In this lesson, elementary students develop an understanding of
what it means to immigrate from one country and culture to another. Using
various resources, including video segments from the documentary BECOMING
AMERICAN: THE CHINESE EXPERIENCE Web sites, and student organizers, students
examine the experiences and contributions of Chinese immigrants in the
U.S. and explore their own cultural heritages. As a culminating activity,
students invite guest speakers who are first- or second-generation immigrants
to tell about their experiences.
Note: To invite family participation, a letter can be sent home. A sample
letter to parents is provided; it may be adapted or used as is.
Note: This lesson can carry over anywhere from a few days to two weeks,
depending on the level of interest and commitment to the topic.
This topic offers tie-ins to many curriculum areas: social studies/history
(immigration; assimilation; diversity; citizenship); science/health, the
arts (Chinese contributions in these areas); and language arts (speaking,
listening, research, expository writing, interviewing).
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of the terms "immigration" and
- Demonstrate understanding of the meaning of the term "culture."
- Create cultural profiles for themselves and for others.
- Name at least three reasons why Chinese immigrants came to the U.S.
- Name at least three more reasons why people might leave their homes
to live in another country.
- Generate questions to ask someone who is a first- or second-generation
MCREL Behavioral Studies Standard and Benchmarks, Standard 1, Level
II, Benchmarks 3-4:
Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development,
identity, and behavior
MCREL Behavioral Studies Standard and Benchmarks, Standard 2, Level II,
Benchmarks 1-3, 7-8
Understands various meanings of social group, general implications of
group membership, and different ways that groups function
MCREL Behavioral Studies Standard and Benchmarks, Standard 4, Level II,
Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals,
groups, and institutions
MCREL Language Arts Standard and Benchmarks, Listening and Speaking, Standard
8, Level II, Benchmarks 1, 7
Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.
MCREL Grades K-4 History Standards, Topic 4, Number 5
Understands the causes and nature of movements of large groups of people
into and within the United States, now and long ago.
This lesson was prepared by: Kathleen Cochran, Ed.M.