Welcome to a series of lessons about early American immigration! These lessons are part of a six week unit my district is implementing all about the United States of America, including the people, The Preamble, and the presidents. This week, we'll work on reading informational text and historical literature to meet the 50/50 ratio of fiction to informational text in the Common Core. The students take a step back in time, to enjoy a daily update from our principal narrating a historical journey from being an emigrant to becoming an immigrant of the United States. Please watch this short video to see some highlights of these lessons. Thank you!
*Please note: Lessons one and two were taught in the same day. We used our computer lab time to complete lesson one, and then completed lesson two during our shared reading time.
Immigration clip art in lesson banner, and other documents purchased from MelonHeadz.
Principal's Immigration Script: Each day this week, our principal is narrating a pretend historical journey beginning with the emigration from our homeland through becoming an immigrant of America. I've specifically included facts and details that the students will be encountering while reading their informational text and literature this week. This will help them make connections, review, and get them excited as they hear an update from their principal daily. Thank you, principal Gravel! (See Resource File: Principal's Script Immigration Week - Thursday)
We're continuing to read the informational text Ellis Island (A True Book).
Vocabulary: To support the students with their content vocabulary this week, I've created an "Immigration Vocabulary" page with important words, and a place for students to add new words. I introduced this page on Monday, so today I just remind students that they can use the page as a reference for content vocabulary, and add their own words to the back as they're reading. This helps my travelers work toward RI3.4, determining the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words. (See Resource File: Immigration Vocabulary and Student Sample)
Sequencing: Today, we continue to read and sequence the steps of emigration through immigration in early America. I begin by reviewing the skill of sequencing, or putting something in chronological order. Today, we read chapter four, "On American Soil at Last", and take notes about an what happened to an immigrant when they arrived at Ellis Island. As we read, we are careful to pay close attention to the nonfiction text features, and monitor our comprehension. After finishing the chapter, we go back, skim, and scan to find the most important steps of this chapter. Students record their chronological steps on Post-it notes.
8. Get off ship - more doctors check you out
9. Legal inspections - morals (beliefs) and literacy
Please note: I've included a photo of a student's Post-it notes from the end of the week. This is after the whole book is read. (See Resource Files: Sequencing Poster; Chronological Post-its)
Today, I keep my review of Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story short. I go through answering the Who?, When?, Why?, Which?, Where?, What challenges?, and What adjustments? questions stems, as well as the character paragraph. I answer any questions my students have, and send them on their way to complete their own historical immigration story and work. (See Resource Files: Historical Fiction Literature Immigration Stories Chart; Teacher Sample Character Paragraph)
The students finish reading their historical immigration story. They are working on their Historical Fiction Immigration Analysis. I walk around the room and assist and monitor as needed. (See Resource File: Historical Fiction Immigration Analysis)
Tonight, I sent home the students' immigration stories. They were asked to read the story with an adult. At my school, we use "Oral Reading Slips" to have parents evaluate how well their child read and comprehended the story. This is a great way to form a partnership between school and home. If you notice, all of the reading slips have the same questions that the students are working on answering on their Historical Fiction Literature Analysis. This is a great way to reinforce learning at home. (See Resource Files: Six Immigration Titles Oral Reading Slips)
Work that is completed at home is one way to see how a student is performing. My parents have been really good about telling me if their child has difficulty, or is taking too long to complete home activities. However, I never know how much, or how little, support a student receives when completing work at home. Therefore, I complete all of my formal assessing, or "graded assignments", at school. I like sending home assignments like the reading slip activity seen here, because it provides review and reinforcement of things we've covered in class. It gives families an opportunity to see the kids of skills, activities, and texts we are working with.
I was contacted by a few teachers that are interested in my literacy posters, so I've included them here. You'll notice the "Sequencing" poster used within the lesson above, and others used in my other lessons on BetterLesson.
I use these posters throughout the day, across the curriculum. I created them, then had them enlarged slightly to about 11 X 14 size at a local office store. I hope you find them helpful in your classroom. (See Resource Files/Posters: Ask Questions, Author's Purpose, Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast, Connections, Context Clues, Drawing Conclusions, Fact and Opinion, Figurative Language, Main Idea and Supporting Details, Making Inferences, Predictions, Sequencing, Story Elements, Summarizing, Visualize and Use Senses)
*Clip art on the posters was purchased from Giftseasonstore on Etsy.