Immigration: A Case Study on Multiple Perspectives and Diverse Formats

When using primary sources, it is important to consider multiple perspectives and diverse formats to enrich students’ learning experience. This lesson plan uses diverse sources and multiple perspectives to discuss immigration in the United States during the first part of the 20th century. By analyzing these sources, students will learn varying perspectives on immigration in the United States from the time period. 

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 

Students will analyze and synthesize different types of sources to answer research questions.

Essential and guiding questions: 

How do these diverse sources represent the various perspectives on immigration at the turn of the century? Why were some people in support of or against immigration at the time?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 
  • Distribute Immigration figures for 1903 to your class. Point out the statistics about literacy and immigrants. Why is this important, or is it not? Project the political cartoon The Americanese wall – as Congressman [John Lawson] Burnett would build it on the screen and allow students time to reflect on how these two sources might be used together.
  • Divide your students into three groups (participants, observers, and supporters) and prompt your students to think of a time when they were confronted with prejudice from the perspective of their group name. For example, the observers will consider a time when they saw an act of prejudice. After the students have recorded their stories, each student should share his or her story within the group. One member from each group should present their findings to the rest of the class. How do their findings differ? Why is it important to consider situations from multiple perspectives?

Helpful Hints


  • Multiple Perspectives: Immigration (Graphic Organizer)