Immigration into the United States
Lesson 1--What is Immigration?

Submitted by Kathy Walcott


Students will...

  • demonstrate an understanding of the concept of immigration and emigration
  • become aware of the immigration situation from Latin America to the U.S.
  • identify countries from where recent immigrants to the U.S. have emmigrated from


Language: Content Obligatory
Students will...

  • use the present tense to define vocabulary with words like significa, quiere decir, es
  • use the present or past tense (preterite/imperfect) to write a list of important facts (vocabulary will vary depending upon information selected).  For example,  En 1999 ______ personas llegaron a Nueva York.
  • use question words such as cuánto, cuándo, dónde, cómo to write questions to ask to other classmates as created in the HOTLIST.

Language: Content Compatible
Students will...

  • use 1st person present of the verb querer (Quiero saber) in order to complete a KWL chart.
  • use the preterite tense (1st person singular) to report what they have learned with the verbs  aprender, leer, darse cuenta (Aprendi que .... Me di cuenta que ....)
  • use Yo sé (present tense of saber) in order to complete a KWL chart 
  • use Quiero aprender 1st/person singular of  querer in order to complete KWL
  • use Yo aprendí (1st/person singular preterite) of aprender in order to participate in class discussion and complete KWL

Learning Strategies / Social and Skills Development:
Students will...

  • work in pairs to complete assigned tasks
  • activate prior knowledge about topic during the brainstorming activity in which a KWL is being completed
  • take notes in order to write defenitions of new vocabulary
  • use the internet resources (HOTLIST)  to define terms listed in HOTLIST activity

Time Frame:

This lesson will take approximately five 45-minute sessions.

Materials Needed:

Description of Assessment (Performance Project):

Pre-task (one 45-minute session)

1.  Explain to the students that they will begin a new unit in Social Studies.  This unit will focus on the concept of Immigration.

2.  Teacher will brainstorm with the class a list of vocabulary that is used when thinking about moving or changing locations and how these terms relate to the topic of immigration.  Teacher will need to guide students into the understanding that changing homes, schools or simply moving from one place to another is NOT immigration.

During the brainstorming session it is suggested that the vocabulary gleaned from the students be listed in a T-chart.

The T-chart could be labeled with the following vocabulary:  Inmigración es....., Inmigración no es...., Inmigración significa que....., Inmigración no significa que.....While students are giving responses, the teacher should rephrase and write on the board or T-chart responses using the vocabulary  significa, quiere decir, and es. The responses from the students should be listed in the correct columns of the T-chart so that students are able to see what is and what is not related to immigration.

3. After the class has developed a brief understanding of vocabulary related to imigration, move the class to a KWL chart.  As a class continue to brainstorm, listing information that students already know about immigration and also forming statements such as, yo sé, and quiero aprender.  If the students do not use these phrases spontaneously, write the phrases on the board and focus attention on them as students give responses.  Continue to encourage students to use questions words such as, cuánto, dónde, cómo, qué significa, when completing the W section of the KWL. 

When the first two parts of the KWL chart are completed, explain to the students that during the next two class periods there will be a computer activity that will help them find the answers to the questions that were posed in the "W" part of the KWL. 

During-task (two/three  45-minute periods):
During these sessions students will be working with a partner completing  tasks as listed in the HOTLIST.  Each students should complete their own HOTLIST ACTIVITY SHEET (see Attachments).  The time will be used searching the websites for information and completing worksheet. 

As students are completing the HOTLIST activities, direct students to use vocabulary as listed in Language Content Obligatory Objectives and complete the worksheet.

At the end of the first session have students share 2 or 3 things that they learned or found interesting.

Prior to students sharing the information that they learned during that session direct students to the method in which you would like them to share. They should use phrases such as:  Yo aprendí que ____, Yo leí que ___, Me di cuenta que ____, Es interesante que ____, and Yo sé que _____.

The next session will be devoted to continuation of the HOTLIST activities. 

To conclude this session, again, have students briefly share using the above statments to share with 2 people 2 things that they learned during this session of computer work.

Post-task (two 45 minute periods):
This session involves students sharing with the class the work that they have done during the HOTLIST sessions. Prior to the time of sharing as a class briefly go over the types of comments that are made when someone shares information.

Guide students in a brief discussion in which positive statments are listed for reference.  Statements such as: Què bueno. Qué interesante, Bueno, Gracias, are possible statements for students' use in group time. 

Sharing Session:

1.  Have the students share with classmates the pictures that were created as part of the HOTLIST activities. Encourage use of appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structures that have been presented in these lessons. Point out to students the lists that are posted to use as a reference while they are sharing.

Display pictures on a bulletin board.

Additional Activity for Sharing Session: 
Have students write a sentence on the bottom of the picture that explains what they have drawn. Have students use one of the sentence stems that was used during group share time.

2.   Have students write answers to 2 of the questions that were asked in the "W" part of the KWL.  Focus should be on language and also the understanding of immigration.  These questions and answers will be collected  for assessment.

Assess answers with a check, check-plus, or check-minus.

3.  Students will hand in the HOTLIST worksheet.  Worksheets will be evaluated on level of completion and time on task during the HOTLIST sessions. 

Assess worksheets with a check, check-plus, or check-minus.


Teacher will evaluate student work by reviewing projects as planned in the internet lesson and observing  technology skills while they are working on the HOTLIST activity. 

The language objectives of this lesson will be assessed in both the oral presentations of pictures that were drawn and also in the HOTLIST worksheet.

References and Resources:

KWL and T-chart explanations and templates are available on the CoBaLTT website under Graphic Organizers


NOTE: some attachments are in PDF form (get Acrobat Reader)

Worksheet for HOTLIST activities

HOTLIST - students need to access this page online to complete activities included