• Building Bridges Across Borders: Questions for the Classroom

    Image: Mexican-American border at Nogales (Wikimedia Commons)

by Aakanksha Gupta and Isabella Guerra Uccelli 

Updated on February 11, 2019.

A recent article published by AZ Central explored the experiences of a group of 8 students from Brophy College Preparatory, a Catholic all-boys school in Phoenix, Arizona. The group went on a cross-border public service trip to help migrants in Nogales, Sonora. You can learn the entire story by reading the article and watching the video below.

A group of students from an all-boys Catholic school from Phoenix find out what life is like on the U.S.-Mexico border. Nick Oza, The Republic | Source: azcentral.com

Reflection Questions:

  1. Based on what you’ve read, why do you think the school decided to go to Nogales for their public service field trip?
  2. Reading the student’s reflections on their experiences, what do you think they learned from their time in Nogales, Sonora?
  3. What do you think the trip might signify to the migrants? What makes you say that?
  4. As you reflect on the student’s experiences, what did you learn about borders and walls? What purposes do you think they serve? What impact do you think they have?
  5. What can we learn from the interactions between Father Pete Neeley, the Brophy students and the migrants?
  6. How do you think you might learn from someone who has had different experiences than you?
  7. How do our experiences create different types of privilege? How do these privileges shape our understanding of borders and walls?

Suggested Teaching Activities:

  1. Begin a think-pair-share activity to prompt your students to imagine what the border feels like for Nogales migrants and for the students from Phoenix. Ask them to represent this through a drawing or other visual aids.
  2. Consider incorporating Project Zero’s Step-in, step-out, step-back thinking routine to your classroom discussions on this article.  

Choose: Identify a person or agent in the situation you are examining.

Step In: Given what you see and know at this time, what do you think this person might feel, believe, know, or experience?

Step Out: What else would you like or need to learn to understand this person’s perspective better?

Step Back: Given your exploration of this perspective so far, what do you notice about your own perspective and what it takes to take somebody else’s?

You can read the article here:

What happens when Catholic school students cross the border to feed migrants via AZ Central, January 29, 2019: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2019/01/28/brophy-college-preparatory-students-us-mexico-border-feed-migrants-learn/2598841002/

Related Resources:

Talking and Teaching about Walls and Borders — Re-imagining Migration: https://reimaginingmigration.org/talking-and-teaching-about-walls-and-borders/ 

Join Our Mailing List!