Immigration: A Case Study on Multiple Perspectives and Diverse Formats

When using primary sources, it is important to consider multiple perspectives and diverse formats to enrich students’ learning experience. This lesson plan uses diverse sources and multiple perspectives to discuss immigration in the United States during the first part of the 20th century. By analyzing these sources, students will learn varying perspectives on immigration in the United States from the time period. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Evaluate the topic or subject in multiple diverse formats and media.
Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums to present a particular topic or idea.
Determine an author's point of view or purpose and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.
Evaluate the topic or subject in two diverse formats or media.
Describe the difference between "old" and "new" immigrants and analyze the assimilation process and consequences for the "new" immigrants and their impact on American...
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Students will analyze and synthesize different types of sources to answer research questions.

Essential and guiding questions: 

How do these diverse sources represent the various perspectives on immigration at the turn of the century? Why were some people in support of or against immigration at the time?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 
  • Distribute Immigration figures for 1903 to your class. Point out the statistics about literacy and immigrants. Why is this important, or is it not? Project the political cartoon The Americanese wall – as Congressman [John Lawson] Burnett would build it on the screen and allow students time to reflect on how these two sources might be used together.
  • Divide your students into three groups (participants, observers, and supporters) and prompt your students to think of a time when they were confronted with prejudice from the perspective of their group name. For example, the observers will consider a time when they saw an act of prejudice. After the students have recorded their stories, each student should share his or her story within the group. One member from each group should present their findings to the rest of the class. How do their findings differ? Why is it important to consider situations from multiple perspectives?

Helpful Hints


  • Multiple Perspectives: Immigration (Graphic Organizer)