Crossing the Wire Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

'Crossing the Wire' by Will Hobbs explores the plight of immigrants. After students have read the book, assign this lesson. They will read a summary, complete an activity and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • discuss why immigrants want to come to America
  • discuss how the authorities in Mexico and United States impact the immigrants
  • explain the challenges of immigrants crossing the border


60 minutes; extension (30 minutes)

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1

Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3

Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).



  • Students should have read the book prior to this lesson.
  • Begin the lesson by asking students to discuss what they learned from reading Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs.
  • Then explain that they will explore a summary and the characters in this lesson.
  • Distribute the Crossing the Wire: Book Summary & Characters lesson, ask a volunteer to read 'The Other 'Side' of the Story' and 'Journey to El Norte', then start the following discussion:
    • Define coyotes.
    • Do you believe coyotes are taking advantage of immigrants? Explain.
    • What are mojados?
  • Next ask another student to read 'Miguel' and 'Julio', then pose the following:
    • Describe Miguel.
    • How are Julio and Miguel similar and different?
    • Define deportation. Why do immigrants who are deported attempt to return to the United States?
  • Now select a student to read 'Border Towns, Border Crossings' and 'Destination, La Pena Flaca' and ask students to answer these discussion prompts:
    • Identify the challenges immigrants face in their plight.
    • What was the 'The Skinny Dog'?
    • Discuss what happened to Miguel and Victor in this section.
  • Next find another student to read 'Rico's Story' and 'Final Destination', then pose these questions:
    • Explain Rico's story.
    • Discuss how bribery impacts the immigrants.
    • What eventually happens to Victor and Rico?
  • Now ask students to read the 'Lesson Summary' independently.
  • Afterwards distribute the lesson quiz and ask students to answer each question.
  • Now review the answers to ensure accuracy.

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