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This lesson plan helps students tackle challenging questions on immigration.

Day One

Students reflect on the idea of the United States as a “nation of immigrants” through Emma Lazarus’s poem, “The New Colossus.” They then read a brief history of immigration to the United States and discuss how the history of immigration and integration in the United States has both shaped and been shaped by various government policies. After being introduced to some migration-related concepts and terminology, students read a case study on Japanese migration to the United States.

Day Two

Students view a video of young Americans describing their families’ immigration stories, compare those experiences with the experiences described in "Case Study: Japanese Migration & the U.S.," and consider the wide diversity of immigrants and immigration experiences in the United States today. To end the lesson, students conduct research on an immigrant group in the United States or an immigration/integration-related policy of their choice.

Extension Activities

Use these extension activities to extend the lesson and reinforce understanding.

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