To introduce the lesson I asked students to respond to the Assimilating to a New Country question sheet as their Do Now work for the morning task. This helped to get them personalizing and thinking about the difficulties they would face in moving somewhere new. I had them take these out for the lesson and review their responses quietly for a few minutes. While they were doing this I wrote our focus question on the board and added a large brainstorm bubble - they use this often so are familiar with what it represents, but feel free to adapt it to your classroom practices)
I signaled and shared with students the difficulties my family had faced with language, foods and holidays when coming from Holland. I asked students to think about how can we help an immigrant who is new to our country? I gave think time and then had them signal when they had a response - Wow! Once we got going they thought of some great examples! I called on a few students who had personal experience with immigrating here so, that my other students could see that this was a current issue for some. Most students had ideas to add and the range showed their thoughtfulness for their responses.
Here's a video of some of their ideas and the direction they went with it
Next, I share the objective for today, "We are going to design a welcome brochure for a visitor new to this country that introduces the United States, California or their city (their choice) on one side and gives three guidelines as to how to adapt to our culture, language and rules.
To begin I show students the front side of the paper with the Travel Brochure template. I demonstrate how to trifold their paper to make the three sections. I want to model how to think through their design before they write so I ask them if I did mine on California what might be some information someone would need to know about if they came here from Africa? Would this information change if they came from Asia? What about Mexico? I ask this because I want them to think about where their visitor is coming from so that their advice is focused on one nationality. This helps them to keep a focus when responding to the guidelines to adapt to the culture on the back side. I then ask what pictures could we share that would interest our readers? Would they rather see a picture of the state or a picture of Disneyland? I ask this because I want them to stay focused on writing to their audience and thinking about what they, personally, would want to see in a brochure. I share with students the Travel Brochure - things to include list and that they can use it for reference to complete the front side with important information about their location. This helps them to think about what they should be sharing about their location of choice.
I now show a sample brochure and have them turn over their papers. I explain how they could design their layouts and share that they must create a minimum of three areas of advice or a maximum of six (dividing sections in parts). I share they can use any of the advice we gave on the board and that they need to give guidelines or helpful tips to make the assimilation (vocabulary focus) to our country easier. Think what you would need help with and what your interests would be!
Finally I share the brochure rubric and pass out copies for all to reflect on while writing. Now they are ready to begin working and the excitement is in the air - I love when they take ownership of their tasks.
Here's a review of a students brochure that shows how this activity can spotlight and involve ELL students in a special way. She shows a good example of a final brochure and the caring she has for someone else who might come from her home country.
When we complete these I pull sticks to have students share with the class what information and illustrations they placed on each section, how this information will be helpful and who their intended audience is. I write these prompts on the board to help them remember what the focus is. If we don't have time to share them all, I give students 5 minutes to share with their table groups using the same prompts. I call a few random students to share their work aloud:
Before we wrap up the lesson, I refer back to my "new to this country students" and ask how this information would have helped them when they first came here. This is a great way to help build cultural understanding of our differences and difficulties. They all thought it would have been so great to have had friends make these for them.