Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

ACTIVITY SHEET
Our Immigrant Experience
Instructions: Use Timeline of Immigration Policy and the Internet to answer the following questions about your immigrant group. Be prepared to share your findings with other members of the class and to explain why Emma Lazarus’s poem does or does not reflect the reality of your group’s experience.Immigrant Group:_________________________
1. Why did the group come to the United States?
2. Were there legal barriers to entry? If so, explain. Why were the restrictions established?
3. What kind of reception did your group receive? How did Americans view the coming of your group? In researching this question, remember to search on “nativism” (anti-immigrant sentiment).
4. Were there any periods in American history when your group might have received a different reception? Why?
5. Was America the “golden door” for your group? How did your group fare in America?
6. Review American immigration policy and be prepared to summarize its trends. How would your group have fared under current regulations?

For an overview of immigration, see The Ellis Island-Statue of Liberty Foundation, The Peopling of America, http://www.ellisisland.org/immexp/wseix_4_3.asp?

For a more in-depth history of the response to immigration, see Roger Daniels, “The Triumph of Nativism,” http://www.hsp.org/files/comingtoamericareading.pdf.

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