In this post, we present five quick ways to teach about current issues in immigration as well as a list of nearly 40 immigration-related lesson plans, useful Topics pages and multimedia from The Times and rich resources from around the Web.
Teachers: Tell us how you teach immigration.
1. Arizona’s new law: Read (or listen to news) about Arizona’s controversial new immigration law. Investigate different perspectives on the new law here, here and here. You might also examine President Obama’s and Senator McCain’s opinions of the law.
Finally, tell us what you think about Arizona’s new legislation.
2. Immigration’s impact on public schools: Use these interactive graphics to examine the impact of immigration on diversity in America’s classrooms and study the growth in the number of English-language learners in American public schools.
Inspect the statistics in your own school district and consider different perspectives about how young immigrants should be taught in public schools. Read an article and watch a video about the case of a Virginia school that teaches English-language learners in separate classrooms from native English speaking students.
3. Who are today’s immigrants? Listen to the personal stories of immigrants in the United States who work white collar jobs and read about how immigrants today are evenly distributed across the economic spectrum. Analyze a chart that illustrates the relationship between immigration and economic growth and another that shows which cities have the highest percentage of immigrants working in white collar jobs. Compare what you have learned about immigrants in the United States today to stereotypes about immigrants to the United States.
Teachers may want to wrap up this examination of the lives of immigrants in the United States today using this lesson, which has students interview an immigrant in their community.
Record what you find using the Coming to America handout (PDF). Teachers can have students explore these resources further using the “Coming to America” lesson plan. They might also do activities in this lesson plan about the American Dream, or in this lesson in which students write letters from imaginary immigrants to relatives in their countries of origin.
5. Immigration and your community: Explore the Times series Remade in America, which examines immigration through seven different lenses: schools, workplaces, hospitals, politics, businesses, social services and the family.
Pick one of the lenses as a focus and examine the multimedia feature that accompany the article. Then use the Times’ Immigration Explorer to find immigration data about your own community and add information about your own community to your findings. Or, split students into seven groups to investigate immigration from all seven lenses.
- Express Yourself
Crafting Social Location Maps and Identity Monologues
- Coming to America
Examining Past and Present American Immigration Trends
- Assimilate or Segregate?
Exploring the Debate Over Education and Integration for ESOL Students
- Family Matters
Discussing What Diversity Within America’s First Family Means for America
- It’s Your Move
Exploring Culture and Immigration
- Huddled Masses Still Yearning to Breathe Free
Examining the Modern ‘Immigrant Experience’
- Living the Dream?
Expressing an Immigrant’s Story Through Art
- Cultural Capital
Examining How Immigrant Groups Adjust to American Society
- Deportation in Narration
Describing the Process of Deportation from Multiple Points of View
- The Home Stretch
Teaching Cross-Cultural Awareness for International Newcomers to Your Community
- News From Home
Interviewing Immigrants on Current Events in Their Countries of Origin
- Connecting Immigrants in Black and White
Exploring the Role of Ethnic Newspapers in Keeping Immigrant Populations Connected to Their Home Countries and Each Other
- Hmong Among Us
Creating Portraits of United States Refugee Communities
- Home Bound
Examining I.N.S. Custody of Immigrant Children
- Different Strokes
Understanding Somali Culture
- Worlds Apart
Investigating Differences Among the Experiences of Immigrants
Lessons on Immigrant Rights and Immigration Law in the U.S.
- American Express or Visas?
Reading and Thinking Critically About Immigration Legislation
- On the Fence
Role-Playing Different Perspectives on the United States-Mexico Barrier
- Over the Borderline?
Examining and Discussing Different Perspectives on Immigration Legislation
- What’s Your Angle?
