The Your Story, Our Story Object and accompanying essay used in this activity is a personal story highlighting how im/migration impacted one American family. This personal story helps us understand the larger American im/migration experience.
Educators are encouraged to select one activity (or use all the activity ideas) as part of a larger lesson on immigration, the Klondike Gold Rush (1890s), or westward expansion.
Coverage Instruct students to view the Danish Cufflinks image and read the Danish Cufflinks Essay, then tell them to answer the associated discussion questions. Encourage students to share their responses in a classroom discussion. Next, tell students they will be analyzing the Klondike Gold Rush using newspaper articles from the 1890s. Note: students can work individually or in pairs. Distribute the following handouts:
Then present the following question to students: What are some common themes that emerge in the two articles you read? Be specific.
Now it’s time for students to create their own article. Be sure students feature at least three of the themes/elements they identified from analyzing the archival articles they examined.
Interpret the Images
Distribute the Archival Photos handout to your students. Tell students to examine the archival images closely and think about how they represent the Klondike Gold Rush. Then distribute the Photo Interpretation handout to help them interpret the information presented in the images more closely. Encourage students to share their observations in a classroom discussion.
Culminating Activity: Create Your Own Object Story!
In the above activities, students analyzed a series of primary source documents related to im/migration, the Klondike Gold Rush, and westward expansion. Now it’s time for them to create their own primary source document! Distribute the Create Your Object Story handout to your students.
Tell students it’s time to be historians in their own im/migration experience and utilize the handout to complete the following:
Identify a family im/migration object
Write an essay about its meaning to you and your family