Lesson Plans

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Working Abroad

The Velonza Sisters always meet up on a Friday to bond and catch up with one another. They always have a set dress code. On this particular afternoon, one of them violated it and will have to pay 200 dirhams as a fine. Image by Jo Kearney. UAE, 2015.

There are an estimated 9 million Filipino children with one or both parents working overseas as a labor migrant. Image by Geric Cruz. Philippines, 2015.

Image via Flickr Commons, 2011.

The Velonza Sisters came to Dubai one by one. The sisters who arrived first helped fund the airfare and visas of those who followed. At one point, there were 8 Velonza siblings in Dubai. Image by Jo Kearney. UAE, 2015.

The Velonza Sisters from L-R: Maricel, Perla, Gloria, Nida and Mayra. Seven of the thirteen Velonza children work in Dubai as nannies. Image by Jo Kearney. UAE, 2015.

The attached activities and discussions are written as notes for the facilitator. Please feel free to adapt this lesson.

Educator Notes: 


Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.


Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns.


Practice writing the body of an essay using a fascinating and provocative topic.

Essential Question:

After weighing the pros and cons of leaving your family, would you leave your family and home to work abroad?

Step 1:

Read the following articles and watch the following videos:

All in the Family (video embedded in article)

Philippines: Missing their Parents

Philippines: Parenting in a Box

Step 2:

­Present students with the following scenario: You are a parent in the Philippines. Your spouse is unable to work, and you have not been able to make enough money to support your family. Your friend calls you from abroad and says s/he can get you a well­paying job overseas. What do you do?Take a piece of lined paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side list at least five positive reasons for leaving your family and home and going to work abroad. On the right side, list at least five negatives.

­Depending on teacher preferences, students can work alone or in pairs to complete the task. 

Step 3: 

­Bring focus back to class­wide discussion. Ask students to share the content of their lists. As they share, record their reasons on the board.After weighing the pros and cons of leaving your family, what would you do? Raise your hand if you would leave your family and home to work abroad. Raise your hand if you would not leave your family and home to work abroad. 

Step 4:

Note: This assignment does not include an introductory or concluding paragraph but can be altered to do so. 

Your assignment is to prove that your decision in the best one. Write one of the following statements at the top of your paper:

“I would leave my family and home to work abroad.”

“I would not leave my family and home to work abroad.”

You will be writing three paragraphs to prove that your decision is the best one. Each paragraph will contain at least two pieces of evidence (facts or examples) from the videos and articles produced by Ana Santos about the parents who chose to leave their homes and families in the Philippines to work abroad.The first paragraph is the concession. For this paragraph, you will select one of the reasons listed in the opposing side. You need to acknowledge the opposing side of the argument so the reader knows that you have considered everything involved in this difficult decision. The second and third paragraphs will be the supporting paragraphs. Select the two strongest factors in making your decision.

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