Exploring Different Journalistic Angles in News Coverage of Immigrants’ Rights
- Calling Names
Investigating How Names Frame Debate
- Immigration Across the Nation
Understanding the Immigrants’ Rights Demonstrations of April 10, 2006
- Rushing the Border
Discussing the Complex Issues of Immigrants Who Overstay Their Legal Welcome
- In the Melting Pot
Understanding the Immigration Process: A Social Studies Lesson
- Work Forced
Exploring Issues Facing Young Farm Workers
Lessons on Immigration History
- Making Sense of the Census
Ideas for Classes Across the Curriculum
- Coming to America
Examining Past and Present American Immigration Trends
- The People, They Are a Changin’
Exploring Demographic Shifts in the American Population
- From America, With Love
Writing Letters from Imaginary Immigrants to Relatives Back Home
- Crossing Borders, Crossing Time
Exploring How Trends in American Immigration have Impacted American Politics Throughout History
- Home Away from Home
Investigating Your City’s Immigration History
- Prisoner in One’s Own Home
An Examination of the Internment of Japanese-Americans During World War II
- Life in the Time of Cholera
Examining Urban Life During the Industrial Revolution
Lessons on Migration Around the World
- Letters From the Diaspora
Writing Letters From the Perspective of a Historic Migrant
- The Origins of Man
Using Old and New Methods to Learn About Human Evolution and Migration
- Minorities Ruled
Learning About Anti-Immigration Political Parties in Europe
- Liberty, Equality, Uniformity?
Debating Secularism in France’s Public Schools
Student Crossword Puzzles
- A Nation of Immigrants
A Collaboration Between The City University of New York and The New York Times
- Human Rights in History and Today
Use the lessons in this Newspaper in Education guide with any day’s New York Times
Related Times Topics
- Illegal Immigrants
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (U.S.)
- Immigration and Emigration
- Immigration Detention
- Migrant and Foreign Workers
- Statue of Liberty
- Border Patrol
Selected Times Specials and Multimedia
- Remade in America
A series about the newest immigrants and their impact on American institutions
- Interactive Map: Immigration Explorer
Select a foreign-born group to see how they settled across the United States from 1880 to 2000.
- New to English
Interactive map showing the number of English language learning school-age children in each school district
- Diversity in the Classroom
Graphics documenting the impact of immigration on American classrooms
- Immigration and Jobs: Where U.S. Workers Come From
Interactive map showing where workers in the U.S. come from
- From Darfur to Brooklyn
Slide show documenting the life of immigrants from Darfur living in Brooklyn
- After their Arrival
Interactive feature telling the personal stories of immigrants to the United States
- Global Migration
Interactive Graphic showing the flow of the nearly 190 million people who lived outside their country of birth in 2005.
- Presidential Candidates on Immigration: Election Guide 2008
Guide to positions and actions by presidential candidates.
- Immigrant Families: Across the Border
Interactive feature on an immigrant family from Mexico.
- Borders, Open and Closed
Interactive feature with historical photos.
- Americans Support Immigration Change
Video report on nationwide polling.
- Border Agents, Lured by the Other Side
Article with graphics and video, on border control corruption.
- Moving Pictures
Interactive feature with commentary on films about the immigrant experience.
- Bloggingheads: Immigration Crackdown
Video debate on the deportation of illegal immigrants.
- A Local Immigration Crackdown
Video on a Florida sheriff.
- The Death of Boubacar Bah
Video on the death of a detainee in the custody of U.S. immigration.
- Hiding in Waukegan
Interactive feature on immigrants retreating from public life in the face of raids.
- Corridos North of the Border
Interactive feature on Mexican ballads inspired by current events like the immigration debate.
For more related multimedia resources, visit the Multimedia/Photos page and search “immigration.”
Resources from Around the Web
- The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation
Includes timelines, a passenger search engine, photos and more.
- Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook
Offers primary resources on U.S. immigration throughout history.
- The National Immigration Forum
An immigrants’ rights organization that tracks the latest news and legislation regarding immigration in the U.S.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Provides information on U.S. citizenship, asylum and refugee status and immigration-related law, as well as educational materials on civics and citizenship.
- Scholastic’s “Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today”
Offers charts, graphs and tables related to immigration in the U.S., as well as an oral history scrapbook.
- Polling Report: Immigration
Polling data on immigration archived by Polling Report, an independent, nonpartisan resource on American public opinion trends.
- U.S. Census Bureau: Immigration Data
Immigration data from the U.S. Census Bureau.