This thematic unit includes a wealth of resources that will enrich your students’ knowledge about the history of immigration in the United States, enabling your students to better understand modern debates and inform their thinking about them.
Immigration has undoubtedly played a central role in United States history and the stories told about that history rightly acknowledge it. It is a complex tale, though. At the heart of it lie questions that touch upon America’s very identity: who does or does not belong and who should or should not be accepted. With this rich history in the spotlight of modern politics, it can be a challenging topic to teach. This unit will help you teach this important part of history, providing you flexibility and a wealth of resources to effectively differentiate for your students. The resources can also be paired with numerous novels, such as Refugee, Front Desk, Home of the Brave, Inside Out & Back Again, among others, to create an engaging cross-curricular experience for your students.
Snapshot of Resources:
18 Nonfiction Readings
14 Extension Activities
18 Reading Checks
2 Final Assessments
Essay Choice Board
Project Choice Board
3 Vocabulary Lists, Crossword Puzzles, Practice Exercises, and Quizzes
Pacing Guide and Daily Lesson Plans
Digital Links for Student Pages & Assessments
Please view the preview carefully to determine if the content and level is appropriate for your classroom context!
Digital Compatibility: This resource is technology friendly! It can be utilized in classrooms where computers or tablets are central to instruction because the resource has been adapted for digital completion. The resources include links for students to complete any work assigned, such as in-class tasks and assessments, online via Google Slides™ and Google Forms. For instance, students can work with the documents in Google Drive™ or via Google Classroom. With these links, you can have students complete their activities, assignments, and ALL ASSESSMENTS online. All they will have to do for the student pages is either create a text box or fill out a form! There are links for every student page and assessment if applicable, making the format friendly not only for technology but also trees.
Nonfiction Readings: The 18 close readings develop students’ knowledge about the history of immigration in the U.S. from the Colonial Period to present day. They trace the history of immigration law, elaborate on the lived experiences of immigrants, highlight trends across eras, and examine the contributions and impact of immigrants on American society. Each informational text includes two sets of questions – one comprehension set and one analysis set – that will develop essential skills aligned to the reading of informational texts under the Common Core State Standards. The resource also allows for differentiation and flexible implementation. Topics include:
Breaking Down Key Terms
Immigration in the Colonial Period
19th Century Immigration: Europe
19th Century Immigration: Asia
The Immigration Boom
Post-WWII Immigration Era
The Contemporary Immigration Era
Naturalization & Immigration Laws
The Visa System: Past to Present
Nativism: Fear of Foreigners
The History of Ethnic Enclaves
How Immigration Shaped America
The Pull of the American Dream
Immigration Stories: Irish
Immigration Stories: Chinese
Immigration Stories: Italians
Immigration Stories: Eastern European Jews
Immigration Stories: Mexicans
Extension Activities: The 14 extension activities will not only enhance your students’ understanding but also engage them in deep analysis. The extension activities provide an avenue for your students to study the complexities of immigration and the immigrant experience in the United States at a deeper level. The activities include a variety of exercises, including close readings of historical documents, examining maps and charts, analyzing political cartoons, and engaging with oral histories, among others. The variety and number of resources will enable differentiation and flexible implementation. Regardless, while completing each activity, students will develop essential skills aligned to the reading of informational and historical texts under the Common Core State Standards. They will also be encouraged to make connections across documents and concepts, sharpening their ability to analyze and think critically. Activities include:
An Immigrant’s Letter Home
Chinese Immigration Cartoons
Census Data Analysis 1890 & 1910
Ellis Island Oral History Study
SS Quanza & WWII Refugee Policy
Mariel Boatlift & Cuban Immigration
Public Opinions on 1924 Quotas
Influence of Immigration
Immigration Stories – Irish
Immigration Stories – Chinese
Immigration Stories – Italians
Immigration Stories – Eastern European Jews
Immigration Stories – Mexicans
Assessment Resources: The assessment resources will help you measure how well students are understanding the U.S. History: Immigration unit and how well they can apply reading and analysis skills practiced throughout the unit. Assessments include:
18 Article Mini-Quizzes – Checks assess students’ understanding of each nonfiction reading.
2 Final Assessments – One assessment contains questions that emphasize comprehension and analysis abilities based on the nonfiction readings while the other assessment contains questions that emphasize analytic abilities of a primary source.
Essay Choice Board
Project Choice Board
Vocabulary Resources: The vocabulary resources will help students learn, acquire, and utilize new words in their writing and speaking. The vocabulary resources will assist students in building their own vocabulary and engage them in varied activities to maximize their vocabulary’s expansion. With the 3 different vocabulary lists, the resource allows for differentiation and flexible implementation. Resources include:
3 Flashcards Sets
3 Crossword Puzzles
3 Practice Exercises
1 Activity & Graphic Organizers
Anticipation Resources: The anticipation resources are designed to activate students’ prior knowledge about immigration while building excitement for the learning that is ahead. The anticipation guide and compelling thematic lesson will generate interest and investment as it primes students to deeply engage with the U.S. History: Immigration unit. It is the perfect resource for any unit that focuses on immigration – not just in Social Studies but also as a theme or important plot point in literacy.
Anticipation Guide with 6 debatable questions/statements
“Wind” Short Film Viewing (short film not provided)
Instructional Resources: The standards-alignment guide, pacing guide, and daily lesson plans will help you effectively plan and implement any and all components of the unit. They are the materials designed for you. (Editable)
Answer Keys: Every resource includes comprehensive answer keys! The keys provide potential answers for every activity, lesson, and question (where applicable). Of course, not all analytic questions have just one answer! Part of the strength of the analysis question is the room they leave for students to demonstrate their unique thinking and use textual evidence to support their stance. Therefore, use the answers at your discretion but know they provide a solid foundation for the type of performance that makes for quality work.
This resource is NOT EDITABLE! It is intended to be comprehensive, but if you have particular needs for your classroom, please contact me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)