Your lesson will take place amid the museum’s world-renowned collections. After participating in the Immigration Game—an interactive experience that teachers where immigrants came from, their challenges, and how it felt to be a newcomer in a strange land—students engage in a reenactment of Immigration Recognition Day, a historical event that took place in Rochester in the 1920s.
Lesson extensions for before or after your visit
The following activities are designed for your class to enjoy before or after your museum visit. Familiarizing students with the lesson concepts can enrich your museum experience.
Setting the stage
Read the following part of “The New Colossus” sonnet written by Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me;
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
Have students rehearse and then perform this excerpt in different ways. For example, how would it sound being read if someone were tired, excited, angry, or scared? Talk with students about how and why people may interpret the poem differently.
The melting pot
Explain the metaphor “melting pot.” Ask the class if it is a good metaphor for the United States. Ask students to come up with their own metaphors for the United States. Have students draw an illustration of their metaphor. Show the pictures to the class and discuss them.
Have your class research the Statue of Liberty. Discuss what the Statue of Liberty meant to immigrants and why. Have your class pretend that they have been given the job of constructing a statue to welcome immigrants to the United States today. Draw the statue and write a poem or a song that welcomes immigrants.
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