The Immigrant Experience 

Who is an American?



Macho! Graphic

Museum Exhibition Oral History



Where are we going?

 Our second area of focus this year in Humanities is immigration. We will explore the immigrant experience to discover how this aspect of our history has shaped us as a people. We will look at past and present immigration policy to explore our changing views and values throughout U.S. history. We will examine why people left their homelands, investigate the problems immigrants encountered, and look at some of the outcomes of these journeys to determine how various peoples became Americans. The central question which will guide our work is Who is an American? 

How will we get there?

During this three-four week unit, you will begin by looking for the immigrants in your own family tree. Then you will choose an immigrant group to investigate, researching the factors which may have pushed these immigrants out of their country of origin, as well as investigating the conditions within the U.S. which may have pulled them to American shores. As you conduct this inquiry into immigration history, we will view films which document the immigrant experience and will read and discuss an assortment of poems and the novel Macho! by Victor Villaseñor. You will also conduct an interview and write an oral history of a recent immigrant to the United States. Throughout the unit, you will keep an interactive notebook in which you record and reflect on your learning.

How will we know when we've arrived?

 Students will create exhibitions for an Immigration Museum which will present the results of their inquiries into an immigrant groupís history and experience in America and which will be shared with other students, teachers and, possibly, parents. Additionally, our class will publish a book of immigrant oral histories.