Immigrant Groups and Settlement Stations 1880s – 1920s U.S. History


Explore US Immigration History: Analyze five immigrant groups – Mexicans, Italians, Russian Jews, Chinese, and Scandinavians – through stations or gallery walk. Each station features photo-focused primary sources, narrating the group’s story. Student will track settlement locations via a map analysis. Then, choosing contrasting groups as exit ticket, student will crafting a paragraph with primary evidence.

Pages: 65 pages

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With this activity, students analyze the experiences of five different immigrant groups that settled in the United States – Mexicans, Italians, Russian Jews, the Chinese, and Scandinavians (the Swedish and Norwegians). They can do so as stations or as part of a gallery walk. Each of the stations has a variety of primary sources with a heavy focus on photographs to tell the story of each group. There are 55 curated primary sources in all! Students also document the settlement locations of each of the groups by analyzing a settlement map. (It is not necessary for students to complete all of the stations, so you could cut one if needed.)

For an exit ticket, students pick the two groups who showed the most contrast and write a paragraph discussing those two groups and utilizing evidence from the graphic organizer. You can view more in the the preview here – Immigration Stations.

Included within this resource:

  • 55 primary sources discussing 5 immigrant groups
  • A PowerPoint version of the product (editable)
  • A PDF version of the product (not editable)
  • A Google Slides Version of the document (The link provided will prompt you to make your own file. You can then add that file to your drive and share with your students. Instructions are provided within the lesson plan.)
  • A Detailed Lesson Plan
  • An Answer Key for the graphic organizer
  • A digital version of both the slides and the handout for students to complete

This lesson is linked with the following NYS standards, however, you could always include your own instead:

8.2a.2 – Students will compare and contrast immigrant experiences in locations such as ethnic neighborhoods in cities, rural settlements in the Midwest, Chinese communities in the Far West, and Mexican communities in the Southwest.

8.2b.2 – Students will examine the living conditions in urban areas with a focus on increasing population density and the effects that this growth had on the social, cultural, and economic lives of people.

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