The Immigrant Experience (15MS601)

The Immigrant Experience (15MS601)

This lesson is for Grade/Subject: US History II (7th Grade)


Students stumble upon a suitcase which contains six primary sources related to immigrant life in America around the turn of the 20th century. The students use the primary sources to generate questions about the immigrant and their life story in America. Students work collaboratively in pairs to research the answers to their own questions and use this information to write a historical fiction story. The final stories are displayed using Google Tour Builder and MyHistro.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: At the beginning of the assignment, students are not taught any specific information from the immigrant unit. The teacher provides the students with primary documents and the students construct research questions that allow them to individually explore the time period/unit based on their own thought process, pace, and interest. Students have previously been taught research techniques and evaluating sources, and select the information to use in their story accordingly. In order show their understanding of reliability, relevance, and authority, students provide citations for their research in their collaborative storyboarding document. Students assemble, organize, and synthesize their research in order to develop a historical fiction story. The students use Google Tour Builder and Myhistro in order to create their final product and display their final product on the class blog. Displaying the final products in this manner allows the students to interact with each other’s work, learn history content from each other’s stories, and help the students complete an individual reflection in which they compare their research and work to the work of their classmates. This task is authentic because the students must practice a variety of historical skills within the assignment. The students must observe, create questions, and investigate answers to their own questions. These skills are not limited to history class, as these skills will be useful for the students in a variety contexts throughout their life.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: The students use GoogleDocs throughout the entire assignment as a tool for communication and collaboration. Student pairs share the workload of the assignment by dividing primary documents amongst themselves to research. After researching the documents individually, the students combine their information and collaborate with each other to create one collective historical fiction story. The classroom blog serves as another form of communication and collaboration within this assignment. Students can view the work of the other groups, which allows them to reflect on their own work and the working relationship they had with their partner throughout the assignment.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: At the beginning of the assignment, students generate purposeful questions about the primary documents that will allow the students to explore and research 18th and 19th century immigration at their own pace. For this research, students not only use search terms in a search engine, but they also use the Google Image search feature. Students respond to their own research questions and justify the stops and events of their historical fiction story based on the information that they find during their research.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Students use Google Tour Builder, MyHistro, and GoogleDocs to create a historical fiction piece on the immigrant experience. Although this assignment allows the students to create new ideas and products, the parameters of the assignment are somewhat limiting in terms of creativity, as many of the student products will take the same form and design, which limits options for students to innovate and take risks.

Student Artifact

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

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