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History & Social Studies

Immigration Nation: Teaching the History of Immigration

It's obvious that U.S. immigration, both legal and illegal, is a divisive political issue today. Yet we are a nation of immigrants, and teachers bear a responsibility to teach with factual information and sensitivity, rather than stereotypes and false information. This collection provides historical timelines, a virtual field trip, and an oral history project idea that will help your students demonstrate an understanding of the history, past and current, of American immigration.
A Collection By Amelia Franz
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Immigration Nation: Teaching the History of Immigration
  • Amelia Franz says:
    This timeline on the HSTRY site contains historical documents, photos, maps, commentary, and quiz/discussion questions about the history of immigration in America. If you're not familiar with HSTRY, you should definitely check it out. Students can also create, and embed, timelines. Note: This timeline is free, but to access all their timelines will cost you $49.00 per year.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    What I like best about this resource ($5.00 from Teachers Pay Teachers) is the great visual design, especially the many historical photos. This would work well to reinforce a general understanding of the causes of immigration of the United States in the 19th and early 20th century, and would probably be best suited to middle-school classes.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    A narrator walks through the Ellis Island museum in this thirty-minute virtual field trip, explaining what the process that immigrants experienced when they reached America. It also includes interviews with National Park Service Rangers, some of whom manage the Ellis Island museum.
  • StoryCorps

    Website
    storycorps.org
    storycorps.org
    Amelia Franz says:
    This would be a memorable and meaningful assignment for your students. They can use the StoryCorps app to record an interview with an immigrant, then upload it to the StoryCorps web site to share with family, friends, and the community.
  • edutopia.org
    edutopia.org

    Teach Empathy With Digital Immigration Stories

    Article
    Amelia Franz says:
    Using digital storytelling to create individual and family immigration stories can help students develop empathy, according to this Edutopia article. Along with developing empathy, writing immigration stories can improve writing skills and increase student engagement.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    This section of the PBS New Americans program tells the stories of several immigrants and refugees from Nigeria, Mexico, India, Palestine, and the Dominican Republic. At the end of each article are linked resources to learn more about Mexican Immigration, India's "Brain Drain," and minority persecution in Nigeria.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    Your students have certainly heard plenty of talk about legal and illegal immigration, but do they know anything about the actual process that someone must go through to become a citizenship or hold a green card? Assign them research questions to present to the class. The site also includes civics test information and current news and events.
  • theatlantic.com
    theatlantic.com

    Undocumented Students Are Assets in American Classrooms

    7 minute read
    Amelia Franz says:
    A California public school teacher explains, in this article published in The Atlantic, that undocumented students are "assets" to his school and classroom, rather than burdens. The life experience they bring to topics such as government, persecution, war, and general struggle deepens and enriches class conversations and study, making it more "real" and less abstract.
BloomBoard SparkOther Cross-Curricular
BloomBoard Asks:What are some resources and lessons you've used to teach about immigration to the U.S. with racial and cultural sensitivity, balancing the need for honest discussion with the avoidance of dangerous stereotypes?