Wondering how to teach the tough topic of immigration and help your students reflect on such a complex and dynamic issue? From book lists to engaging discussion questions that inspire reflection and deep critical thinking, these three engaging and effective resources are perfect supplements to your existing immigration lesson plans.

    The Orphan of Ellis Island

    In this historical fiction and fantasy story of a field trip to Ellis Island, young Dominic Cantori is transported more than 100 years back in time to Italy to learn about the lives and struggles of Italian immigrants willing to do anything to make it to America.

    This timely book offers an opportunity for students to not only learn about the plight immigrants to the United States faced more than a century ago, but also provides an opportunity to draw parallels to what immigrants face now. Throughout their reading, encourage students to reflect on the experiences they’re reading about and compare and contrast them with what they understand to be happening today. Through class discussion and writing activities, students will better understand immigration and be able see it through an important historical lens.

    12 Discussion and Writing Prompts to Help Students Better Understand Refugee

    Refugee is another important and timely book detailing the struggles and complexities surrounding immigration. The stories the book details introduce students to the harsh realities of war and economic crisis that motivate so many to leave the places they call home and seek safety and security elsewhere.

    These 12 discussion and writing prompts will not only help students better understand the reading, but will help them connect with contemporary stories of immigration in a different, more nuanced way. By thinking critically about main ideas and details, craft and structure, and the integration of knowledge and ideas throughout their reading, students will be ready to study and learn about how refugees and recent immigrants are shaping their own communities and what they can do to help.

    25 Books About Immigration Experiences

    Reading will always be one of the most effective ways to engage students and teach them about immigration. These 25 immigration books for kids will open your students’ eyes to the complexities of immigration and the effect it’s had on American history and culture. Through reading, students will further develop their research skills and learn about different cultures and diversity, geography, and more through a historical and contemporary perspective.

    By reading, discussing, and writing about immigration, your students will come away with a better understanding of immigration and the history behind it. But most importantly, they’ll be able to develop their own ideas about this tough topic and communicate them in ways that add to the conversation in a positive way.