Finding Your Voice

To begin a study of what it means to be American, high schoolers first consider their own identities. They draw a picture of what they think an American looks like and share their images. Next, they examine an image of the "Flag of Faces" from the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and share their observations. To conclude the lesson, class members read and discuss journalist Maria Hinojosa's coming to America story about the importance of giving voice to all immigrant stories.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Have Neil Diamond's song "Coming to America" playing as pupils enter the classroom
  • Enlarge and create a poster of the "Flag of Faces" image and display it in the classroom
Classroom Considerations
  • The first of six lessons in the "My Part of the Story: Exploring Identity in the United States" unit
Pros
  • The lesson underscores the idea that like the "Flag of Faces," the people of United States have many identities
Cons
  • None