This blog from The New York Times presents a look at how immigration has affected and continues to affect the view that America has of itself and how classroom activities today can be used to educate students about individual identity and how immigration has shaped America.
This is presented in the way of a lesson plan looking at immigration satistics in census data and examining maps in order to try and explain what the implications are of it, with the real aim to gain an understanding towards the kinds of people that choose to come to America and why.
Particularly, students are asked if they know the current population of their own state, where population is currently the most dense and others concerning density change since the 1950s and how much population has grown in the past decade.
With regards to recognising the implications of immigration, one activity encourages students to identify slogans such as: “It’s in Our Hands,” “It’s About Us,” “Today, We Count,” “Snapshot of America,” “Portrait of America,” “It’s Time: Make Yourself Count” and “We Can’t Move Forward Until You Mail It Back”. These slogans are taken from the 2010 census video, which, having viewed does not just target adults but also contains scenes where children are being educated as to the importance of the census through activities that are made to be fun as well as informative. I also happened to stumble across several other videos regarding the census that vary from President Barack Obama filling out his census form, to Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer also doing so.
Students are also being taught to look at historical trends in immigration, and how such drops in the levels of prosperity on society, such as the Great Depression has affected population changes from 1920 to 1930. From this they can then trace the changes that different states witnessed during this time and throughout the subequent decades that followed, through to the present day.
Website used: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/connecting-the-dots-interpreting-u-s-census-data/
2010 Census video: http://2010.census.gov/mediacenter/mailout-mailback/the-story-of-the-2010-census.php