The immigrant experience often began with a first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, and, after 1892, Ellis Island. Students explore both of these iconic landmarks, and from there are directed to the factories and the tenements of the great cities of America where many immigrants lived and worked. Student see the many people, Chinese in the West, Irish and German in the East, who built the railroads. Thousands of others headed for the Great Plains to farm.
Focus: There is a well-known saying that the United States is a country of immigrants. The Grade 2 Core Knowledge History and Geography unit Immigration and Citizenship looks at the influx of people coming to America from the 1800s to the present day—at who they were and why they came, and what happened to them once they got here. Students look at the reasons people left their home countries—such as the potato famine in Ireland, or the persecution of Jewish people in Russia—to their lives in American cities or on farms.
Students meet Andrew Carnegie, and see how some immigrants became wildly successful. Finally, they take a look at the process of becoming an American citizen, and the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.
Number of Lessons: 5
Additional Search Terms: informational text • nonfiction • Irish potato famine • Statue of Liberty • Emma Lazarus • Ellis Island • tenements • Great Plains • Andrew Carnegie • citizenship • oath of allegiance • E pluribus unum
CKHG Grade Levels: CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades K-2 are appropriate for students in the lower elementary grades. The Student Book (available in English and Spanish) is intended to be read aloud by the teacher as the students look at images on each page.
We have intentionally left the pacing and timing needed to teach the content presented in the Teacher Guide and Student Book very flexible. Teachers can choose how much they read aloud and discuss in a single instructional period, as well as how often each week they use the CKHG materials.