Big Meanings Interviews Lessons Oral Histories Resources Small Moments

Looking for a lesson on immigration?

We are a nation of immigrants.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, etc.

The greatest gift we can give someone is the gift of their history.” HmongStory40

Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. We are fortunate to work in a school district that is continually enriched by its history of cultural diversity. Last year, in recognition and celebration of the experiences, challenges, and contributions of those who have come to America, we created our Coming to America – Small Moments, Big Meanings Lesson and Teacher’s Guide. This year, we are adding another resource: On Coming to America Hyperdoc.*

Both these online lessons are invitations to your students to interview, document, and publish the story of an immigrant or refugee, with a shared goal of:

  • Introducing students to the differences between an “immigrant” and a “refugee”
  • Providing a collection of primary source interviews (videos) with recent refugees
  • Providing guidelines for students to step into the role of oral historians by conducting an interview
  • Encouraging students to publish their Small Moments, Big Meanings projects to an authentic audience via several online options.

On Coming to America Hyperdoc Lesson

We have posted before about our TOR Project’s recently added an On Coming to America page. The Student Gallery is one of the suggested publishing venues for On Coming to America – Small Moments, Big Meanings, especially via the new hyperdoc.

How about your school or district? Have your students had the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and do the work of an oral historian? If not, we can promise that in the process of interviewing an immigrant or refugee, they will discover what we have learned: history happens one story at a time. It would be an honor to showcase your students’ On Coming to America projects.

Questions? Suggestions? Please leave a comment. Let the conversations begin!

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*Note: The term “hyperdoc” stems from the ever-amazing Lisa Highfill’s commitment to use tools (such as Google Docs/Slides/Sheets) to create lessons with access to “instructions, links, tasks… to get kids thinking.”

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