With all the political debate about immigration happening in our country and around the world, you may be looking for ways to teach about this important topic. Help your students discover what they have in common with young people around the world with two new elementary lessons on immigration and immigrant experiences.
These collaborative and highly engaging lessons are generally aimed toward grades 3–5 but can easily be adapted for older and younger students.
In “Who Is an Immigrant?” students explore family, culture and community to better understand who they are in relation to the people around them. Students read the story “Julia Moves to the United States” and find similarities and differences between Julia and themselves. By finding commonalities, students understand that immigrants care about the same things they do. Two options for extension activities are included to help deepen students’ understanding: creating a cereal box “suitcase” or writing a pen pal letter to a character in a text or a student from another country.
In “Exploring Young Immigrant Stories,” students engage in a variety of hands-on exercises designed to foster appreciation for the diversity of their peers and of immigrants all over the world. Through visual and written texts as well as a kinesthetic classroom activity, students explore similarities to and differences from their peers and students living in far-away countries. An option to have students create a “floating” or digital photo gallery representing their lives is a suggested continuation of the lesson.
Help your students make global connections and gain a deeper understanding of immigration with these interactive lessons!