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Immigration in Early America (5th Grade)

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Keywords: Immigration, Text Features, Ellis Island, Cause and Effect, Author's Purpose
Subject(s): Social Studies, Geography, Writing, History, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Sheridan Hills Elem School, Hollywood, FL
Planned By: Teresa Moran
Original Author: Teresa Moran, Hollywood
This lesson should last one weeks time, broken into a 90-minute reading block. Thirty minutes will be spent whole group, then 20 minutes with the teacher, 20 minutes at the Computer Center, and then 20 minutes at the Writing Center.

Before having your students talk about a major topic, it's essential to activate their background knowledge about it. One way to do this is the Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction (R.A.N. Chart) It is an elaborated version of the KWL and is in compliance with Common Core State Standards.

If you have a Smart Board, Label the R.A.N. Chart the following way:
Prior Knowledge Confirmed New Learning Misconceptions
(What I think I know) (Yes I was right) (What I learned) (what I couldn't prove)
and lastly, Wonderings
(What I still want to know)
The students will answer the essential question, "What do I know about Immigration in the United States between the years of 1820-1924?"
The teacher will record the answers in the Prior Knowledge column.
Then, the teacher will do a CLOSE Watch of the video entitled, "American Heritage; Immigration Into the United States," which can be found on United Streaming on Discoveryeducation.com
The first time the students watch it, they will watch it for enjoyment. The second time, the teacher will ask them to record the reasons given for the immigration into the United States.
Then the teacher will ask the students to add to the R.A.N. Chart and state what they could confirm.
Next, the teacher will read two books in the whole group setting entitled, "Ellis Island," by Elaine Landau, and "If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island," by Ellen Levine. Using Text Features Question Stems, the students will answer the questions : Which Statement lets the reader know how the author organize the passage? For what could the information in the article best be used? Under which heading would you MOST LIKELY find information how people learned English? How does the author help readers BETTER understand the causes of immigration to the United States?

After reading these books, the teacher and students will fill out the information under "New Learning," and "Misconceptions."

In small group, the students will read the book entitled, "Fortunately, Unfortunately," by Remy Charles. Students will examine the cause and effect relationships, and then make their own graphic organizer called, "Fortunately, Unfortunately," based on the book, "If you Traveled West in a Covered Wagon" by Ellen Levine.

At a computer Center, Students may access http://teacher.scholastic.com/immigrat/ellis/ and take a virtual tour of Ellis Island.

At another center, students will complete a Writing Activity. They will write a journal entry as if they were an immigrant coming to the United States, detailing what a day in their life would be like.

To culminate the lesson after one week's time, the teacher and students will fill in the last section of the R.A.N. Chart and indicate what questions they still might have regarding Immigration in the United States.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
For a math Prospective, students can analyze the documented number of people that immigrated to the United States during the 1800's-1924.
A great book on Mexican Immigration into the United States is "Esperanza Rising."
Materials: Whiteboards, Short Throw Projectors, Pen Readers, Timeline
Other Items: 1 SB680 SMART Board 680 - 77" , $1399.00 each, total of $1399.00