Fifth graders brought immigrant journeys to life this semester, through cross-disciplinary writing projects in language arts and social studies classes.
In social studies, the students researched U.S. immigration at the turn of the 20th century. They kept a journal in which they imagined the experiences of immigrants as they left Europe and passed through Ellis Island, envisioning the dreams they had and the challenges they encountered.
In language arts, the students examined U.S. immigration through a contemporary lens. They studied issues such as amnesty, asylum and deportation, as well as the far-reaching implications of these policies.
Then they were asked to choose an area of the world currently experiencing conflict and write a fictional story describing an immigrant’s journey from his/her homeland to life in their adopted country. These detailed and nuanced narratives transported the students on voyages from such countries as Syria and Poland, challenging both writer and reader to view the world from a different lens.