This activity is super engaging to students, and can be done as an intro to your immigration unit, or as a nice filler at any point throughout it!
Here students log into the provided website to search their last names popularity across the world. Many students do not know their origin, or are surprised by the results, so this is a great activity because it is high on personal interest. Not to mention, students are willingly looking at maps and interacting with it, so that is always great.
After I had students write their name on a small post-it note and post it on my global map in my classroom, and finally I made a large map of NYS and had students write their name in the county that their name is most popular in. We then discussed any emerging trends that we noticed.
Included is the website link and sheet in both PDF and Word for editing, as well as my copy of NYS.