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3rd graders study immigration

Students record information from thinking maps.

Mrs. McClain’s class just completed a social studies unit on immigration. The class discussed what immigration is, why people immigrate, specifically to America…today and in the past, and the results of immigration.

Each student completed a family tree, shared family history with the class, realizing that the only true Americans were the Native Americans… Our ancestors came from different countries! They displayed their countries of origin on a world map.

The students formed opinions and considered other perspectives in book clubs as they discussed immigration from the past. They discussed passages about African Americans forced to immigrate to America, the overcrowding and harsh treatment in schools, working conditions, and other problems immigrants faced in America. Each group prepared a thinking map with information they had learned. The groups displayed their thinking maps, and the class carouseled around the classroom to increase learning from other groups. To conclude this activity, each student considered the feelings and thoughts of a hypothetical immigrant from his/her reading passage and composed a first-person account to show empathy for early immigrants.

The students researched a famous American immigrant and composed a research paper about the life of their famous immigrant. They displayed the writing on “paper people” they created to represent individual immigrants.

To conclude the unit, the class was able to skpye with their pen-pal family in South Africa. The family shared information concerning immigration to South Africa. The class was able to compare immigration to America with immigration to South Africa…LIVE!!

Click below to see student work samples.

Work Sample 1

Work Sample 2


Written by: Dolores McClain, 3rd Grade Teacher
Posted: May 02, 2011 by Jennifer Williams

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