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.
Instruct students to view the Spanish Dictionary image and read the object essay, then tell them to answer the associated discussion questions.
Tell students they will learn more about what life was like (and still is in many ways) for migrant workers like Davis Rosales Richard. Distribute the Migrant Workers Experience handout and Photo Interpretation: Migrant Workers in America handout. Tell students to examine the archival images of Mexican Migrant workers closely. Then, tell them to use the Photo Interpretation: Mexican Migrant Workers handout to help them investigate each image or “scene” more thoroughly and record their findings.
Tell students to read the Mexican Immigration Essay handout. Then present students with the following prompt: Why is the Mexican American experience often described as a push-and-pull scenario?
Extension: Ask students to read accounts of Mexican migrant workers from today and compare/contrast their stories to what they learned about Mexican migrant workers from the turn of the 20th century.
Culminating Activity: Create Your Own Object Story!
In the above activities, students analyzed a series of primary source documents related to im/migration. 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