Lesson Idea: “New Immigrants Share Their Stories” | Not in Our Town

Lesson Idea: “New Immigrants Share Their Stories”

Grade Level: 
Middle School (6-8)
High School (9-12)

Created by Facing History and Ourselves


In this lesson idea, the short video “New Immigrants Share Their Stories” is explored through teaching strategies such as pre-viewing, 3-2-1, text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world and student presentations. By learning about these new immigrants and their peers, students may consider their own community relationships.
This lesson is part of the Not In Our School Video Action Kit, a comprehensive toolkit featuring films, lessons, and resources designed to motivate students to speak out against bullying, and create new ways to make their schools safe for everyone.
Suggested Activities
Pre-viewing – Before watching the video, identify the issues that the students in the video are trying to address. For example, new immigrants might want to chronicle struggles that are specific to immigration (learning a new language and/or currency), as well as experiences that are universal to all (trying to “fit in” at a new school). Then ask students to respond to the following questions:
  • What strategies might students use to address these issues?
  • What are the risks, if any, to taking these steps?
  • What challenges might students confront?
  • What would “success” in addressing these issues look like? How could “success” be measured?
  • What resources do students need to be successful?
  • What might be the consequences of doing nothing?
3-2-1 - After viewing the video, students can record 3 facts from the video, 2 questions raised by the video, and 1 feeling they experienced while watching the video.
To help students comprehend and interpret what they view (and to give you evidence of student learning), Text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world may help structure students’ response to the video. Here is an example of the kinds of questions you can use with this strategy:
  • Text-to-text: What events or ideas from this video remind you of other things you have seen or heard (books, movies, songs, television show, etc.)?
  • Text-to-self: What events or ideas from this video remind you of something you have witnessed or experienced?
  • Text-to-world: What events or ideas from this film remind you of something that happens in your community, nation or world?
Student presentations: Break students into small groups to present to the larger class. Presentations might address questions such as:
  • What were students responding to in this video? What problem(s) were they trying to solve?
  • What did they do? What strategies did they employ? What community or school resources did they draw from?
  • What risks did they take? What challenges did they confront?
  • What allies did the students need to carry out their work?
  • What do you think of their response? What did they accomplish?
  • What advice would you offer these students? What could be some next steps these students could take to further address issues raised in the film?
  • What more do you want to know about this situation? If you had the opportunity, what would you want to ask the students in this video?
After your students have shared information about the video, they can identify similarities and differences among the various situations presented on the NIOS website: What is the same/different about the problems students are addressing? What is the same/different about the contexts in which they are working? What is the same different about the strategies they have employed? To help organize this information, students can record ideas on a graphic organizer.
Related Facing History Resources:
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