The Cuban Refugee Assistance Program (CRA) was an unprecedented effort brought about by the mass exodus of Cubans from their homeland. The CRA provided health, employment and educational services to Cuban refugees upon their arrival in the United States. In this lesson, students will analyze excerpts from Resettlement Re-Cap, a publication of the CRA.
- Analyze primary source documents.
- Write about history using primary sources.
- Learn about the Cuban refugee experience.
- Understand 1960s Cuban immigration in the context of the Cold War, Florida history, and United States history.
Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
SS.912.A.6.15: Examine key events and peoples in Florida history as they relate to United States history.
Examples are Mosquito Fleet, “Double V Campaign,” construction of military bases and WWII training centers, 1959 Cuban coup and its impact on Florida, development of the space program and NASA.
- LACC.910.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
- LACC.1112.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
- Resettlement Re-Cap: Information for Teachers
- Document Analysis Worksheet from the National Archives and Records Administration
- Selected issues of Resettlement Re-Cap
Part I: Introducing Content
- Teachers should prompt students to imagine that they have arrived in a foreign county with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They immediately find themselves surrounded by others in their same situation, but are told they must leave immediately for another area of the country. Teachers can break students into small groups and have them jot down ideas about what this experience must have been like for Cuban refugees arriving in the United States.
- The teacher should briefly introduce Resettlement Re-Cap as a primary source consisting of newspaper clippings about the efforts by the Cuban Refugee Assistance Program to resettle Cuban refugees throughout the United States.
Part II: Primary Source Analysis
- Students will read excerpts from Resettlement Re-Cap. Students should record their reactions to the primary sources using the Document Analysis Worksheet, paying special attention to how age, gender and occupation affected the refugee experience. Students should also look for clues about how the stories of individual refugees relate to the larger context of immigration in United States history.
- Students should write brief journal entries on their thoughts about how the refugee experience differed based on the age, gender and occupation of the refugee and how the Cuban example fits in with other periods of immigration in United States history.
Part III: Writing About the Refugee Experience
- Based on the information contained in the primary sources, each student will summarize the story from Resettlement Re-Cap most interesting to them, with an emphasis on how the example chosen helps to illustrate the Cuban refugee experience and how the Cuban experience compares to earlier periods of immigration in United States history.
- The teacher should devise an appropriate time/length for the essay.
Teachers wishing to supplement Resettlement Re-Cap with other relevant resources should refer to the other lesson plans featured in the unit.