Sunday, 29 January 2012

K12 on Immigration

This is a teacher’s website and provides a lot of activities for different subjects but it all focuses on U.S Immigration, so you look at Immigration through not only a historical point of view but also a mathematical and geographical point of view. This is quite interesting because a teacher could have an immigration day and still manage to focus on all aspects of the school’s curriculum and with the different sub categories a child wouldn’t get bored. This website is very useful to teachers from all schools as it has work sheets and activities that they could print out for students and it has also graded the activities and worksheets so the teacher would know if it is suitable for different year groups.

The website is really informative as you can find statistics on U.S immigration, do a lesson about Ellis Island and there is information on the lives of the new immigrants. They also do a page/ worksheet about the Statue of Liberty so students can learn the history behind the Statue and what meaning it held to many immigrants during that time. I came across this work sheet called ‘decorated bowls’ I thought this was interesting because it shows us that they want students to create a ‘salad’ bowl that represents all of the different cultures/ immigrants in America. The website also encourages the students recreate the immigration process at Ellis Island with some students acting as examiners and others pretending to be immigrants.

The only bad side about this website is that you have to sign up and pay to gain access to the worksheets and activities so I wasn’t able to have complete access to everything but nevertheless. This website is useful to any teacher who wanted to incorporate U.S immigration into the class room.

Week 2 - Immigration

This is a website from Thomas Heck middle school in Arizona and has links to articles aimed at children who are studying immigration to America. One article that I have focused on is 'City Life in the Early 1900s'. The language used in this article paints a good picture of what life was like instead of just stating facts. The facts are being presented in the form of an immigrant who has lived in America for 40 years telling his experience to someone who has newly arrived in America. 'Imagine the year is 1920 and you are talking with a sixty year - old man who moved to New York City around 1880'. The article speaks directly to the reader which gets the reader to think more about what the article is trying to teach. Children reading this article can imagine that the immigrant is talking directly to them. This article also teaches the reader of technological advancements of the times, such as the invention of the car and the impacts that this had on daily life in the city and what changes this brought about.

As well as articles there are also audio and visual teaching resources, such as pictures of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. The use of visual aids gives those studying immigration a clearer insight as they can actually see it rather than just having to imagine it. The photos show what the immigrants looked like and the sort of clothes that they wore. Being able to picture what the immigrants looked like can make reading articles about them easier as the reader will have an image of them in their mind. 3a17784r.<span class=jpg">

Teaching Immigration in K12

I found a very simple website this week which is host to written lesson plans for classes in 8th Grade.
The website shows a lesson plan written in 1996, by a teacher at Eleva Strum School on an 8th Grade Middle School Research Project on Immigration in the United States.. .

The purpose of this particular lesson structure is to "provide the students with an understanding of the important contributions made by various ethnic groups who immigrated to the US..."

This Wisconsin school teacher usually starts with her students looking at more personal histories, such as family trees and local issues. These subjects then become more wide spread and relevant to my topic as the project moves on. According to the website, most of the students in attendance have an ethnic past relating to Scandinavian and Central European immigration.

The project outline is very detailed, and focusses on conducting meaningful research and developing skills in accessing information as well as gaining a thorough understanding of the history of immigration. Also to recognize not only the impact of immigration on family culture, but also the importance of intergenerational learning.

The following are the points of learning I have selected from the lesson plan because I feel they are the most relevant and interesting objectives;

Objectives: Students will gain an understanding of the Following:
1. Why immigrants left Europe, Asia and the Southern Hemisphere for the
United States.
2. the difficulties immigrants faced when they arrived
3. an awareness of cultural diversity
6. the important contributions made by immigrants
10. the important contributions family members and members of the community
can be as research facilitators.

1. Why did these people immigrate to America (i.e. Irish/Potato
famine,Jewish pogroms)?
2. What are some customs, traits, foods, accomplishments, art forms which
make these
people unique?
3. What was the immigrants' voyage like?
4. Where did each group settle and why?
5. What problems had to be overcome?
6. What problems still remain today?
7. What important contributions did each group make to American culture?

