Becoming American Study Guide

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The film Becoming American: The Chinese Experience describes the ways the first arrivals from China in the 1840s, their descendants, and recent immigrants have "become American." It is a story about identity and belonging that will resonate with all Americans.

The goal of this study guide, that accompanies the film, is to explore such universal themes in a particular history. Throughout the guide, students are encouraged to relate the story of the Chinese in America to their own history and to the history of the nation as a whole.

This guide seeks to promote student-teacher discussion around questions that Americans have asked in every generation, such as:

  • Who may live among us?
  • Who may become an American?
  • What does it mean to be an American?

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