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ERIC Number: EJ1047594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Reading "Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote": An Allegory of Immigration Sparks Rich Discussions
Cipparone, Peter
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v27 n2 p9-13 Nov-Dec 2014
Students' observations about society often become the basis for class discussions in Peter Cipparone's fourth-grade classroom. As Chip Wood, an expert on child development, observed, nine-year-olds are often "struggling with the cognitive task of understanding ethical behavior at a new level." One of this author's goals was to help his students observe and then "think deeply" as a first step in getting them to "act in ways that promote the common good." With this in mind, he selected the picture book "Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale" (a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People in 2014) to read with his students to enhance the study of immigration, bringing a current issue into their discussions. Author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh relates a rabbit family's struggle to find a better way of life. The story is an allegory of the migration of Mexicans seeking passage to the United States and the smugglers, or Coyotes, who prey upon them. At the outset of a unit of study on 19th and 20th century immigration to the United States, students interviewed family members and neighbors who had immigrated to this country. Following these interviews, the class studied eras of immigration and some of the laws that governed immigration. Students cared about the topic, grappled with some of the complexities, and had much to say. Tonatiuh's fable also changed the way many students viewed the immigrant groups whom they were studying.
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A