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Immigration Essential Questions

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Studying immigration with your students can be a powerful teaching experience spanning topics from a variety of disciplines. This lesson gives you some essential questions that might underlie your immigration curriculum.

What Do We Mean By Immigration Essential Questions?

When you teach your students about immigration, you have the chance to teach them about history, culture and geography all at once. Studying immigration offers opportunities to explore literature, family history, and local institutions with narrative histories to offer. An immigration study opens up the possibility to think about different languages, religions, and ways of life.

To make the most of your study of immigration, you will want to consider essential questions that frame and underlie your unit. Essential questions are conceptual questions that get at the big ideas and understandings behind a particular topic. Essential questions do not necessarily have right or wrong answers, and their answers are almost never simple. You probably will not show your essential questions directly to your students, but you will bear them in mind as you plan lessons, activities and projects. Defining your essential questions will help you design an organized curriculum that gets at critical thinking skills and deep knowledge.

The essential questions in this lesson address different aspects of immigration. Since immigration is a massive topic that plays out very differently depending on the age and background of your students, this is by no means a comprehensive list of essential questions. The questions here give you a starting point for thinking abstractly about immigration with your students and articulating exactly what issues and topics you most want them to understand.

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