Common “Threads” of the Immigrant

Barbara Biesak Wesselman, History, Design, Northwest School of the Arts

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

Our classrooms are becoming more diverse with students from across the globe and yet it surprises me how few students know about their family’s journey to America. The opportunity to share those stories are important pieces of history. My goal has been to understand our current American immigration picture and with that understanding, the appreciation of the cultural contributions immigrants bring to this country.  Because the contributions are many, this paper will focus on fashion and apparel contributions, though this paper can also be used as a starting point for foods, traditions, crafts, arts or any other cultural influences.  Please visualize fibers coming together to create a thread, once the threads are woven together they are able to create a strong lasting fabric, a textile.  Each immigrant story and contribution is as unique as a hand woven textile, the texture, color, design and patterns all rich in personal background and experience. Through the research of fashion trends and styles students will explore the contributions brought by immigrants in the apparel field.