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Immigration - Grade FOUR
Old 10-07-2006, 09:06 AM
 
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As a new grade four teacher, I'm in the midst of teaching immigration. My class doesn't seem interested and I know I need to SPICE things up to make it come alive.

Any suggestions of lessons/activities that have gone over well and engaged your class?

Thank you,
Judy


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What about a role playing game?
Old 10-08-2006, 11:31 AM
 
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How about having the students act out what immigration might have been like in the 1800's..........assign roles as immigrants, ship's captains....you get the picture. My 6th graders are more willing to sit and listen once they've "lived" what we're talking about. It is the only way I have really gotten them to understand apartheid!

Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:54 AM
 
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Read the picture book Coming to America
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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I read a role play (on the internet I think--no, I think it might have been here, do an archive search) about how the teacher spoke to the students in gobbledy-gook and put them through some of the procedures that immigrants went through to get into the country. I think these were older, children, though, so you'd probably want to tone it down.

I love to do role-playing with my students. I also like to use lots of visuals, so maybe you can put together a powerpoint, or some overhead slides of photos of immigration. I also like the read-aloud idea. Maybe try to find a diary of an immigrant (try the LOC, American Memory website) to read.

HTH
Jenny
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Letter to their family
Old 11-08-2006, 04:09 PM
 
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I play Neil Diamond's song "Coming to America" for the students and print out the lyrics so they can follow along. Then we discuss what the song is about and how the people must have felt leaving their homes and coming to a world of the unknown.

After my students have learned more about immigrating to America and what it was like, I wrap up my unit by having them write a letter to a "family member" that they left back in their home country. I have them describe the process that they went through upon arrival to America and what the voyage was like. Some of the students were so creative.

Hope this helps.

Sandy


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Old 11-08-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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I would try to find one or two books about an immigrant's experience. Maybe you could do a read-aloud or if you can get hold of enough copies use it in literature circles. Scholastic has a reader's theatre play about Ellis and Angel Islands.
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Something else that comes to mind...
Old 11-08-2006, 06:26 PM
 
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I just remembered the movie about the mouse family that escapes a cat-ridden country for the US (only to find that there are cats here too!) called An American Tail. The sequel is Fievel Goes West.
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Immigration
Old 11-10-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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Have each kid make a family tree...they are the trunk and then the two branches going up are their mother and father. Two branches come up from each of them (grandparents) and they can go up to great-grandparents, if possible. On the branches they label it with a title, a name and the ethnicity of the person. (Mother, Millie Arneberg, Norwegian and Swedish).
They have to interview their families to get all the information. It is incredible to see them come back with their research and realize that they have Native American or Columbian or Asian ancestors...parts of them they never knew! Then we look them up on a map so they have a better understanding of the world. So fun!
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