The questions asked in the last bank of questions above work well, as they relate not only to the historic period, but they also level the students with global issues, bringing something not normally thought about by eighth grade students into their minds with relations to their own lives. Linking personal experiences with subjects like immigration and world culture makes it easier to grasp and become passionate about.

The way that the immigration aspect of US history is presented and portrayed during this lesson plan is very effective, especially as the lesson plan goes on to say that the evaluative process is to have the students create work about the subject in one of the following ways; creative writing, poetry, diaries, family trees or research papers.

This gives the students their own choice on what the outcome of their knowledge will be, and gives them free reign on creating it, which would naturally spark more of an interest, and hopefully produce better results.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

K12 Project, Immigration

I chose the website 'Teachers', a website which provides lesson plans, and information on topics which are easier to understand for a child to assist teachers in the classroom. The page I looked at was ‘Immigration, Stories of Yesterday and Today’ which I found interesting as not only did it provide information from the early 20th century it also contained modern day immigrant stories, told by children. This is important as it is relating immigration to the people of today, and because they are of similar age, children can relate to this, therefore take an interest. This is also shown in the page ‘Relive a Boy’s journey’ which tells the story of Seymour Rechtzeit, aged 8 who moved from Poland to America in 1920. Because Seymour is of the same age as the target audience in the story, they will appreciate and show an interest in the story. America is portrayed as being very welcoming of immigrants throughout the accounts, the Immigrants also say how glad they are to be in America, Seymour says ‘I have always been very happy to be in this wonderful country’. No negativity is shown, perhaps to paint a perfect picture of America, to which the children can relate to the Multicultural America today.

An account I looked at in particular was the story of Kautha, A girl who moved from Kenya to Atlanta, Georgia. She says that the reason she left her country was because her parents wanted better things for the family and ends the account by saying that ‘We have opportunities here that we would not have had in Kenya’. This shows how America is being portrayed as ‘the land of opportunity’ and the idea of the American Dream still being alive within Immigration today.

The general language of the website is simple, clear and concise, with a lot of pictures, which would appeal to the age group to which it is aimed. Children are asked ‘Why do people want to come to America? Write about why your ancestors, or an immigrant you know, came to this country’. Although children are all classed as American citizens, it asks them to explore their past and encourages the idea of ‘We are all immigrants’ and is portrayed as something positive and exciting.

The website presents this certain aspect of US History in a generally positive way. The website does potray some obstacles for example, When Seymour immigrated he had to stay on Ellis Island because he was sick, and was worried he would be sent home. However America welcomed him and then eventually his family in the coming years, which puts the country in a positive light. A strong sense of unity is displayed throughout, especially through the bar graphs and charts children are asked to carry out on their class mates with the instructions ‘Everyone is from somewhere. Find out where your classmates’ families originally come from, and compare your results with the national statistics’. It demonstrates to children the diversity of the American People, however background is irrelevant, you can find success and happiness in the country whatever your nationality in the welcoming and accepting America that it is being shown to be, on the website.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


The website that i chose to look at for this task is one of the most well-known and successful advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. GLAD which stands for Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders specialises in obtaining civil rights for everybody regardless of their sexual orientation.

The website itself is laid out very formally but with an overall positive feel. The first thing that grabs your attention when first entering the site, is a large advert celebrating the fact that in Massachusetts, a new bill has been passed for transgender rights.

The entire site is dedicated to giving LGBT individuals an identity. There is clear encouragement for visitors to the site to get involved and and indeed the 'Share Your Story' section of the website invites people to become part of the 'community'.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

American Muslim Women

The website is used to promote Muslim identity and try to build up some form of community and to try and combat the prejudices and isolation some women feel in not only their own Muslim communities but also in America. The website also has many articles some positive and negative reflecting the problems that many American Muslims still face in different parts of society like the military, other religious societies and especially the war in Iraq.
The website The American Muslim (TAM) is a positive step for Muslim women in America as they highlight and launch global movements to empower Muslim women. The website also works with The Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity (WISE) to empower Muslim women to play a greater role in their societies worldwide. The leaders who came together in New York discussed the major obstacles facing Muslim women and create strategies to address them. Furthermore, they discussed how to increase women’s religious & political leadership via faith fuelled activism, challenging local customs that impinge on women’s rights and developed effective methods to change negative perceptions about Muslim women. This website is relevant to not only Muslim women but also anyone who wants to understand some of the prejudices many Muslim woman face living in America.

