songs of Gold Mountain: Immigration Blues”
 
“Immigrant Voices: From Punjab, India to Angel Island”
 
Vera Cruz, Philip, “Profits Enslave the World” (Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA handout)
 
“Speech by Andy Imutan” handout source
 
“Unified Coalition UFW” handout source
Videos Available On-Line:
 
“Fil-Ams cry foul over lack of Pinoy labor leaders in Cesar Chavez film,” TFC Balitang America
 
Filipino Americans: Discovering the Past for the Future, Part 2 of 4
 
“Filipino Manongs Ignite the 1965 Grape Strike,” Kababayan Today LA
 
Little Manila: Filipinos in California’s Heartland, KVIE video, 2013
Recommended Supplemental Texts:
 
Brimner, Larry Dane, Strike! The Farmworkers’ Fight for Their Rights, Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Calkins Creek, 2014.
 
Bulosan, Carlos, America is in the Heart, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1946. Available as an e-book at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015000566789;view=1up;seq=72
 
McWilliams, Carey, Factories in the Field: The Story of Migratory Farm Labor in California, Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000.
 
Scharlin, Craig and Villanueva, Lilia V., Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement, Third Edition, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2000.
 
Takaki, Ronald T., A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1993. Print.
 
Takaki, Ronald T., Strangers from a Different Shore. Boston: Little, Brown and Company; Revised and Updated edition (September 23, 1998).
Other Web Resources:
 
Carlos Bulosan poetry and biography
 
Filipino American Labor Archives
 
Hill, Margaret, “Pioneer Sikh Migration to North America”
 
“Immigrant Voices: From Punjab, India to Angel Island”
 
Mejia-Giudici, Cynthia. "Bulosan, Carlos (1911?-1956), Writer” HistoryLink.org- the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, 14 Feb. 2003.
 
Other Bulosan poems available at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse/47/5#!/20580274/0.
 
Paul, Sonia, “Immigrant Ghosts Linger”
 
United Farm Workers Website
Curriculum Editor:
Ingrid Fey
Unit Plan: Philip Vera Cruz, Justice for Farm Workers >
Untold Civil Rights Stories Main Page >

 

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356

ត្រូវការជំនួយជាភាសាខ្មែរ:

800.867.3126
도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395

 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.