Where in the World?
Students identify on a map and in discussion the geographic location and culture of their ancestors. They explore reasons that people moved to the U.S. and discuss the importance of keeping their culture, like a mosaic, rather than losing their culture in order to "fit in."
The learner will:
- identify the reasons why their families came to live in the United States and, in particular, the local area.
- discuss the reasons why the representative cultural groups came to the area.
- identify ethnic groups within the community.
- write a statement comparing a diverse community to a mosaic.
- display their statements to raise awareness.
- culture: the beliefs, social customs, and traits of a racial, ethnic, religious, or social group
- diversity: the presence of unlike elements and features in a group
- ancestors: the family members from whom one is descended. Ancestors usually refer to distant lineage (i.e. further back than grandparents).
- How is a diverse community like a mosaic?
- How do you think a diverse group of people may be better and stronger than a group of people with similar backgrounds?
- Bradby, Marie. Momma, Where Are You From?
- Freedman, Russell. Immigrant Kids.
- Huerta, Dolores. Rebecca Thatcher Murcia. Published by Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2003
- Krull, Kathleen. Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chavez. Published by Harcourt Children's Books, 2003
- McGovern, Ann. If You Lived 100 Years Ago.
- Maestro, Betsy. Coming to America.
Show the students on a map where your (the educator) ancestors lived. Define ancestors and share any stories you have about your family heritage, especially related to immigration.
Ask the students,"Where in the world are your families from? Can you find those places on the map?" Have all group members announce their countries of origin and locate them on the map. If they have immigration stories, allow them to share these stories (in 1-3 minutes). Make sure to acknowledge students whose families are indigenous to the country. Ifstudents don’t have these stories or don’t feel comfortable sharing them, let them know that this is okay and that they can share later if they would like.
Tell students that people immigrate to the United States for many reasons: education, jobs, conflicts (religious, political) in a home country, to join other family, and many other reasons. Some people did not immigrate to the United States. For Native Americans, the United States is their country of origin.
Ask students to talk to their families tonight about what country (or countries) they come from and what brought their family to the U.S. Have them ask about their family/cultural examples of philanthropy: What traditions of giving and supporting one another for the common good are part of their culture/family?
Read aloud one or more of the following books (all are about an immigrant family’s move to the United States). Before reading, tell students to listen for reasons why people come to the U.S. and how they keep and lose their former connections and culture.
- Momma, Where Are You From? By Marie Bradby.
- Immigrant Kids. By Russell Freedman.
- If You Lived 100 Years Ago. By Ann McGovern.
- Coming to America. By Betsy Maestro.
Ask: How does a community get stronger when people from different backgrounds/talents/interests mix together to form a new community or social group? How is the United States like a mosaic? Tell students that even if we are very different, we are all connected with our neighbors through the things that we share.
Ask: What would it be like if everyone in our neighborhood had the same background, interests, and skills? Tell the students that the old image of immigration was one of a melting pot, in which all cultures mix together into something new, while losing their individual cultures and strengths. Discuss reasons that support keeping diverse cultures alive. How do diverse cultures contribute to the common good?
In response to the book they read and to their family discussions,students will each write a paragraph describing why people come to the U.S (or, more specifically, to your particular community). Encourage them to use their own family’s story if they know it. Students may want to share about cultural traditions as well—if there is time, have them each write 1-2 paragraphs about their most cherished cultural traditions.
As students share their writing, compile data about where their families come from. Have the whole group share their answers to the following.
- How many different countries make up our classroom?
- How is the world like a mosaic?
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
Benchmark E.3 Identify the similarities in philanthropic behavior among people of different cultural backgrounds.