Visit WIDE ANGLE on pbs.org
lesson plans
Printable Page This Land Is Our Land by Mirla N. Morrison
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students
Learning Objectives Learning Objectives    Standards Standards    Media Components Media Components    Materials Materials    Prep for Teachers Prep for Teachers


TIME ALLOTMENT: Five 45 - minute class periods

Throughout history, as the concepts of empire and nation-states took hold, individual countries secured their borders and tried to keep unwanted migrants out. As we enter the 21st century Anwarul K. Chowdhury, an Under-Secretary of the United Nations, says, "The first step towards examining the road to peace should start with an appreciation of the changing nature of conflicts. Gone are days of war between states for conquest, extension of spheres of influence in the name of ideology ... Today's wars are about settling border disputes ... ." In these lessons students confront that issue.

Students begin by discussing why people cross borders and the rights people have when they enter another country. Students will discover the factors that determine the location of borders through the examination of maps, cartoons, and primary source documents. After completing this introductory activity, students will analyze a chart comparing the economic situation in the neighboring countries of Zimbabwe and Botswana, and predict what economic problems each country has. They will then view segments of the WIDE ANGLE film "Border Jumpers" (2005) to understand why these economic problems exist, develop further arguments for those streaming into Botswana from Zimbabwe and for those in Botswana itself, and compare them to their own predictions.

As a culminating activity, students will work in groups to develop a presentation for a simulation of the 17th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Their presentations will be shared with their classmates, and, if desired, sent to the United Nations.

SUBJECT MATTER: Global History and Geography/ World History


Students will be able to:
  • Analyze maps and documents to develop an understanding of the concept of a border and how borders are developed;

  • Utilize information from a chart to draw conclusions and make predictions;

  • Appreciate multiple perspectives about the same issue;

  • Investigate a contemporary border dispute using web-based resources;

  • Develop a presentation with visual and aural components that analyzes a contemporary border dispute and proposes a solution;

  • Communicate the results of research and analysis to the class.

New York State Learning Standards for Social Studies
Standards available online at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/pub/sslearn.pdf.

    Standard 2. World History (commencement)
    Performance Indicators:

      1. Students:

      • analyze changing and competing interpretations of issues, events, and developments throughout world history.

      2. Students:

      • Analyze evidence critically and demonstrate an understanding of how circumstances of time and place influence perspective.

        3. Students:

        • Analyze the roles and contributions of individuals and groups to social, political, economic, cultural, and religious practices and activities.

New York State Regents Global History and Geography Curriculum Tie-Ins
Curriculum available online at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/pub/sscore2.pdf

    Unit Five: An Age of Revolution (l750-l914)

      F. Global Nationalism
        3. Force for unity and self-determination.
          a. Unification of Italy and Germany (Camillo Cavour, Otto von Bismarck)
      H. Imperialism
        4. British, French, Belgians, and Germans in Africa

    Unit Seven: The 20th Century since l945

      E. Collapse of European imperialism
        2. India -- independence and partition
        3. African independence movements and Pan-Africanism.
          a. Changing political boundaries in Africa.

    Unit Eight: Global Connections and Interactions

      A. Social and Political Patterns and Change
        3. Migration
        8. Ethnic and religious tensions: an analysis of multiple perspectives
      B. Economic issues
        1. North/South dichotomy issues of development (post-colonialism).

Advanced Placement World History Curriculum Tie-Ins
Course Description available online at:
(Requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

      Major Developments:
        6. Rise of Western Dominance (imperialism and colonialism)

      Major Developments:
        8. Demographic and environmental changes (migrations)

      Major Comparisons and Snapshots
      • Compare patterns and results of decolonization in Africa and India
      • Compare legacies of colonialism and patterns of economic development in two of three areas (Africa, Asia, and Latin America)
Habits of Mind
    Seeing global patterns over time and space while also acquiring the ability to connect local developments to global ones and to move through levels of generalizations from the global to the particular.

    Changes in functions and structures of states and in attitudes toward states and political identities (political culture), including the emergence of the nation-state (types of political organization).
back to top  

WIDE ANGLE, "Border Jumpers" (2005) (selected clips)

The Fence
Photo of a danger sign on border fence.
Botswana Today
Photo of people on a bus.
Photo of a guard tower in a detention center.
Photo of Zimbabwean migrants in Botswana.
Foot and Mouth
Photo of cows.

Web Sites:

For the Introductory Activity:

For the Culminating Activity:


For the class:

Per group of five students:

For each pair of students:

For each student:


Prior to teaching this lesson, you will need to:

Bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson on each computer in your classroom, or upload all links to an online bookmarking utility such as www.portaportal.com.

Preview all of the video clips and Web sites used in the lesson to make certain that they are appropriate for your students, currently available, and accessible from your classroom.

Download the video clips used in this lesson onto your hard drive, or prepare to stream the clips from your classroom. RealPlayer is needed to view the video clips. If your classroom computer does not have it, download RealPlayer for free at www.real.com.

Bring a United States Passport to class to display to the students. Be sure your classroom has a world map. (If necessary, project one from the URL under Media Components.)

Post the FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION questions for the Introductory Activity on the wall, or write them on the board, or have them ready to project.

Make copies of the "This Land Is My Land: Developing Borders" student organizer (enough for every student pair), "Comparison of Botswana and Zimbabwe" student organizer (enough for every student pair), and the "Planning Page for Border Dispute Presentation" (enough for every student group). Duplicate the "Exit Ticket" page and cut each in half -- there should be one for every student.

Review the "Answer Key for the Comparison of Botswana and Zimbabwe" student organizer.

When using media, provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing of video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia elements.

Printable Page Next: