Teacher | Student
Originally produced in: Italy
Also available in: en


  1. Man on the move today. [Thematic world map displaying waves of population]
  2. Classification of migrations: waves of population characteristics. [Graph]
  3. Migrations toward Italy. [Thematic European map displaying directions and quantity]
  4. Where do immigrates live and how many do they are? Regional analysis maps. [Mosaic maps and sequences of charts]
  5. Let us just think over the following words: to immigrate doesn’t it mean to migrate? [An argumentative essay by Umberto Eco]
  6. International Migrant’s Day. [Content of the Italian President’s message]

Curricular level

Secondary school.

First two years of high school (15-16 year-old scholars).

Geography: “National directives on specific educational aims - concerning activities and subjects included in the educational curricula” - scheduled a study of demographic problems and of present and past big population waves. Italy


Space mobility is a constant in world and people history. Migration phenomena have become an important feature and took on a global character while they have extended their destinations over and over. In Italy we have experienced a sort of turnaround, comparing to a distant past and, after decades of intense emigration, this country has turned into a centre of attraction and call-up.

Although it is difficult to get exact information about it and to lock up such a complex phenomenon as migration into a straight plan, nowadays it is necessary to know its trends and enclose them in a global analysis circuit. It is therefore possible to determine and picture its main features (paying attention to the words, of course) with charts an maps e carte that help us to highlight those main features.

In this module, we will use tools like texts, charts, graphs and maps. These tools are helpful, indeed, to analyse and understand our territory and its economical and social phenomena liked to the territory itself.

All materials provided with this module are meant to invite students to think over today’s wide and complex migration phenomena. They are aimed to do so, on one hand, by stimulating their attention on such a fundamental theme, so important to understand the present as well as the full exercise of citizenship rights. On the other hand, the provide students with a critical reading of information, charts and thematic maps: in other words, some basic application tools for an economical and social phenomena analysis, linked to the territory and its living-in population.

The module begins with a cartographic representation of the plan sphere in all its complexity and migrations disorders, highlighting a few particular words which we should think over. It also encourages to discuss the causes of leaving as well as the reasons why specific destinations turn out to be a centre of attraction. (Content 1). The following chart (Content 2) sorts different topics and categorizes different kind of migrations.

The general part is followed by a close examination of Italian situation. This is meant to highlight how Italy plays a central role in Mediterranean waves of populations plot and its characteristic of “painted nation”. Italy is the main world centre of attraction of migrations from different places, nowadays. (Content 3 e 4). Umberto Eco (Content 5)is provocatively discussing right about this multiethnic feature, when he calls up students to take a stand and gets them used to claim his thesis. At last, after Italian President’s discourse (Content 6) and at the occasion of the International Migrant’s Day, we would like to put forward a subject connected to International Law, also discussing over a paradox Convention concerning the protection of migrant worker and their families rights and the fact that it hasn’t been ratified yet nor by USA nor by EU.

Conceptual Objectives

  • Knowing today’s main waves of populations and being able to find their causes.
  • Knowing the classification of migrations basic features.
  • Knowing the sizes immigration to Italy today and problems related to it.
  • Knowing which Italian Institutions are to collect and release data and information about immigration.
  • Knowing different kind of cartographic representation.
  • Knowing some problem of International Laws connected to migration and job subjects.

Methodological Objectives and Skills

  • Knowing how to get quantitative data from websites of main Institutes producing official surveys and statistics.
  • Knowing how to read charts and thematic maps, while transposing information within them in presentations or essays.
  • Knowing how to used specific terms and how to be aware that it is the sharing of words that makes communication possible.

Suggestion of Activities

This module development is useful to workshop activities thanks to thematic maps and surveys data to be read, elaborate and discussed. Right in Didactic field some activities are fundamental to explain a phenomenon spread, like measuring, classifying and visualising. Learning how to read a map, how to deconstruct it (going back to original information) and to put it back together (starting from official quantisation) is a very useful skill, even outside the educational context, in order to behave responsibly and with the right criticism and ground one’s claims on true information.

Suggestion of Evaluation

There will be an “in progress” intermediate evaluation an final test-oriented one, whose aim will be to verify both student knowledge and their skills on reading and assembling data and texts. Given the high ‘emotional’ impact of this phenomenon, much emphasis will be put on the ability – linked to Italian as subject - in writing essays with strong argumentations.

Evaluation criteria

The student shall:

  • Tell different types of cartographic representation from one another.
  • Read charts and thematic maps.
  • Interpret cartographic data and turn them into presentations or essays.
  • Know general characteristics of migratory processes.
  • Know today’s migrations sizes and problems related to it in Italy.

Further Information and Interdisciplinarity

Interdisciplinary connections to History of great migrations in Roman Age and Middle Age will be possible (head subject in High Schools first two years) and with Italian as well (due to the start-up of documented argumentative essays ). Where classes of Law are not scheduled (e.g. at Human Sciences High School) this subject is a good start for a closer discussion about Law and citizenship topics.