On the Move


Lesson Overview                                                                                                            

Students use primary source documents to determine causes of immigration.  Students evaluate current US and world conditions related to emigration.


Lesson Author


Curt Diemer


West Liberty High School


Lesson Audience

Grade Level


# of Class Periods



US History

Length of Period

84 minutes


Objectives                                                                                                               Back to Navigation Bar

Student will:

  1. Use primary source documents to determine past and present causes for immigration to the United States and Iowa.
  2. Work in cooperative groups to conduct discussions and reach consensus.
  3. Students will apply their knowledge of countries and causes for emigration by determining which places in the world would be suitable for immigration.



Materials                                                                                                                 Back to Navigation Bar


  1. Primary source documents (hyperlinked below)
  2. Immigration chart
  3. Discussion questions
  4. Additional resources for information about countries (ie: computers, economic indicators, etc)

Online Resources (hyperlink)

1.     http://www.iowaartscouncil.org/programs/folk-and-traditional-arts/iowa-roots/season-one/transcripts/aldijana-radoncic.shtml

2.     http://www.iowaartscouncil.org/programs/folk-and-traditional-arts/iowa-roots/season-one/transcripts/martha-garcia.shtml


3.     http://www.iowaartscouncil.org/programs/folk-and-traditional-arts/iowa-roots/season-six/transcripts/ismai_alyassiril.shtml

4.     http://www.iowaartscouncil.org/programs/folk-and-traditional-arts/iowa-roots/season-one/transcripts/dominic-rizzuti.shtml

5.     http://www.iowaartscouncil.org/programs/folk-and-traditional-arts/iowa-roots/season-three/transcripts/dual-gony.shtml

6.     http://www.iptv.org/iowapathways/mypath.cfm?ounid=ob_000159

Handouts (Handouts embedded in Appendix)

  1. Charles Unger Primary Source (4 pages)
  2. On the Move instructions
  3. On the Move chart
  4. Rubric
  5. Possible printed copy of the above links























Classroom Procedures                                                                 Back to Navigation Bar

Prior Learning (background information, vocabulary)

The student will need to know:

  1. Background vocabulary-immigration, emigration, refugee, political asylum, citizenship
  2. Current political and economic state of the US and other world countries or use resources to find out

Day 1:

  1. Vocabulary Target Practice
  2. State objectives of the assignment.
  3. Read Charles Unger primary source and discuss how we would go through assignment.
  4. Pass out Moving On directions.
  5. Pass out immigration chart to be completed.
  6. Pass out and explain rubric for the project.
  7. Place students in groups of six and have them work through the first part of the activity.

Day 2:

  1. Review vocabulary.
  2. Have students finish the rest of the activity.
  3. Each group shares out conclusions and justifications.
  4. Explain opportunity for extension activity. (See below)


Extension                                                                                    Back to Navigation Bar

  Students may interview an immigrant, record information, and present the information in a creative format.



Evaluation                                                                                                              Back to Navigation Bar



The rubric below may be used to…..

Creativity Bonus – You may earn up to 3 extra credit points for taking an exceptionally creative approach to the assignment or for being particularly insightful.