Personal Lens on Immigration
Meadow Pond Third Graders Put a Personal Lens on Immigration
“How did you manage when you didn’t know English?” “Did you like the food?” How did you feel when you arrived?”
These were just some of the questions that students in Connie Merritt’s Meadow Pond third grade class had the opportunity to ask people who had immigrated to the United States. What made the experience extra special was that the people who shared stories of moving to the US were their parents, grandparents and other family members.
Merritt built the project around the social studies unit Settling in the United States. She said that what her students discovered about themselves and each other, and the personal empowerment they tapped into by sharing their family stories, was amazing.
What was it like?
How did you feel?
All family members said that they came to America for a better life.
Ava’s nonno– grandfather - came in and talked to the class about immigrating from Italy. Aspen’s mom shared her experiences immigrating from China. Kingsley shared a video he had made of his interview with his Aunt Pharah, who immigrated from Haiti when she was eight. The video also included a Q&A with his stepcousin who just moved to the US a few weeks earlier!
Luke shared a video of his grandfather reflecting on his father’s immigration from Italy. The video inspired Luke’s whole family to learn more about their heritage.
Enthusiasm spread in school, too—the class next door asked to see the video!