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Teaching Efrén Divided
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Teaching Efrén Divided


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Grade Level Grades 6-9
Resource Type Lesson Plan

About This Lesson

Efrén Divided is the story of a tightly-knit immigrant family living in California sometime after 2016. When the book takes place, about one in seven people living in the U.S. were immigrants. 25% of those immigrants were from Mexico, like Efrén's family. While Efrén and his two siblings are U.S. Citizens, his parents are not. They fled violence in Mexico for safety in the United States and were living authorized, or undocumented, immigrants. The novel follows the challenges Efrén's family faces after his mother is picked up by immigration agents and deported to Mexico.

Teaching Efrén Divided provides a mix of background resources for educators and teaching ideas that are grounded in Re-Imagining Migration's research-based approach. The guide beings with a discussion with psychologist and immigration scholar Carola Suárez-Orozco about exploring issues related to immigration in the classroom with students and an author's note from Ernesto Cisneros. Part two of the guide is rich with activities for teaching and learning, including pre and post-reading lessons and activities, essential and guiding questions, as well as prompts for reflection that classroom teachers, librarians, and others can use structure lessons, book groups, and discussion about the themes of belonging, identity, migration, friendship, and responsibility that are explored throughout the text.

The narrative arc of Efrén Divided resembles the Re-Imagining Migration learning arc. Like our learning arc, the book begins by looking at the stories of an immigrant family within the context of their community.  We call these Moving Stories, and the learning guide's questions in this section speak to themes we explore when we introduce Moving Stories: identity, community, family stories. The second section of the learning arc is called Understanding Migration. In Efrén Divided, the book focuses on one aspect of the migration experience, the impact of borders. In the last third of the book, we follow Efrén and his friends as civic agents working for change in the school and society. In our learning arc, we call this turning to action. The driving question of this section of the learning arc is, "How can we take action toward more inclusive and sustainable societies?" We believe that learning about stories of people working to make a difference provides both a model for us to learn from and an invitation for us to get involved.

This resource is great for your summer reading lists. Learn more about summer reading here.




Lesson Plan
June 1, 2023
1.47 MB
what should educators know, do and understander before teaching Efrén Divided
Remote video URL


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