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February 25, 2011 Immigration: Stories of Past and Present By Angela Bunyi
Grades 3–5

    Immigration: It's About You and Me

    Let's Go Back: Taking a Virtual Tour of Ellis Island



    Picture 19

    Download The Ellis Island Experience_repro.


    Picture 18

    Download Immigration_Facts_and_Faces_repro.

    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. 

    Immigration Letter

    Picture 13

     Download this "Immigration Project Letter" for Parents (PDF)

    Immigration Rubric

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     Download this "Oral History Rubric" for assessing presentations (PDF).

    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.




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