Students watch a video segment that presents the immigration of Jews to America during the 19th century, how they were treated upon arrival and how they created successful lives for themselves in the United States. They will then answer questions related to the events of the video and compare these events to those they observe in society today.
Why is this an important concept?
Learners must understand the social and cultural contexts of a time period if they are to comprehend the motives of characters, the causes of events and the importance of setting as they relate to narratives that occur during a specific time period. This historical context will also help the reader understand the social and cultural aspects of narratives set in the present.
(1) 40-minute period
- The Journey of the Jewish Americans QuickTime Video
Part I: Learning Activity
1. Provide the purpose for this activity: to learn about Jewish immigrants to America and identify how their experience compares to that of minority groups in the United States today.
2. Before watching the video, ask students what they know about immigration. Then ask why is it important for us to know and understand the social and cultural contexts for the time period of a narrative. How does understanding these things help us to comprehend a story or historical accounts better? As they watch the video, ask students to think about how cultural and social attitudes of the 19th century effected the ways different groups of people, both immigrant and non-immigrant, were treated. Did cultural and social differences cause conflicts between different groups of people? If so, what were these conflicts? How were people in all groups, both immigrant and non-immigrant, effected? Play the segment.
3. After watching the video the first time, ask them the same questions that you asked before previewing the video. If the students’ answers changed, ask them what was mentioned in the video that made them change their minds.
4. Distribute The Journey of the Jewish Americans Questions handout. As the students watch the video segment a second time, they should listen for information that will help them answer the questions. Show the segment again so students can confirm the details they included in their answers.
For students who needadditional guidance:
- Meet with students between viewings of the video segment to support their note-taking and writing skills.
- If needed, arrange for students to watch video again.
- Use listed websites to find additional details about the time period and cultures discussed in the video.
- Allow students to work in cooperative groups to answer the questions.
Part II: Assessment
1. Collect handouts and use The Journey of the Jewish Americans rubric to evaluate their answers, aswell as their comprehension of the video segment.