Yesterday we kicked off our immigration unit with an A-MAZING visit from a 90 year old woman who had immigrated from Germany back in the mid 20’s. She was a sharp as a tack–and her story was so interesting. I hope I can remember so many things when I am her age! I can barely remember to put two shoes on now and I am half her age!
This unit is one of my favorites . . . there are so many fascinating things to learn and so many great pieces of literature that can be tied to the unit. I always start off–before I even tell them what we are studying–with a close read of Eve Bunting’s “How Many Days to America”. What I find so interesting about this text is that it isn’t an “in your face” immigration story; instead, it is a story about people . . . about decisions that need to be made . . . about family . . . about gratitude–and so much more.
Tracking Our Thinking and Looking for Text Evidence
So, I ask my students to come by the easel with their reading response notebooks and I tell them we are going to be reading closely and tracking our thinking. I explain that I will read a few pages and then will pause and give them time to write their thoughts. They are welcome to write as I read if they have something urgent to record. At each pausing point (I think I stopped 5 times during the text), I ask them to turn and talk to a neighbor or two close to them and then we share out as a class.