Human Migration Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is human migration? A video lesson explains key facts and an activity gives students a chance for analysis. Related lessons and extensions provide options for further instruction.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'human migration'
  • list reasons for and theories on human migration
  • provide examples of human migration


1 to 1.5 hours


  • Assorted scenarios/stories featuring examples of different types of migration

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

Key Vocabulary

  • Human migration
  • Push factors
  • Pull factors
  • Voluntary migration
  • Involuntary migration
  • Dual labor market theory
  • Relative deprivation theory
  • World systems theory


  • Begin by asking students to define 'migration.' Also have them name things that migrate and write these ideas on the board for the class.
  • Now play the video lesson Human Migration: Definition, Reasons & Theories, pausing at 00:57.
  • How did the class do on their definitions of migration? Did anyone guess that humans also migrate? Discuss this briefly as a class.
  • Now ask the class to consider some potential reasons for human migration, again listing these on the board.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now and write the key vocabulary terms on the board as it is playing.
  • When the video lesson has played in its entirety, review the definitions for each of the vocabulary terms with the class. Did anyone correctly identify the reasons for human migration? Discuss this briefly now.

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