Teaching Guide: Exploring the United Farm Workers and the Delano Grape Strike

This teaching guide helps instructors use a specific primary source set, The United Farm Workers and the Delano Grape Strike, in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, classroom activities, and primary source analysis tools. It is intended to spark pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt the resources in this guide for your teaching purposes.

Discussion questions

  1. What do the photograph of Filipino farm workers and the report on the geographical distribution and employments of Filipinos tell us about the conditions that led to Filipino labor activism?
  2. Examine the excerpt from the FBI investigation. What security concerns about the National Farmer Works Association does it reveal? How do you understand the motivation for these concerns in the context of 1960s America?
  3. Considering the NAACP flyer and the photograph of Delano Grape Strike picketers, describe how the work of the United Farm Workers compares and contrasts with the efforts of other activists during the civil rights era.
  4. What is the central message of Robert F. Kennedy’s speech in Delano? What impact might it have had on the boycott?
  5. Cesar Chavez is the leader most prominently featured in the story of the United Farm Workers. Using the sources in this set, consider the pros and cons of a campaign that places Chavez as a central figure.
  6. The open letter, the 1969 flyer from the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, the poster calling for a “boycott for democracy”, and the coloring book are propaganda for the United Farm Workers. Who are their intended audiences? What strategies do they use to convince?

Classroom activities

  1. Group project: Divide students into groups and ask them to design a campaign strategy and poster for the Delano Grape Strike using the examples in this set as inspiration. Who would they be interested in recruiting to help? What strategies and language would they use to convince their audience? Where would they display their posters? Each group should make a brief poster presentation answering these questions to the whole class.
  2. Independent research activity: Cesar Chavez is the most-often discussed leader of the United Farm Workers. Ask students to select one of the following UFW leaders and write a brief research report that details his/her involvement and important contributions: Dolores Huerta, Philip Vera Cruz, Larry Itliong, Richard Chavez, Benjamin Gines, or Pete Velasco.

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