Immigration in the United States:
Historical Trends

Grade Level: 4th Grade                                                                                         Subject: Social Studies
Time Needed: About 40 minutes                                                                          Topic: Immigration

What School of Education Standards did you try to address in this lesson?
·      Standard 5: Explains and Justifies Educational Choices: I designed this lesson with specific goals in mind and with consideration for my individual students.  Each step of the lesson is designed to provide students with an engaging or unique learning experience they may not have had before.  The specific accommodations I have made are listed throughout this document.
·      Standard 9: Manages Learning Environment: This lesson provides for an engaging learning environment.  Students will be moving around the room to organize their timelines and will do a variety of activities relating to the history of immigration in the United States.
·      Standard 10: Employs Varied Instructional Strategies: This lesson employs varied instructional strategies through the use of large group discussion, data analysis, and small group work creating timelines.
·      Standard 13: Is a Reflective Practitioner: As an educator I am constantly reflecting on how my lessons are going as well as how my teaching affects my students.  Not only would I reflect on this lesson afterwards, but I would also plan to make adjustments during the lesson as I saw it develop.

MMSD Standards
·      Construct a timeline that traces basic historical events related to the developmental growth of the United States.
·      Explain how other regions of the world influenced the history of the United States.

NCSS Standards
·      Time, continuity, and change
·      People, places, and environment
·      Individuals, groups, and institutions
·      Global Connections

Essential Questions
·      What is immigration?
·      What is the historical timeline of immigration in the United States?
·      What have the trends in immigration been over time in this country?

Materials Needed:
·      Computer with internet
·      New York Times website:
·      Projector
·      Timeline pieces for each group

·      SWBAT analyze immigration trends in this country by using a map.
·      SWBAT examine specific population groups and their immigration patterns.
·      SWBAT organize a timeline related to immigration in the United States.

Lesson Context
            After being introduced to immigration in the first lesson, this one has students analyze trends in immigration and historical events related to immigration in the United States.  They will use interactive maps to analyze the trends and will sequence a timeline in small groups.

Lesson Opening
            The lesson will begin by recapping the previous lesson with my students and talking about some of the things they learned.  I will use the chart we filled out as well as student responses to facilitate the discussion.  I will gear the discussion towards today’s lesson, which will be focusing on the history of immigration in the United States.

1.     After our opening discussion I will display an interactive map from the New York Times website using a projector on the wall.  The map allows students to look at the numbers of individuals that immigrated to the United States from different areas and where they primarily settled.  The map can be adjusted to look at all population groups or specific groups of people.

2.     Our discussion will focus on the different population groups and when they came.  We will notice the trends and will think about why this is so.  I am anticipating that my students will begin wondering why populations came when they did and for what reasons.  We will talk about some of these things and will also document their observations/questions to see if we can answer them further as our unit progresses.

3.     Next, I will break the students into small groups and will give them each a timeline of events (see sample timeline) that they will put in order.  I will provide them with a reading that highlights the history of immigration in the United States and that will help them with their sequencing. I will also tell them that this will probably be a difficult task, but I want them to work together and try their best to see if they can put them in order.

4.     As students work on their timeline I will walk around the room and ask them questions to gauge their thinking.  I will ask them why they are putting events in specific places and their reasons for doing so.

5.     Once I have given them several minutes to work on their timelines we will come together as a large group and I will tell them the correct order.  We will stop and have discussions along the way, especially in terms of the laws that prevented certain immigrant groups from coming and what impacts certain events had on immigration history.  We will also talk about the fact that there were a lot of people here before Christopher Columbus even came, which is something that is often misunderstood in terms of United States history.

             The lesson will end by going back to our list of questions from the first day and seeing if we have answered any of them today.  I will also have them fill out an exit slip that has them describe three things they learned today and something they are still confused about (if anything).

Special Considerations and Accommodations:
·      To accommodate the range of abilities in my class I will have them work in small groups to organize their timeline.  I will make sure to put them in heterogeneous groups so they all will benefit from the activity.
·      During the large groups discussions it will be important for me to make sure I call on each of my students and to allow everyone, especially those who tend to be more reserved, to express their ideas.

            A lot of informal assessment will occur during our large group discussion and small group work.  I will ask students questions as they organize their timelines to see how they are thinking and what knowledge they have about the history of immigration.  The exit slips will provide me with some formal assessment about what they got out of the lesson and will tell me if there are things I need to reemphasize before moving on.