Earlier this winter, Buckley’s sixth grader’s virtually travelled through time thanks to the their immigration unit—an interdisciplinary study about the people who came to America. This project-based learning unit, organized by Ms. Patricia Russac and Ms. Natasha Chadha, integrated history and language arts.
Each student researched one immigrant group’s journey to the United States, including the reasons for the emigration, the struggles of living and working in this country, the prejudices they faced, and the traditions they brought that influenced the fabric of our culture. They also learned about the important contributions of immigrants, as well as the origin of many of the traditions that we take for granted today.
“In history, we constantly talk about how cultural diffusion influences the exchange of ideas and technology through migration, trade, and war,” said Ms. Russac. “The immigration project reinforces the full meaning of this idea.”
At the exhibition, students shared their first person, historical fiction journal entries in handmade books as an individual documenting their journey from their cultural group. Students also made infographics and short videos about the traditions of other cultures, and built visual data graphs to show the number of immigrants who came to this country over several decades.
It was a great way to demonstrate everything they learned about our country’s cultural history.
“In English, we used personal narratives as a means to both sympathize and empathize with struggles others faced as they tried to come to the land of opportunities,” Ms. Chadha said. “By using their history research to fuel creative writing in English, students were able to appreciate their own journey even more.”