Human Migration

Unit Lessons

PYP Theme: Where We Are In Place & Time

BiblioGarden PYP Librarian Beanstalk LogoHuman Migration: Unit Overview

Immigrant stories are compelling for internationally-minded children. In working with this unit, I’ve written lessons that ask students to use both fiction and non-fiction texts, including some primary source material (Ellis Island immigrant photographs). Students practice forming relevant questions, learn to use a world atlas, and retell an immigrant story. This is also a winning unit for sports fans because one of the best immigrant tales is about the first female cycling champion! Build on the key concepts and lines of inquiry while expanding information literacy skills with your students using these library integration lessons tied to human emigration and immigration.


Human Migration #1: When Jessie Came Across the Sea, by Amy Hest

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, children come to understand a bit of the immigrant experience by seeing it through the eyes of the main character.  The text is a bit lengthy for young children, so I sometimes paraphrase in places.  But, this is a powerful story, beautifully written, and encompasses… Read more

Betty Turpin

Human Migration #2: Ellis Island, Immigrant Questions

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students practice their skills in developing questions for inquiry.  They also “meet” real immigrants using primary source documents to examine clothing, artifacts, and, in cases where they can figure it out, immigration journeys. Lesson Plan: Suggested Grades: 3-4 Objective: Each student will practice formulating questions… Read more

Betty Turpin

Human Migration #3: Introduction to Atlases

The third lesson in the Human Migration unit is a lesson on using atlases.  The lesson on atlases is in the Information Literacy theme, under the Reference Materials Unit of Inquiry.  It’s Lesson #2, Atlases.  Please click here to see the lesson. Read more

Betty Turpin

Human Migration #4: Tillie the Terrible Swede, by Sue Stauffacher

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students learn the true immigrant story of Tillie Anderson, who became the world’s first female cycling superstar.  Kids gain an appreciation for immigration in the previous century.  They also gain a bit of cultural insight into how competitive sports have changed over time. Lesson Plan:… Read more

Betty Turpin