Immigration in the Classroom

Addressing Immigration with our Students

Websites for Teachers

Websites for Parents

Websites for Students

Children's Books on Immigration

I Hate English! by Ellen Levine and Steve Bjorkman (A Blue Ribbon Book)

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco (Caldecott Award Winner)

How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting & Beth Peck

How My Family Lives in America by Susan Kuklin

Becoming a Citizen (A True Book) by Sarah De Capua

A PDF with a list of books with immigration themes for various grade levels.

Strategies & Activities for the Classroom

Class Quilt: Classroom Culture & Identity Builder

Have each student decorate one square of a quilt that represents who he or she is. For instance, hobbies, traditions, customs, beliefs, family, etc. Once everyone has completed their square, combine them to make a quilt. Discuss with students that we are all unique and have different backgrounds, but yet we are the same and come together in the classroom as a community of learners and also as a family.

Packing for Immigration

Discuss the conditions of immigration and how immigrants had to take only the necessary items with them. Give each student a brown paper lunch sack and discuss that this is his/her suitcase for the trip. What would they bring with them? Their favorite possessions or practical items? Have students bring their bags to school the next day packed and ready for departure. Have a class discussion in which students share what they chose to bring and why.

Other Resources

The Six Pillars of Character

  • Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship.
  • All of these character traits are important for establishing a healthy classroom atmosphere. Each of these characteristics can be related to valuing individuals for who they are – no matter where they may be from, what they look like, or what language they may speak!