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Mexico and Its Neighbor to the North

Subject: Social Sciences
Grade: 9-12


Brief Description

Students stage a debate about immigration between the United States and Mexico.


Students research current political issues.


Mexico, history, United States, border, immigration, debate

Materials Needed

Print and online information about U.S.-Mexican border issues, such as:

Lesson Plan

  • Organize students into an even number of small groups. Explain to students that they will debate the restriction of immigration between Mexico and the United States.
  • Ask: Should laws restricting immigration to the United States and/or the enforcement of those laws be eased or strengthened?
  • Assign half the groups the "pro" position of the question and half the groups the "con" position. Ask students to research print and online information about U.S.-Mexican border issues and then write brief statements of their group positions.
  • Review with students these classroom debate resources.
  • Choose two groups at random, one pro and one con, to debate the issue.
  • When each group has had a chance to participate in a debate, make a list of the pros and cons brought up by all the groups. Ask students to vote on whether the border between the United States and Mexico should be open, allowing unrestricted travel between the two countries.


Evaluate students on the information in their written statements and on their participation in the debates. For evaluating debate participation, consider using a debate rubric.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

Updated 04/27/2015