Waves of U.S. Immigration From 1820 to the Present

Michelle Zachrich, History, Independence High School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

My unit addresses U.S. immigration to the United States since 1820. The students will focus on vocabulary, immigration groups, primary source readings, maps, and laws to learn about the progression of immigration in American history.  In 1820, immigration was encouraged but as the years go by immigration becomes more restricted. Through the lens of push and pull factors, the students will examine why immigrants came to the United States in each of three major immigration waves. The students will be completing maps of primary immigrant countries, analyze why immigrants from these countries came, and look at what they did, and where they settled when they arrived in the United States. The unit also addresses U.S. immigration policy. The students will be examining the reasons for the laws and offer their opinion about the law. They will also be going a bit further and creating their own immigration policy for today. More importantly, the students will be comparing and contrasting different immigrant stories with a view to better understanding the similarities and differences that characterize U.S. immigration waves across time. The unit examines primary source documents and firsthand accounts of immigrants.