Building Bridges: Using Children’s Literature to Explore Global Migration

Megan Koransky, Media Skills, Bain Elementary

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


In this unit, students will explore what influences global migration, with a focus on economic, cultural, political, and environmental migration factors. This inquiry unit is based on the essential question, “Why do people move?” Using fiction and nonfiction stories, as well as primary resources, students will study the various factors leading to migration to the United States, through the lens of a child. Each migration factor in the unit is paired with a current or historical event, some familiar and others not. Students will explore perspectives of Hurricane Katrina survivors, those persecuted during the Holocaust, people migrating from Central America, and the young boys displaced during the civil war in Sudan. This unit aligns with the North Carolina Social Studies standards on migration patterns to the United States and serves as an opportunity for global learning using real-world examples. The summative assignment requires students to create original journal entries based on a current or historical event, focusing on the reasons and outcomes of the narrator’s migration.