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 - Wednesday)
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 on Monday, 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. Today, we read chapter three, "Why Ellis Island", and take notes about an immigrant's arrival at Ellis Island. 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.
6. The ship arrives at Ellis Island.
7. A doctor boards the ship to check you out.
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'm finished reading our read-aloud, Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story. The students and I retell the story, and I use it to further model the skills for this week's historical fiction literature. The previous two days, we had taken notes on the question stems on our anchor chart about Who?, When?, Why?, Which?, Where?, What challenges?, and What adjustments?
Today, I model how to compose a character paragraph, using the checkboxes on the assignment as a guide. My students have had practice with character traits and emotions, as well as supplying evidence to support their choices. I walk them through each checkbox on the character paragraph page, asking for their input from our read aloud. I stress that it's important that they supply evidence to support their choices when they complete their assignment about their historical fiction immigration story. We read through my sample paragraph, and I leave it on display for the students to reference. (See Resource Files: Historical Fiction Literature Immigration Stories Chart; Teacher Sample Character Paragraph)
I pass out the Historical Fiction Literature Analysis papers to students. I ask students to put their names, and text titles on their papers right away. I let them know that we have today, tomorrow, and Friday to complete this assignment. I tell them to take their time, read closely, and then go back and reread to find the information, and evidence they need for the assignment.
The students continue to read their Historical Fiction Immigration story. Some finished their Post-its about Who?, When?, Why?, Which?, Where?, What challenges?, and What adjustments? yesterday, and are ready to start recording answers on their papers. I move around the room, and assist and monitor as needed. The students are really enjoying their immigration literature, and are making good connections to our informational text, and principal messages at the beginning of our shared reading time. (See Resource File: Historical Fiction Literature Analysis and Literature Notes Student 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.