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TJ Brandt

Gabrielle Dawe

Literacy For Change Part 4: Immigration


Phase I: Introduction to Immigration

Goal: The goal of this lesson is to learn about immigration in American


history and to begin to experience what it means to become a U.S. Citizen.
I.

Introductory Assessment and Discussion


Students will be given a few minutes to jot some notes down about what they think they
know about immigration today. After completion, we will hold a discussion about what
they wrote down. This will help give us an idea of where they stand, what they know, and
what they want to know more about.

II. Citizenship Test


Students will be given a copy of the United States citizenship test that all immigrants must
take in order to live in the United States. We will only pull a few questions from it as the
exam is very extensive. This will give them a understanding of how difficult (and possibly
unfair) the test and will show them that even though they are citizens, they may not know
everything that immigrants are expected to know. Students will exchange papers with those
sitting next to them and we will go over the answers. After this we will discuss ideas such
as what they believed the hardest questions were, the grades they received, and whether
they believe its fair.
III.Unearthing the Truth
Students will learn about immigration laws throughout history, the struggles that
immigrants faced, and more specifically the four different waves of immigration within the
United States. By studying these four waves of immigration, students will be able to see
how immigration has evolved and changed over the time. This will take place through a
power point lecture that is filled with images and videos. Students will be expected to take
notes throughout the presentation.
Students will be assessed by the involvement within discussion, as well as their notetaking and answering the questions that are posed during this lesson.

Phase II: Real Life Struggles


Goal: The goal of this lesson is for students to experience immigration on a
more emotional level. They will examine different texts and how they relate
to one another, as well as express their personal feelings towards them.
I.

Article Analysis
Students will be given one of two articles to read. On the System of Recruiting
German Colonists and the Suffering They Endured (1754) by Gottlieb
Mittelberger or My Immigration Story by Antonio Alarcon. Half of the class will
read and take notes on Gottlieb while the others will do so with Antonio. We chose these

articles because Mittelbergers document is a first hand account on the struggles of


immigration in the 18th century and Alarcons document is based more on immigration in
the 21st century. Both of these articles, give us outlooks on two different times of history.
Gottlieb tells the horrific tale of the trip to America and how most German immigrants
were forced into indentured servitude, while Alarcon explains how current immigration
laws make his experience in America very depressing.
II.

Jigsaw
In pairs of 2, students will jigsaw with those who read the opposite article (having a group
of 4). They will explain what each article was about and share their thoughts. They will be
given a worksheet that has questions to answer such as What were some of the horrors
Mittelberger experienced during the voyage to America?, What kind of hardships did
Alarcon have while living in America?, How has immigration changed from 1754 2014? Similarities? Differences?, etc.

III.Documentary
Students will watch the documentary known as, The Dream is Now. It focuses on
the personal stories of undocumented children of immigrants in who are now
struggling to stay in the country, that they call home. It focuses on the big debates
in immigration: whats fair, whats not, and what should be done.
During the documentary, students will write down any new ideas, feelings, and
beliefs that came to mind. We will talk and discuss to see if any of their views have
changed about immigration and why stories like these arent spoken about more
often. How is America the land of opportunity when these types of events occur?
IV.Letter
Students will be writing a letter to someone from either the two texts or the documentary.
They will express any feelings that arose from that persons experience and what they
believe could have been done during that time in order to better their situation. They will
do this as a homework assignment and turn it in the next day. The letter should be
approximately two to three pages.

Phase III: Personal/Family Experiences

Goal: The goal of this lesson is to have students learn about immigration
history within their community or within their own families. It is meant to get
them more aware of immigration in their own lives.
I. Interview

Students will be asked to interview a family member, friend, or person who has
experienced immigration. If students cannot find a person to interview, they can go onto
myimmigrationstory.com and pick a story that interests them. They will be given three
question prompts that can help get them started but can also ask their own questions as well.
The three questions would be Why did you/or a family member decide to come to America?,
What were some struggles you/they faced upon coming to America?, Do you think
past/current immigration laws are fair? Why or Why not?. They will write a brief 2-3 page
paper about this experience. The goal of this assignment will be able to find out some of the

hardships that the person they interviewed went through, as well as any laws or policies that
made it difficult for them.
II. Role Play
Using the information that the students receive, they will get into groups of 4-5 and discuss the
experiences they found. They can discuss similarities, differences, and things they learned/found
interesting. Groups will then decide to act out one of the situations for the class. A short class
discussion will be held after each group presents. How did that make you feel?, What did you
learn? etc. After all the groups have gone, we will hold a class discussion and talk about any
similarities, differences, hardships that these role plays represented.

Phase IV - The Call For Change


Goal: This lesson is aimed for students to start to action and to want to make
a difference against current immigration laws as well as bettering the
immigrant experience.
I. Putting it All Together
Students will be given a broad range of assignments from which they could choose from.
These could include....
Writing to a United States official about current immigration laws.
Creating ones own immigration laws that they believe would be more suitable.
These assignments will give us a better understanding of how student view has changed or
grown. Either one of these assignments point towards our essential questions.