This is one of six modules of What Does It Mean to Be an American?, a curriculum resource designed for high school and community college classrooms.

In this lesson, students explore the history of immigration to the United States, discuss the challenges and opportunities that migrants encounter when settling in the United States, and consider the roles that immigration, immigrant integration, and citizenship policies have played in the building of U.S. society.

For their final project, students research an immigrant group or U.S. immigration/integration policy of their choice and summarize its past and/or present role in U.S. society.


• What is the history of immigration to the United States? 

• What factors drove and/or impeded the immigration and integration of different migrant groups in the United States? 

• What kinds of challenges and opportunities do migrants encounter when settling in the United States? 

• How have immigration, integration, and citizenship policies in U.S. history impacted the experiences of different migrant groups? 

Statue of Liberty

Engraving, The Colossus of Rhodes, Wikimedia Commons, public domain image.

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