Lesson Plan

History of Immigration Through the 1850s

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This History of Immigration Through the 1850s lesson plan also includes:

Everyone living in the United States today is a descendant from an immigrant—even Native Americans. Learn about the tumultuous history of American immigration with a reading passage that discusses the ancient migration over the Bering Strait, the slave trade, the arrival of Irish immigrants, and the creation of the Mexican border by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Next, class members choose an immigrant group to research and create a poster reflecting that group's experience.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Assign the reading for homework and have learners create their posters in class for a flipped classroom activity
  • Encourage class members to choose immigrant groups to research that were not discussed in the passage, or to choose groups that connect to their own family heritage
  • Include selected scenes from relevant movies and miniseries, such as Far and Away and Roots
Classroom Considerations
  • The first part of a 10-lesson unit on immigration
  • Establish a protocol for the respectful discussion of controversial topics, as some pupils may hold strong opinions about the rights of immigrants; see the attached document
  • Addresses biases that learners may find relevant in the news today
  • Passage is thorough and thought-provoking
  • Incorporates both reading skills and collaborative projects
  • None
Common Core