U.S. History: Western Expansion- Immigration in 19th Century America

America was built on the backs of immigrants. This lesson plan investigates the influx of Irish and Chinese immigrants to the United States in the 1800s. As populations of different immigrants increased, nativists feelings swept the nation. Despite discrimination, both Chinese and Irish immigrants played important roles in constructing the Transcontinental Railroad. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
8.39
Identify the leaders and events and analyze the impact of western expansion to the development of Tennessee statehood, including:
8.96
Trace the expansion and development of the Transcontinental Railroad, including the Golden Spike event (1869), and the role that Chinese immigrant laborers (Central...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.6
Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.9
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
GLE 0801.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
GLE 0801.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0801.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0801.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
GLE 0801.5.5
Explore the concept of premises, including false premises.
GLE 0801.8.5
Identify and analyze common literary terms (e.g., personification, conflict, theme).
SPI 0801.2.7
Select the most appropriate strategies for participating productively in a team (e.g., gain the floor in orderly ways, meet or set deadlines for completing each...
SPI 0801.2.8
Identify the functions and responsibilities of individuals within an organized group (i.e., reporter, recorder, information gatherer, leader, timekeeper).
SPI 0801.3.11
Identify individual written selections as technical, narrative, persuasive, and/or descriptive in mode.
SPI 0801.3.5
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0801.3.8
Select vivid words to strengthen a description (adjective or adverb) within a writing sample or passage.
SPI 0801.3.9
Select illustrations, explanations, anecdotes, descriptions and/or facts to support key ideas.
SPI 0801.4.2
Identify levels of reliability among resources (e.g., eyewitness account, newspaper account, supermarket tabloid account, Internet source).
SPI 0801.5.9
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 0801.8.14
Identify the authors purpose for writing.
TSS.ELA.8.RI.CS.6
Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
TSS.ELA.8.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing relevant textual evidence.
TSS.ELA.8.RI.KID.2
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an...
TSS.ELA.8.RL.CS.6
Analyze how similarities and differences in the points of view of the audience and the characters create effects such as suspense, humor, or dramatic irony.
TSS.ELA.8.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing relevant textual evidence.
TSS.ELA.8.RL.KID.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting,...
TSS.ELA.8.SL.CC.1
Prepare for collaborative discussions on 8th grade level topics and texts; engage effectively with varied partners, building on others' ideas and...
TSS.ELA.8.W.RBPK.9
Support interpretations, analyses, reflections, or research with evidence found in literature or informational texts, applying grade 8 standards for...
TSS.ELA.8.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
TSS.ELA.8.W.TTP.3
Write narratives (fiction and nonfiction) to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, relevant descriptive details, and...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

The student will:

  • Explain the reasons for Northwestern Europeans, specifically the Irish, immigration to the United States.
  • Explain reasons for Chinese immigration to the United States.
  • Identify nativism in the early 19th century and 20th century.
  • Compare and contrast immigration and nativism in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Essential and guiding questions: 

What events caused nativist feelings against large numbers of various immigrant groups during the 19th and 20th centuries? 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 

“Nativist Newspaper”: Students will be grouped with 3-5 others to create their own publication of a nativist newspaper. Give each student a job to help complete the newspaper. Teachers can require certain aspects of the newspaper to be included. For example, the headline, pictures, and articles.

Helpful Hints

Materials:

  • Immigration Graffiti
  • Venn Diagram
  • Library of Congress Political Cartoon Analysis Tool
  • Dueling Document Worksheets (pgs. 5 & 7)
  • Teacher Resource
  • Matching Game Worksheet
  • Drawing paper and colored pencils