Welcome to a series of lessons about early American immigration! These lessons are part of a six week unit my district is implementing all about the United States of America, including the people, The Preamble, and the presidents. This week, we'll work on reading informational text and historical literature to meet the 50/50 ratio of fiction to informational text in the Common Core. The students take a step back in time, to enjoy a daily update from our principal narrating a historical journey from being an emigrant to becoming an immigrant of the United States. Please watch this short video to see some highlights of these lessons. Thank you!
*Please note: Lessons one and two were taught in the same day. We used our computer lab time to complete lesson one, and then completed lesson two during our shared reading time.
Immigration clip art in lesson banner, and other documents purchased from MelonHeadz.
Principal's Immigration Script: Each day this week, our principal is narrating a pretend historical journey beginning with the emigration from our homeland through becoming an immigrant of America. I've specifically included facts and details that the students will be encountering while reading their informational text and literature this week. This will help them make connections, review, and get them excited as they hear an update from their principal daily. Thank you, principal Gravel! (See Resource File: Principal's Script Immigration Week - Tuesday)
We're continuing to read the informational text Ellis Island (A True Book).
Vocabulary: To support the students with their content vocabulary this week, I've created an "Immigration Vocabulary" page with important words, and a place for students to add new words. I introduced this page yesterday, so today I just remind students that they can use the page as a reference for content vocabulary, and add their own words to the back as they're reading. This helps my travelers work toward RI3.4, determining the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words. (See Resource File: Immigration Vocabulary and Student Sample)
Sequencing: Today, we continue to read and sequence the steps of emigration through immigration in early America. I begin by reviewing the skill of sequencing, or putting something in chronological order. The students give me more examples of things we can sequence, continuing from yesterday. We read the Post-it notes from our reading yesterday. Today, we read chapter two, "A Difficult Trip", and take notes about the voyage of an early immigrant. As we read, we are careful to pay close attention to the nonfiction text features, and monitor our comprehension. After finishing the chapter, we go back, skim, and scan to find the most important steps of this chapter. Students record their chronological steps on Post-it notes.
3. Wait days, weeks, or maybe a month to get on a steamship
4. Get on the steamship to travel to America.
5. You have to survive a tough voyage, of about a month.
Please note: I've included a photo of a student's Post-it notes from the end of the week. This is after the whole book is read. (See Resource Files: Sequencing Poster; Chronological Post-its)
I finish our read-aloud, Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story, completing the notes on the Post-its with Who? When? Why? Which? Where? What challenges? and What adjustments? These match the corresponding questions on my anchor chart. This is the assignment the students will be completing with the Historical Fiction immigration story of their choice. (See Resource Files: Historical Fiction Literature Immigration Stories Chart and Teacher Sample Immigration Notes)
The students are excited to receive their historical fiction immigration story, after choosing yesterday. I pass out books to each student. I was careful to match up students with their choices, but also the book I thought met their reading level, too. I explain to students that they'll be reading their story, and taking notes about the questions on our anchor chart, just like I did with our read aloud.
Who came to America in the story?
When did they come to America?
Why did they immigrate to America?
Which place in the world did they emigrate from?
Where did they settle in America?
What are some challenges they faced?
What adjustments, or changes, did they have to make?
I additionally explain that they'll also be composing a character paragraph, and I'll model that tomorrow.
The students prepare their Who?, When?, Why?, Which?, Where?, What challenges?, and What adjustments? Post-its, and begin reading their historical fiction immigration stories. They have about ten minutes to get started, and I reassure them that we'll continue through Friday, so they know they don't have to finish before our literacy centers begin. I move around the room and assist and monitor as needed. You'll notice my students found it helpful to stick the Post-its to their desks while reading to make it easy to add their notes. After time was up for the day, they stuck them to the front of their books. (See Resource Files: Literature Notes Photos)
I was contacted by a few teachers that are interested in my literacy posters, so I've included them here. You'll notice the "Sequencing" poster used within the lesson above, and others used in my other lessons on BetterLesson.
I use these posters throughout the day, across the curriculum. I created them, then had them enlarged slightly to about 11 X 14 size at a local office store. I hope you find them helpful in your classroom. (See Resource Files/Posters: Ask Questions, Author's Purpose, Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast, Connections, Context Clues, Drawing Conclusions, Fact and Opinion, Figurative Language, Main Idea and Supporting Details, Making Inferences, Predictions, Sequencing, Story Elements, Summarizing, Visualize and Use Senses)
*Clip art on the posters was purchased from Giftseasonstore on Etsy.