4th Grade New York

Immigration

This inquiry leads students through an investigation of the experiences faced by immigrant groups who traveled to New York throughout the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Understanding those experiences helps students develop keen insights into the cultural fabric of New York State. In examining the initial hopes of immigrants and their reasons for coming to America, the social and economic conditions in New York City at the time, and the realities of establishing a new life for immigrant families, students should be able to develop an argument with evidence to answer the compelling question “Did the American Dream come true for immigrants who came to New York?”

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Compelling Question:

Did the American Dream Come True for Immigrants Who Came to New York?

Staging the Question: Read aloud Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus” and brainstorm why she wrote it.
1

Supporting Question Why did people move to New York and what were their hopes?

Formative Task List the reasons people immigrated to New York.

Sources Source A: Source bank: Immigrant experiences coming to New York

2

Supporting Question What was life like for immigrants in New York?

Formative Task Write a paragraph describing the experiences of immigrants upon arrival in New York.

Sources Source A: Source bank: Immigrant experiences settling in New York
Source B: Image bank: Working conditions

3

Supporting Question How did immigrant groups adapt to and shape the culture of New York?

Formative Task Make a claim with evidence about how three immigrant groups adapted to and shaped the culture of New York.

Sources Source A: “Immigration”

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Did the American Dream come true for immigrants in New York? Construct an argument supported with evidence that addresses the question of whether or not the American Dream came true for immigrants in New York.
Extension: Participate in a class discussion about the whether or not the American Dream continues to uphold the same meaning for present-day New Yorkers.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Identify a prominent immigrant group in the local community or region.
Assess: Research and assess the experiences of the selected immigrant group.
Act: Use the research to create a digital information session for children emigrating to their community.