Whether your students' families came to America ten days ago, ten months ago, ten years ago, or much longer than that, they, like most Americans, are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Have your students do an oral-history project that explores each one's immigrant background. Develop questions such as:
Who in your family immigrated to America?
What countries were the original homelands?
When did they come to the U.S.A.?
Why did they come?
How did they get here? Was the journey anything like the one in How Many Days to America?
What language did they originally speak? Is that language still spoken in the home?
What songs, customs, or traditional clothing can they tell about?
Your students should interview and tape-record, if possible, their parents and grandparents, as well as write and talk about their own personal experiences. Keep a world map in the room, and as the reports come, flag countries of origin.
On the day the histories are presented to the class, invite parents and conclude the presentations with an International Food Day.
Understands that culture and experience influence our perceptions of places and regions
Understands the patterns of human settlement and their causes
Obtains information about a topic using a variety of oral sources, such as conversations and interviews
Makes basic oral presentations to class
Organizes ideas for oral presentations