Lesson  #1
Home Up Map-1 Map-2


Causes of Migration

Background and Rationale:

This lesson is the introduction to a unit which examines coerced Irish migration to Iowa as seen through the lives of Famine Irish immigrants, their experiences and their lives as Iowans. This unit is designed for use in the first semester of an advanced placement, 50 minute, American Studies class. Students should be 10th through 12th Grade, having completed American Studies survey requirements.

Why study immigration history? By examining their immigrant roots, students could became enthusiastic learners, as this type of history is about them. Why study Irish famine immigration? Focusing specifically on the Irish allows you to narrow the scope of an investigation of the impact of immigration on our society within a manageable unit. And, there is a wealth of information on Irish immigration to America .

Objectives and Procedures: (50 minute class period)

Given the following activities, the students will:

Identify and discuss the causes of migration
Locate migration streams on a map

Teaching strategies:

–vocabulary terms are defined during the lecture
–vocabulary terms, introduced in each lesson, will be tested in a vocabulary quiz later in the unit
Guided note taking
Guided reading
Applying migration concepts to a map

Sequence of Events:

Minutes 1 through 5:
Administrative functions (attendance)

Minutes 5 through 10:
Topic introduction/hand out materials

Minutes 10 through 15:
Guided reading of Reading #1 (Background building where vocabulary terms are highlighted)

Minutes 15 through 20:
Lecture: The causes of migration (the four Cs) (including guided note-taking)

Minutes 20 through 25:
Arrangement into small groups; map introduction

Minutes 25 through 30:
Lecture: Migration streams (including guided note-taking)

Minutes 30 through 35:
Group map exercise (guided, in-class small group activity)

Minutes 35 to 40:
Map exercise discussion

Minutes 40 through 45:
Discussion of unit requirements

Minutes 45 through 50:


Content Reading strategy:  Students appropriate use of vocabulary terms during discussion

How will I know this is working?

            a) Students are enthusiastic
            b) Questions and response
            c) Completion of map exercise

Associated projects: map depiction of migration streams

Additional Readings : excerpts from Coming to America (above level); Immigrants. The Goldfinch. (below level)