by Lauren Moss, Wangenheim
Students will investigate the experiences of immigrants coming to the United States from the late 1800 to today. They will then place themselves in the shoes of a young teen immigrant, and create a journal based on their experiences, thoughts and feelings. Journals created by the students will cover different immigrant groups throughout this period. Once the journals are completed, the students will have the chance to view the work of their classmates and learn about the similarities and differences in experiences between these immigrant groups. This lesson will end with a reflective class discussion in which students compare and contrast these experiences and discuss why they think they exist. This assignment will help students understand the point of view of different immigrant groups, as well as why their experiences in coming to the United States varied.
As Americans we live in a wonderfully diverse nation where people from all around the world live together and share their cultures, making America truly unique. As a young adult, you should understand how the United States became such a diverse nation. The experiences of immigrants throughout our nationís history have been very different, making this a very interesting area of study in history. Everyone in America has a connection to immigrants, whether you immigrated during your lifetime or you have ancestors or relatives who immigrated at one point to the country to start a new life. In essence, this is one area of United States history that we all have in common. Help celebrate this fantastic aspect of our nation by exploring into the lives and experiences of different immigrant groups, and stepping into their shoes to see what their lives were, and are, really like.