Immigration: Stories of Past and Present
- Grades: 3–5
Coming to America: Student Reporters
My husband moved to America in the third grade from the Philipines. I have often asked him to share his story of arriving in Tennessee: the story of his first photograph taken as he needed one for a passport; his impression of food; his memories of school and learning the structure of our language ("Pencil, may I sharpen?"). I thought I had exhausted all of the stories, but one of my students had the opportunity to interview my husband and help me learn even more through this class project.
Students were given two weeks to locate, interview, and present the story of a citizen who moved here. From a Holocaust survivor of Aushwitz to aging family members, I found this project to be extremely significant. With so much being taken for granted, it really helps to hear what others are willing to give up to start a new life in the United States. So, if you are interested in completing this project in your class, the work is already completed for you. I recommend at least two weeks for this project and two class periods for sharing interviews.
And you never know where this project might lead you. We have a Skype video conference planned and are arranging for a Holocaust survivor to visit our classroom.
Sample Oral History Presentations
Take a second to listen to some of our clips.
An Interview with our school counselor, Ms. Filtness, who moved here from England.
An interview with a student's grandmother who remembers her family immigrating to Texas after landing at Ellis Island.