April 21-May 29, 2014



            During this unit, we will be learning about the many groups of immigrants, some of them our ancestors, who have come to the United States since the 1850s.  We will learn what factors pushed people to emigrate from their homes and what factors pulled them to immigrate to America. We will also analyze how this diverse population affected and contributed to the American experience.  An important component of this unit will be a study of immigration in the town of Mansfield and the experiences of some of these immigrants.  We will bring our study of immigration up to date by examining current immigration concerns. 

Unit Goals

  1. Students will be able to identify the reasons many immigrants left their homelands to come to America.
  2. Students will be able to use primary sources to draw conclusions about the immigrant experience and to identify local immigration patterns.
  3. Students will come to a deeper understanding of the immigrant experience by role playing immigrant characters during our Ellis Island simulation.
  4. Students will discuss present day immigration issues and propose solutions for them.


Unit Requirements

  1. Actively participate in class activities.  As always, you will receive grades for each class activity.


  1. Find out about your family history, ethnicity, culture, and/or immigration stories.  Some families will have a wealth of information while others will have more limited material. Record the following information on a 5 x 8 index card:
  • the name(s) of the countries from which you and/or your ancestors emigrated
  • when you or your family immigrated to the United States
  • why you or your family chose to leave your native country and come to America, and
  • any interesting stories you learned about your family immigration history.

Bring the completed card to class on Tuesday, April 22 (SS 1, 2, 3) or Wednesday, April  23 (SS 4, 5).

3.   Read Chapter 18, Section 4 (pages 624-629) and “An Immigrant’s Journey” (pages 630-631) and complete the "take-home 'quiz'."   Due in class Thursday, May 1 (SS 1, 3) or Friday, May 2 (SS  2, 4, 5).


4.    Read “The History of the Jewish Farmer in Eastern Connecticut” and complete the assignment you choose.         Due in class Thursday, May 8  (1, 3) or Friday, May 9 (4, 5).

5.    Write an autobiography of your character role for our Ellis Island Simulation.  Explain

  • who you are
  • where you are from
  • your family circumstances
  • include your vocation
  • your age
  • your health information
  • Why are you leaving your homeland and coming to America?
  • What do you plan to do once you're here?

Due in class Thursday, May 15 (1, 3) or Friday, May 16 (2, 4, 5).


  6.  Actively participate in the Ellis Island Simulation by role playing your character and working   cooperatively with your "family" and the immigration officials.  Please see the Ellis Island Simulation Scoring Rubric for information about grading requirements for the simulation.

Be prepared with your role information and your costume for our simulation on Thursday, May 22.

    As a culmination of the simulation you will write a letter home to a member of your family who   remained in your home country. You should include

  • information about your family’s voyage and
  • the processing at Ellis Island.
  • If you were accepted, you should include plans for your new life in America:
    • Where will you live?
    • What work will you do?
  • If you were rejected, you must discuss
    • your reaction and
    • your plans for the future.


7.   Please see the Ellis Island Letter Rubric for grading requirements and details.  Your hand-written letter is due  in class on Friday, May 23 (all classes).



8.   Prepare for a unit test on Tuesday, May 27 (SS 1, 2 , 3) or Wednesday, May 28 (SS  4, 5) and Thursday, May 29 (SS 2).        











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