Hello Students of Mr. Harney's, Mrs. Hinojosa's, and Mr. Oliver's classes!

Part of the Integrated Thematic Unit that we, the teachers, have developed incorporates a day of service learning that will involve our classes in taking a closer look into the topic of this combined unit: agriculture and the people who work in this field. There are four main components when developing a service learning activity, and they are: preparation, action, reflection, and demonstration. The location that we will be going to is the Henry Avocado Corporation, right here in Escondido. We have been able to talk to the owners of the company, and they have been kind enough to let us tour their facilities. We will have the luxury of some of the workers there give us a presentation of the history of the area, the conditions that the workers had dealt with in the past before the agricultural movement, and what the situation is like now. We will get a chance to hear their stories, and the stories of their predecessors, and hopefully we will all grow from the experience.

As in all things, it is important to have a plan! As we lead up to the day of our visit to the agricultural center, you teachers will be preparing you and handling some of the logistics. One important thing will be the permission slips that will be given to you to be signed by your parents. This is extremely important, and you must return these to your teachers as soon as possible. In your respective classes, Mrs. Hinojosa, Mr. Oliver, or Mr. Harney will be helping you to learn about this important agricultural movement that encompasses social, economic, and political undertones that have an effect on us to this day. Language development, history, and English classes can go hand in hand when it comes to studying a particular topic, and the three of us will be collaborating to make sure that all of you can draw from this experience from these different content areas. We will learn about Escondido, the history of agriculture in the area, the history of the workers, and place all of this in the context of our content areas.

On the day of the fieldtrip to the Henry Avocado Corporation site, we will take part in several different activities. One will be a tour of the facilities. The second portion will include presentations about the personal experiences of the workers, as well as their sharing of the history of the orchard and the experiences of those who came before them. The final portion of the day will give you all chance to get your hands a little dirty by helping out with some of the work. This can include helping the workers with picking some of the avocados to helping them sort through them all before they get processed.

Upon returning to the campus, the students will return to their respective classes and complete some reflective activities. This could include a full class discussion about their experiences and comments, a sharing of family experiences, or written journals, depending on the preference of the teacher. It is important that, once you complete a venture like this that you reflect upon it why it is important, and how it has changed you personally. Did you enjoy the activity? Was the work hard? Would you want be part of this workforce? Do you have family who did this kind of work? How has this experience changed you as a person? These are all important questions to ask yourself as you return from the fieldtrip and work together as a class to share your thoughts.

The final portion of the service learning activity, as well as the ITU as a whole, will be to demonstrate your knowledge and experiences from the unit, and especially from your experiences with this service learning activity. Each class will have a particular project assigned them, based on their content area. Once the class has completed these projects, they will be put up in the media center and all the classes will come together. We will then have a gallery walk, were everyone will get a chance to look at their peers’ creations.

Art Component:
Mr. Harney’s class will develop a timeline of the events that we have been studying. This will include major influxes of immigration to California, the important events in agriculture before the start of the movement, the beginnings of the different agricultural movements, important figures, the progress of the movement, and its eventual culmination and the rights that the agricultural workers had achieved. Along the timeline, students will also include important dates and events that occur alongside the agricultural movement, so as to put things in context of the United States during the 1960s.

Mrs. Hinojosa’s class

Mr. Oliver’s class