Pam Munoz Ryan’s novel “Esperanza Rising” tells the story of a family who leaves a life of privilege in Mexico for a migrant worker camp in California. Historical events, like the Mexican Revolution, the Great Depression and the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program, serve as the basis for this moving story of migration, personal growth and the American Dream.
Story Length: 4:24
© 2006 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.
AIR DATE: 01/02/2006
Throughout time, the American dairy industry has been in desperate need of workers and this attracts immigrants from all over the world. This story starts in the home of an immigrant family as they begin work for the day. Listen to learn about the experiences of new immigrants to the United States, from Guatemala, who work on dairy farms in northern New York and Vermont.
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Americans of Japanese descent were taken away to internment camps. The terrible conditions they lived in during internment were only surpassed by the shock and humiliation the people suffered as they saw themselves changed overnight from loyal Americans, often American citizens, to “enemy aliens.” In this public radio story you will hear first person accounts from people who lived in the internment camps when they were children.
Ellis Island is the symbol of our immigrant nation. For millions of Americans, it was where their immigrant ancestors entered the United States. Immigration built our nation, immigrants peopled it, and their descendants remember their immigrant past with pride. But few Americans know what their ancestors went through. Navigating Ellis Island was the final hurdle immigrants faced before becoming American and starting their next big journey.
Hundreds of years ago, the Aztec people established their capital, Tenochitlan, on top of a lake. They used mud to create islands, and channelled the lake into canals. It became the capital of the Aztec Empire in the 15th century, until Spain captured and destroyed the city. Since then, the city has supplied its many residents with water from the canals which still remain. Mexico City was built on top of this ancient city. Unfortunately, retrieving water from underground has created problems, and today, many residents do not have access to the water they need. Listen to the story to learn more about Mexico City’s history and water troubles.
These levels of listening complexity can help teachers choose stories for their students. The levels do not relate to the content of the story, but to the complexity of the vocabulary, sentence structure and language in the audio story.
These stories are easier to understand and are a good starting point for elementary students or English learners.
These stories have an average language challenge for middle and high school students, and can be scaffolded for English learners.
These stories have challenging vocabulary and language and students may need to have some background knowledge to understand the story.