The topic of immigration is possibly as controversial today as it was at the turn of the twentieth century. In this one-day lesson, students will examine the attitudes and opinions of native-born Americans who did not welcome the arrival of immigrants from certain countries (Nativists). Students will use music and political cartoons from the period to wonder, investigate, and construct new understandings of Nativist opinions towards immigrants at the time. They will consider the role of exaggeration and prejudice in creating persuasive songs and cartoons. Students will then will reflect on their learning and connect that to their knowledge of opinions on immigration today. Their homework will be to create a period-correct Letter to the Editor expressing their support for – or opposition to – immigration, or to create a period-correct political cartoon also expressing their opposition to – or support for – immigration. Included in the lesson is a Universal Design for Learning Chart and a rubric for editorial writing. Download PDF.
1890 – 1916