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U.S.A Built By Immigrants

[ A unit plan modeled to enhance eighth graders

knowledge and attitudes about immigration
throughout history through the power of various
literacy concepts]
Essential Question(s): What are some struggles and hardships that immigrants go
through? How can we make society more aware of the struggles and hardships that
immigrants go through?
Worth Being Familiar With:
o Identifying and learning certain historical facts, dates, and statistics about
Important to Know and Do:
o Looking at specific case studies or stories, learning about your own
background and immigration history.
Enduring Understanding:
o Understanding why people immigrate (documented and undocumented) to
the United States and the struggles they face.
o Recognizing their own opinions and views on immigration
o Combating current unfair immigration laws and taking action.

Our Lesson on Immigration

Phase I: Introduction to Immigration

I.History of Immigration
Students will write down what comes to mind about immigration. After a short discussion we
will go over the history of immigration within the United States (different waves, benefits,
controversies, etc.) and current immigration laws.
II. Citizenship Test
Students will take part of the United States Citizenship Test. As a class, we will decide if it is
a fair method of gaining citizenship in America.

Phase 2: Real Life Struggles

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 (2011). Half of the class will read and take
notes on Gottlieb while the others will do so with Antonio.
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.
Students will watch the documentary The Dream is Now. This film focuses on the negative
immigration laws that are currently hindering immigrants within the United States.

Phase III: Personal/Family Experiences

Students will be asked to interview a family member, friend, or person who has experienced
immigration. They will be given three question prompts that can help get them started but can
also ask their own questions as well. They will write a brief 2-3 page paper about this experience.
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.

Phase IV - The Call For Change

I.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 on
immigration has changed or grown.