Few historical topics are of such living interest as immigration. This is partially because almost all of us are immigrants or the descendents of immigrants, but it's also because many of the issues surrounding immigration periodically recur; the immigration debates of today often sound a lot like the immigration debates of the past. Therefore we encourage you to take this opportunity to couple your exploration of the historical questions with an examination of the contemporary issues.
One of the activities we recommend requires that your students explore their personal immigration histories. For some this might be simple. But for others this will prove challenging, since many families lose sight of their own stories. You may only be able to generate some student interest in reconstructing their families’ pasts at some point in the future. But ideally you will be able to explore the extent to which your class’s immigration history parallels that of the nation as a whole.