US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project

US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
US Mini PBL Unit Ellis Island Immigration with Interview Oral History Project
Grade Levels
Common Core Standards
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13 MB|47 pages + 38 slides
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Product Description
Strengthen your Gilded Age or Progressive Era unit with an exploration of the Ellis Island immigrant’s experience. Read the moving poetic words of Emma Lazarus, hear the retelling of memories by living immigrants, and examine the massive statistics each of these 12 million American Dreamers helped create. Culminate your students’ understanding with an interview oral history project of their own!

By the end of this unit, your students will be able to
- Annotate and analyze written, oral, and statistical primary sources for quantitative and qualitative evidence
- Annotate and analyze poetry using the DECODE method
- Plan, conduct, narrate, and reflect on own interview in an oral history narrative essay project

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Greatness is learning to really listen and learn from others’ experiences.

America is a nation like no other, for many reasons, but perhaps most so for its perennial storyline of the one-part-hopeful, one-part-determined immigrant citizen. Faceless souls who make up the swelled statistics of census data reports; poignant stories of mothers and fathers and children wanting nothing more than what we all want: self-determination. Both tell the rich and patriotic stories of the convergence of our dearest American values: hard work, opportunity, and equality.

Introduce your students to a sampling of Americans who help make up the Ellis Island immigrant story, guiding them truly articulate their beliefs on “Why have so many chosen to become Americans?”

Leave the boring chronological textbook behind and head straight to the compelling sources that make this question central to our pride and identity as Americans, and engage your students to create their own oral history!

The beauty of a thematic unit is your freedom to mix-and-match, add-and-subtract: each activity is self-contained, allowing for complete customization to meet local standards, time restraints, and interests.

This unit can be done well in anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks!

Included in this mini unit:

Teacher Materials
- Unit Overview & 4 pages of Daily Lesson Plans from the unit hook to the project assessment
- Rubrics, both CCSS-aligned and generic
- 38-slide editable PowerPoint slideshow with images, links, and student directions

Student Materials & Activities
- Concept Definition for students’ unit-long note taking
- Poem Analysis of Emma Lazarus’s famous work, “The New Colossus”
- Current Day analysis of recent naturalized citizens interviews and current immigration data
- Ellis Island Oral History interviews annotating and analysis
- Ellis Island By the Numbers statistical analysis
- Ellis Island Artistic Expression analysis of the short film “Ellis”
- Oral History Interview supported by step-by-step planning guide, rubrics (CCSS-aligned and generic), exploring the diversity and opportunity that make up the American Dream
- 3 Skill Sheets Annotating a Text, DECODE Poem Source Analysis, Citing Evidence & Sourcing

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Want to make this into a whole unit?
What is Our American Story: Immigration & the American Dream PBL Unit explore Ellis Island, the Great Migration, and Vietnamese Americans in this complete thematic unit

Want just the project?
Interview Narrative Project use this universal writing project pack to make almost any unit into a PBL unit!

Want more U.S. History PBL Units?
Six Degrees of Separation: kick off a study of our country’s political and physical features with a “Flat Stanley” style project
1600-1800s American Values: explore the founders of America, from the Puritans to the Nez Perce, and their core values in order to develop one’s own goal and motivational plan of action for the school year
1900s Protest Movements: be inspired by Silent Sentinels to Alcatraz Occupiers to develop one’s own statement of protest or support
1900s American Heroes: explore what it means to be a hero from Madam CJ Walker to John Glenn in order to nominate one’s own hero for recognition

What to go entirely PBL?
U.S. History PBL Course Mega Bundle: get all posted PBL resources in one download and save big!
Total Pages
47 pages + 38 slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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