Lesson Plan Title : Immigrants Then and Now

Age Range: Grade 9 through Grade 12 (High School)

Overview and Purpose:America is made up of immigrants, but how many of us know the process a person goes through when they want to come here? This lesson asks students to research immigration patterns from the late 1890's until now. They are then asked to explain what happens when a person wants to move to America.

Objective: The student will be able to

*chart the number of immigrants that come to America each decade.

*describe the process an immigrant must go through to come to America.


Internet access for students


PowerPoint presentation on the ways immigrants have come to America


Present the PowerPoint presentation and then talk about how people have come to America over the past two centuries.

Have students work in groups to research the number of immigrants who have come to America since 1890. Have them create a graph to show the results.

Have students research the process for immigrating to America. Have them make an instructional sheet for someone who wants to immigrate.

Wrap Up:

You can also provide books that give firsthand accounts of people immigrating to America. The students can choose one of the books and form groups that meet to discuss the story. They can then perform a pivotal scene from the book for the class (without giving away the ending.)