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A Letter to Ireland: Irish immigration primary source stations, writing activity

Grade Levels
Resource Type
Common Core Standards
Product Rating
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68 MB|25 pages
Product Description
--Student-led -- Primary source stations -- Common Core-based -- Ready to print and use --

This St. Patrick's Day, teach students about the history of the Irish in America using this challenging and engaging history and creative writing lesson.

This primary source station activity offers students a complete view of the Irish Potato Famine and Irish Immigration to America, seen through letters, editorials, newspaper articles, political cartoons, poems, songs, paintings, lithographs, and photographs of the day. Students visit four stations, each of which contains five primary source documents, carefully selected to be highly engaging, and edited for clarity and concision.

Station A: Students learn about the Irish Potato Famine and make notes of the factors fueling Irish emigration.
Station B: Students learn about the voyage to America and the "Coffin Ships" that carried Irish immigrants to Canada and New York.
Station C: Students learn about Irish life in America, their work and living conditions.
Station D: Students learn about the Nativist movment and anti-Irish sentiment in the US.

Students use this learning to create a letter from Ireland to America, in which they write as a recent Irish immigrant and tell the story of their journey to America, and experiences once there. Also included are a student handout designed for the station activity, an introductory reading, and a summary activity.

This student-led 90-minute primary source lesson will engage students in the close reading of primary sources, and ask them to compile their learning into a creative summary that draws on the documents they have examined.

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Irish Potato Famine and Irish Immigration primary source stations

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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