Teacher-Created Unit: Migration and Belonging

Rory M. from a Chicago IB school created this six-week unit for a 7th/8th grade integrated Language Arts and Humanities classroom, using a selection of Facing History resources related to immigration and identity, and a performance task based on the Literacy Design Collaborative Task #2 for Argumentation/Analysis. 

“What stood out was how much [the performance task] upped the ante from the beginning of my unit. Because the assessment piece was there, [my students] knew the goal. We consistently could bring it all back to that; everything had a purpose. The work was hard, but because of the template, the students knew what the end product would look like and as a class we worked together to get there. What I was most excited about was that they worked so hard.” —Rory

Rory’s Performance Task

“How should societies integrate newcomers? How do newcomers develop a sense of belonging to the places where they have arrived?”

These are the questions Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, Jonathan Sacks, considered in his book The Home We Have Built Together. After reading informational texts, literature, and various memoirs on immigration in the United States, write an essay in which you address the questions by arguing which strategies employed by both immigrants and citizens best achieve a cohesive community. Support your position with evidence from the texts about identity, membership, and migration.

This performance task is based on Task #2 for Argumentation/Analysis found in Literacy Design Collaborative's LDC Template Task Collection 2.0.

Download Rory's Unit

You can download Rory’s complete six-week unit here.

Get the LDC Template Task Collection 2.0

The Literacy Design Collaborative Template Task Collection 2.0 helps teachers craft tasks that engage students in writing in response to reading or research. When filled in, a template task becomes a teaching task that sets up a context for teaching the specific skills and demands embedded in the Common Core Anchor Standards.

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Facing History Resources That Rory Used

Stories of Identity: Religion, Migration, and Belonging in a Changing World

Print book,

Featuring the personal narratives of young migrants, this resource challenges students to reflect on the ways that migration affects personal identity.

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience

Streaming Video

What does it mean to become American? In interviews with historians, descendants, and recent immigrants, Bill Moyers explores this question through the experience of the Chinese in America.

Enrique's Journey

Class set

A Honduran boy goes on an unforgettable quest looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States.

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