Immigration
4th Grade Immigration Inquiry
Did the American Dream Come True for Immigrants Who Came to New York?
Download Entire Inquiry Here

In staging the compelling question “Did the American Dream come true for immigrants who came to New York?” teachers might begin by reading aloud Emma Lazarus’s  poem “The New Colossus” and asking students to brainstorm why she wrote it.
  • Source A: Emma Lazarus, poem about immigrants to American, “The New Colossus,” 1883 
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips.  "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
 
Public domain. http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/new-colossus

 


 
Supporting Question 1- Why did people move to New York and what were their hopes?
  • Source B: Source bank: Immigrant experiences coming to New York 


Supporting Question 2- What was life like for immigrants in New York?
  • Source A: Source bank: Immigrant experiences settling in New York  NOTE:  The Lower East Side Tenement Museum provides an abundance of information about and activities to explore the immigrant life once they had arrived in America. From Ellis Island to Orchard Street is an interactive website that offers a video of immigrant experiences in coming to New York and the opportunity for students to construct an immigrant character. This website is available at http://www.tenement.org/immigrate/.
     
    The Museum also features the Virtual Tour website, which presents text and image descriptions of how immigrant life changed over time by tracing the families who lived in the same apartment. This website is available at http://www.tenement.org/Virtual_Tour/index_virtual.html.
  • Source B: Image bank: Working conditions

 
Supporting Question 3- How did immigrant groups adapt to and shape the culture of New York?  
New York State Social Studies Framework Key Idea & Practices 4.7 IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION FROM THE EARLY 1800S TO THE PRESENT: Many people have immigrated and migrated to New York State, contributing to its cultural growth and development.
 Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence      Chronological Reasoning and Causation
 Comparison and Contextualization                      Civic Participation
In addition to the Key Idea listed earlier, this inquiry highlights the following Conceptual Understanding:
(4.7a) Immigrants came to New York State for a variety of reasons. Many immigrants arriving in New York City were greeted by the sight of the Statue of Liberty and were processed through Ellis Island.