Eighth-grade students at Seward had a very interesting and challenging project just before the winter break. They worked in groups to learn about immigration. The students were broken into groups; each group concentrated on one particular country. They researched why people from their assigned country wanted to leave their home and emigrate to a new land, the United States.
After collecting the information, each group created a story about their group of immigrants. All students went from one display to the next to learn about immigration from all of the countries researched – China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland and Russia. They also found ways to teach their classmates about the life of immigrants from their assigned countries.
For example, one team that researched German immigration created an interactive German Jeopardy game! Other groups had interactive question and answer quizzes on Chromebooks. One group made a steerage ship to show the conditions immigrants endured and also used Chromebooks for their information – combining old school and new technology.
Students gathered information to complete their assignment, which was to understand what motivated each group to their home country. What was the pull of America and what was pushing them to leave their home? What was the experience like to travel here? What was life like for them once they settled here? How has this immigrant group positively influenced our country and what have they contributed to American society?
The project was both challenging and fun for the students, who were eager to share what they had learned with all.