The Bracero Program

Grade Levels


In this focused inquiry, students investigate the question: Who are the people that made Washington? Students will engage in focused inquiry that will require image analysis, gain information from readings and multimedia. Students will develop a clear claim, gather evidence, and write a paragraph that demonstrates their reasoning.

Lesson Objectives

1. Students will gain information by watching a video about the history of the Bracero Program that began during WWII.

2. Students will engage in small group discussions protocol where they will analyze images of the Bracero Program.

3. Students will create a claim, evidence and reasoning paragraph to share what they have learned.

Source Materials

Featured Source(s):

Choice or suggested video
Choice or suggested Podcast
Choice or suggested Newspaper

Images from Student Handout 2 from Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History project

Possible podcast: 91.3 KBCS Bracero Program

Possible newspaper articles: Meyers, D. W. (2018, May 6). It Happened Here: Mexican farm workers come to valley in World War II. Yakima Herald-Republic.


• SSS1.6-8.1 Analyze positions and evidence supporting an issue or an event.

• SSS3.6-8.1 Engage in discussion, analyzing multiple viewpoints on public

• H3.6-8.3 Explain, analyze, and develop
an argument about how Washington
State has been impacted by individuals
and movements.


Compelling Question: Who are the people that made Washington?

Staging the Question:

● Have students read what their textbooks say about the Bracero program.

● Once they are done, have them make a list of the most important things that made up the Bracero program. Share this information as a whole class.

If your students textbook has limited information about the Bracero Program, students can read this article from the History Link:

Bracero Program: Crossing the Border to a New Life by Cameron Holt (2012 History Day Award Winner)

Supporting Question: What was the Bracero Program?

Formative Performance Task:

  • Students should begin by watching a video about the Braceros. Have students gather their notes on Student Handout 1.
Examples include:
  • Next, students are going to engage in a “World Cafe” protocol around images of the Bracero Program. (See Student Handout 2)
  • After or during the protocol have the student continue to add to the list of what they know about the Bracero Program.

  • If students need more information or if you would like to add information, have students listen to a podcast or read a news article.


Have the students use the information they got from their research and image analysis to craft an argumentative paragraph. Student responses should include a clear claim, specific evidence, and a well-thought-out reasoning.

Taking Informed Action:

Students will create a podcast or video blog about the Bracero Program and its impact on Washington, using the information they obtained from their research.

The Bracero Program.pdf