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U.S. – Mexico Relations


Lessons in this 3-part series are intended to provide students with a basic understanding of the relationship between the United States and Mexico. Part one focuses on the U.S. war with Mexico and the Bracero Program in the mid-20th century. Part two looks at three contemporary issues: immigration, NAFTA, and the environment. Part three examines perspectives on trade, twin cities, and the maquiladoras.
Curriculum Link: Author: Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education, 2000

Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives

Students will develop a basic understanding of the history of U.S.-Mexico relations, of contemporary issues related to immigration from Mexico to the U.S., NAFTA and the environment, and of the economic interdependence between the U.S. and Mexico.
Students will learn how geography has influenced relations between the U.S. and Mexico, appreciate multiple perspectives on this history and these issues, think critically and make informed opinions, evaluate different opinions and generate alternative perspectives on an issue, learn tools to enhance awareness and communication, work effectively in small and large groups, and organize and express opinions.

Description of Activities

Each unit is also available individually, and can be taught independently.

Part 1: Episodes in the History of U.S.-Mexico Relations
The histories of the United States and Mexico have been closely linked since at least the middle of the 19th century, when Mexico lost half of its territory to the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Since that time, the two countries have had close relations as events that occur in one country invariably affect the other. The presence of a large Mexican-American population in the United States and the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) clearly demonstrate the continued importance of U.S.-Mexico relations.

Part II: Contemporary Issues in U.S.- Mexico Relations
The presence of a large Mexican-American population in the United States and the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) clearly demonstrate the importance of contemporary U.S.-Mexico relations. In this unit, students will examine three key contemporary issues: immigration, NAFTA, and the environment. This unit is Part II of the U.S.-Mexico Relations series. (Published in 2000)

Part III: U.S.-Mexico Economic Interdependence: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Border
The United States and Mexico are more than neighbors living side by side; their economies are intertwined and interdependent, made more so by the inception of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) in 1994, which made Mexico the United States' third-largest trading partner. If asked, most students would acknowledge an awareness of the fact that the two economies are linked in some way. This curriculum unit acquaints students with some aspects of the U.S.-Mexico relationship by focusing on the so-called "twin cities" along the border, where the impact of the two economies on one another is most visible, understandable, and dramatic.

Instructional Materials Provided

Handouts and primary source documents, as well as complete curriculum instructions are included in the three-part set.

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Additional criteria

Cost: $99.95 for all 3; $29.95 – 49.95 individually

Curriculum type: Unit

Academic subject area: History/Social Sciences

States' Career Clusters: Marketing; Manufacturing; Government & Public Administration; Finance

California Industry sector(s): Public Services; Marketing Sales and Service; Manufacturing and Product Development; Business and Finance

Duration: 21 days; 7 days each

Grade Targets: 9, 10, 11, 12

Level of Expertise for CTE: All

Standards Addressed: Detailed documentation of alignment with Common Core, NGSS, C3 or CTE Standards provided

Source: Organization/Publisher-developed

Curriculum Link:

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