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Mobility and Migration Lesson Plan: Where Do I Come From?
Overview
In the narrative Return South Migration students are introduced to different types of migration including "return" and "non-return" migration and the impact of family and kinship on migration. Mobility and Migration is a lesson plan that may be used in history class as an introduction to or in conjunction with the narrative. It will reinforce the narrative for non-verbal learners by having them conduct a poll about places of birth, collect the data, and graph the results. Students will compare data collected from other students and adults to determine if there are significant generational differences in their community's migration patterns.
Grade Levels:Middle school, grades 6-8
For use with:Return South Migration
Concentration Area:Geography
Concentration Area:History: U.S.
National Curriculum Standards met by this lesson
The following standards have been taken from the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel) standards.
Students will understand

  • The struggle for racial and gender equality and for the extension of civil liberties.
  • The social and economic impact of the Great Depression (e.g., the impact of the Depression on industry and workers; the response of local and state officials in combating the resulting economic and social crises; the effects of the Depression on American families and on ethnic and racial minorities; the effect on gender roles; the victimization of African Americans and white sharecroppers).
  • The economic boom and social transformation of post-World War II United States.
Time required
One 50-minute class period if students read the narrative, take the poll, and compile the graphs outside of class
Materials needed
  • Return South Migration
  • Graph paper or computer spreadsheet and graphing program
  • Political maps of the United States and the world (preferably wall-sized), and pushpins
Anticipatory Set

  • Ask students if they have ever heard of the terms "mobility," "return migration," or "non-return migration." Direct them to read the narrative Return South Migration focusing on the segment "A Changing Tide."
  • Discuss, as a class, the definitions for "mobility," "return migration," and "non-return migration" and the impact of family ties on migration.
  • Poll students to discover how many are:

    1. Natives of the state.
    2. Immigrants from a different country. Record the name of the country from which each of these students has migrated (using the country in which they were born if they have lived in multiple countries) and the number of students who have migrated from each nation.
    3. Migrants from a different state. Record each state from which students have migrated (using the one in which they were born if they have lived in multiple states) and the number of students who have migrated from each state. Only count students who have immigrated from a different country and are also migrants from another state under question b.
  • Ask students to record the numbers for each of the previous questions and to compute the total number of students in the class. Inform them that they have created a student migration database.
  • Procedures

    1. Direct each student to poll at least one adult (teacher, coach, parent, neighbor) about his/her origins. Tell students they may not poll an adult who has been polled by another student, so they should ask the poll questions in the following order:

      1. Have you already been polled by another student about whether you are native of this State?
      2. If not, are you native of this State?
      3. If not, did you move to this State from a different country? If yes, in which nation were you born?
      4. If not, did you move to this State from a different state? If yes, in which state were you born?
    2. Each student should add his/her poll results to questions b, c, or d to create a migration database for adults.
    3. Ask students to either graph by hand or prepare on a computer spreadsheet program either a line, bar, or pie graph for the following:

      1. Student database: Native to Non-Native graph
      2. Adult database: Native to Non-Native graph
      3. Student database: Native to Migrant graph
      4. Adult database: Native to Migrant graph
      5. Student database: Native to Immigrant graph
      6. Adult database: Native to Immigrant graph
    4. Then, ask students to create a database of states and nations from which non-natives moved by placing pushpins on the U.S. and world maps. When all poll data has been recorded, either you or a student team can count up the pushpins for each state and nation, and record them on a generic chart, as follows:
      U.S. (Name of State) Number from each State World (Name of Nation) Number from each Nation

    5. Direct students to review the poll data and evaluate whether there are generational difference between students and adults in their community's migration patterns. Ask them how the map data provides a different dimension than just the raw numbers that they have graphed. As a class, discuss what might account for any significant differences or lack of differences. Ask students if there is any evidence of return or non-return migration in their community. Also ask them if there is any evidence of migration influenced by family ties.
    6. Have students write an evaluation of the migration patterns in their community. Among the points that they should consider are assessments of whether:

      1. The community is characterized by high mobility (a majority of non-natives) or not.
      2. There are generational differences in mobility.
      3. The community has such a large number of non-natives from a particular nation or state that it may reflect a migration pattern impacted by family ties.
    Assessment

    You may evaluate students' work on a 20-point scale (which may be multiplied by 5 to convert to 100-point scale or to letter grades) using the following rubric:

    Grading Element/Total Points Excellent (10) Good (9-8) Fair (7-6) Not Satisfactory (5-1) No Work (0)
    Written assignment (10) Demonstrates excellent:

  • Analysis of poll information
  • Synthesis of data with comprehension of concepts
  • Evaluation of community's profile
  • Demonstrates good:

  • Analysis of poll information
  • Synthesis of data with comprehension of concepts
  • Evaluation of community's profile
  • Shows fair:

  • Analysis of poll information
  • Synthesis of data with comprehension of concepts
  • Evaluation of community's profile
  • Shows little:

  • Analysis of poll information
  • Synthesis of data with comprehension of concepts
  • Evaluation of community's profile analysis of information
  • No work
    Polling and Graphing (10) Student has:

  • Collected all necessary information
  • Created graphs that are correct and attractive
  • Created a complete set of graphs
  • Contributed to the map database
  • Student has:

  • Collected all necessary information
  • Created graphs that have a single error
  • Created a complete set of graphs
  • Contributed to the map database
  • Student has:

  • Collected some poll information
  • Created graphs that are mainly correct
  • Created a partial set of graphs
  • Contributed to the map database
  • Student has:

  • Collected some poll information
  • Created graphs that have multiple errors
  • Created a partial set of graphs
  • Not contributed to the map database
  • Student was rude to poll subject
  • OR

  • No work

  • Related Works

    • The Schomburg Center's Digital exhibit The African Presence in the Americas 1492-1992 includes the image and text for the Migration Map 1450-1990 at: http://www.si.umich.edu/CHICO/Schomburg/text/migration5.html. This exhibit also examines historical migrations, including the Kansas Exodusters and the Great Migration.

      Additional information on the Great Migration, in relationship to Harlem, can be found at a second online exhibit, Harlem 1900-1940: An African-American Community, at: http://www.si.umich.edu/CHICO/Harlem/.
    • The Library of Congress' American Memory Collection features over seven million online digital documents. The African-American Mosaic online exhibit includes historical migration information http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african/intro.html. Special links include Chicago during the Great Migration, Western Migration and Homesteading, and a close-up of Nicodemus, Kansas.
    Interdisciplinary Links

    • Language Arts: If the community is one in which there are many migrants and immigrants, students may wish to conduct an oral history interview with these participants in history and compile the transcriptions or narrative summations in a collection. The Schomburg Center has suggested oral history interview "Do's and Don'ts" at: http://www.si.umich.edu/CHICO/Harlem/text/oral_history2.html. The Foxfire series is an excellent model for a student publication based on community resources. Sample articles may be viewed at http://www.foxfiremag.org/.
    • Sociology: Students may wish to expand the scope of the initial project to a third generation or beyond, visiting senior centers and/or nursing homes to conduct the interviews and collect data. They should examine whether migration patterns are substantially different from one generation to the next and evaluate what historical, economic, or societal events are contributing to each generation's mobility profile.
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