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CONCEPT: European immigration to Texas during the 1800s: students explore who, what, when, where and why
GRADE: 4th (could be adapted for 7th)
SUBJECT: Language Arts, Social Studies
TIME FRAME: 4-5, 30 min. class periods
CREDIT:Marsha Crow, fourth grade teacher, educational consultant
Students will:
  1. explore reasons for European immigration to Texas in the 1800s, and their influence on the development of Texas.

  2. research an ethnic group that established a community in Texas during the 1800s.

  3. discover key people, places, and events of a particular community settled by an immigrant group, and their influence on life in Texas.

  4. compare and contrast basic elements of one immigrant group with another.

  • Social Studies textbook

  • The Handbook of Texas Online

  • Planning Sheet 1: Guideline for Immigrant Group Research

  • Planning Sheet 2: AutoSummarize Directions for online articles (some of the articles are lengthy, and this enables students to create a highlighted or summarized version of articles)

  • Planning Sheet 3: Graphic Organizer for Research poster board or other large paper, one piece per pair or group of students

  • Planning Sheet 4: Extension Activities (classificatory writing, letter writing, create a poster)

  1. Use information gained from the textbook and/or other resources to discuss reasons for European immigration to Texas and the following. How the available natural resources affected the immigrants' lives in these areas: types of housing (materials available for building, life in their homeland), diet (factors which effect farming…climate, fertile soil etc.), lifestyle/occupations, and everyday life. How did environmental and cultural influences effect choices people made?

  2. Students are assigned to research one of the six immigrant groups which are listed on Planning Sheet 1, preferably in pairs for the purpose of collaboration.

  3. Teacher will model the following: how to search for information using the directions on Planning sheet 1, how to AutoSummarize articles online using the directions on Planning Sheet 2, how to record data on Planning Sheet 3.

  4. Students use Planning Sheets 2 and 3 to locate and record information for the group assigned to them including a community settled by the group.

  5. On poster board, students create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting two of the immigrant groups which have been researched. Each pair of students works with another pair of students in order to share data, and collaboratively create a large Venn diagram to display in the classroom.

  6. Extension Activities (see Planning Sheet 4).

SOCIAL STUDIES TEKS: History- 4.2, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 4.11;
Language Arts-4.4, 4.7, 4.14, 4.18, 4.21
  1. A Paradise Called Texas*
    Janice Shefelman
    Searching for a better life, Mina, Papa, and Mama leave their German fatherland.
    Ages 10 and up, 128 pages.

  2. Letters to Oma*
    Marj Gurasich
    A young German girl's account of her first year in Texas, 1847.
    Ages 10 and up, 162 pages.

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