I’ll take Immigration for $1000

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.

A poster board with the word Italy on it and an italian flag of green, white and red is on a table. A young woman wearing a red fuzzy santa cap is sitting at the table writing on paper. There is a Chromebook in front of her.

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.

A man with light hair, glasses and a blue facemask, wearing a brown jacket, stands watching a young woman explaining German immigration. There is a yellow poster board with things about Germany on it and two Chromebooks with a Jeopardy-type game on it.

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.

On a table is a diorama of a steerage ship. In front is a Chromebook with information about German immigration.

A woman with blond hair wearing a red shirt looks at a board about Irish immigration. A young woman sits to her right also watching.

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?

Three middle school students sit at a table writing while looking at Chromebooks. In front of them is a poster about Mexican immigration with the word Mexico on it.

The project was both challenging and fun for the students, who were eager to share what they had learned with all.

Two middle school boys, both with curly hair and masks and dark hoodies, look at a display with information about China immigration. One is sitting at a Chromebook. In the back are little containers of fried rice and the Chinese flag.

A young man wearing a yellow sweatshirt takes a napkin and food from a table. In the background is a  poster board that says Poland and Russia with items on it