Immigration and Migration Lessons

Overview: The focus of this unit encourages students to look at why immigrants come to the US and how they become citizens. Students will also learn which regions of the country were settled by whom and why.

Benchmarks: *Identify major rights of US citizens *Gives examples of citizenship. *Identifies which immigrant populations settled each major region. *Describes some of the motivating factors to settle different regions of the country.






Read Aloud

Overview: set stage and anchor the unit of study

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration by Betsy Maestro

1 day

Interview family member, friend or neighbor to trace when and where from ancestors immigrated to US

Activate prior knowledge

Index cards one per country

*Letter to families regarding sensitive issues


Create a class timeline of homework results

Introduction and overview

Wall chart and map

Demonstrate use of Timeliner

1 day

Non-fiction reading: Divide class into two groups based on reading ability Partner read, mark passage and take notes

Answering the Essential Understandings

Kids Discover Immigration

If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island

Scaffolded Notetaking sheet

1-2 day(s) read and attach  sticky notes


Non-fiction reading: Pair students together – one from each group

Discussion and sharing of ideas based on reading

Kids Discover Immigration

If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island



Notetaking sheet

1-2 day(s) meet with group to discuss and


determine important ideas and take notes

Fiction reading Divide class into groups based on reading ability

Point of view- Model letter or journal writing from the main characterÕs perspective

Suggested Titles: Journey to a New Land by Kimberly Weinberger

Watch the Stars Come Out by Riki Levinson Dreaming of America by Eve Bunting GrandfatherÕs Journey by Allen Say When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
The Butterfly Seeds Mary Watson or picture books with a similar message

3-4 days

Bundle of Memories

Point of View

Homework description


Citizenship and Immigration Laws

The process to citizenship

Sample lessons from teacher packet

1-2 day(s)

Explore print and non-print resources

Confirm and gather new information Continue to answer Essential Understandings and take notes (prepared recording sheet)

Work with  ITS, LMS and library resources

PBS, Ellis Island LOC websites, etc.

3-4 days

Create objects for Immigration Museum

Final Project

Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

Timeline Collage Artifact Advertisement

Poem Journal Map Postcard Newspaper/Current Event

3-4 days

Read Aloud

*use as extension during creation of immigration museum

Discussion of traditional recipes from diverse cultures

Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley

Bread Basket Chart

1 day

Tour Immigration Museum

Sharing of final projects

Final Reflection


1-2 day(s)


Westward Migration Scavenger Hunt

Motivations for traveling west

Web-based scavenger list

2 days


Compare and Contrast Assessment



Immigrant experience to pioneer experience comparison


Venn-diagram or Inspiration software


1 day plus homework



Assessments include: Rubric for final projects, research notes, homework assignments, compare/contrast and 3-2-1 reflections.