The TAM group are very active as they try to gain support they have a whole page of activities people can do like sign petitions, watch programs like ‘All American- Muslim’ and read the letters and books published by the editors of the TAM organisation. The editors regularly post articles everyday which suggests that the issues of American Muslim women are an everyday struggle that many face. Also they encourage people to contact their Congress, Senators and even to email the President/ White House.

Advocating LGBT

The dictionary definition of "Advocate" is a verb, used with an object; writing or speaking in favor of that object. So, in correlation with that, for the task this week, I chose America's leading source for LGBT news and entertainment; the website for the magazine "Advocate"

I chose this website because not only does it hold no bars in being obviously proud, and devoted to bringing news of politics and world events relating to the LGBT community, but it also includes lighter subjects which still hold interest; travel, art, business, health, crime.
Headlines such as "Mayors commit to bring marriage equality to cities" and "Milestone in Massachusetts: Trans rights bill signed" captivate the reader, the reader who would be genuinely interested in this cause, as it may hold their future happiness in it's hands.

Also on the Advocate website, there are many articles under the section simply titled "Women."
Celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres features, as does the subject of the Miss USA Pageant.
In 2009, just after the passing of Proposition 8, Californians were horrified to find that their representative at the time, Carrie Prejean, did not support equality at all. However, now in 2012, just three years later there are two young women who fought for the title of Miss California USA; both proud lesbians.
The 2012 pageant was held on January 8 and even though Mollie Thomas, lesbian Miss Abbey West Hollywood, did not place in the competition she welcomed her opportunity and became a leading LGBT role model for young girls across the country, who feel shunned by society.

The website is full of articles like the Mollie Thomas interview that remind people of the LGBT community that this is their identity and it is important to be able to feel like you belong, and can happily be who you want to be in the face of society.
A singular identity, in this case the people of LGBT, is in support of the power and dominance of this particular group, presenting their relevance not only in America's history but more importantly: in America's future.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

'A Day In Gay America'

The Link above is a website for the American magazine, ‘The Advocate’ a LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual and Transgender) monthly magazine focusing on news and entertainment of interest to LGBT people. My first impression of the website homepage was that they appeared to have developed the status of being gay into a brand, through the use of putting their mark on typical magazine topics for example ‘Travel’ one article in particular ‘Gayest cities in America’. Although not believing sexuality should define a person, they believe being gay is of high importance and to be respected. The website has a ‘community’ feel to it shown through its connection to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, where readers can follow the magazine’s headlines, feedback and socialize with other readers.

The article I looked at in detail was ‘A Day In Gay America’ which was a reader-generated photo project where reader’s around America were asked to send a photo of themselves taken on August the 12th. A quote I found particularly insightful was ‘Each photo we received is both a stark reminder of our multiplicity and incontrovertible proof that we are everywhere — from Alaska to Maine — and deserve the right to live and love and celebrate ourselves as we choose’. Through the use of the inclusive ‘we’ and ‘our’ throughout, emphasises the ‘community’ feel, the idea of people standing together as one against the discrimination that was suffered in the past and in some cases, existing today. The right to be treated the same as straight American Citizens is a common theme through the website, which can be seen through ‘equality references’ in particular the ‘equality guide’ enforcing the idea that LGBT American’s are people and not something that can be categorized. This expresses how identity should not be treated as a label but instead, who you are and your actions as a person. Although ‘being gay’ is the main theme throughout the website it is merely something that binds like minded people together, rather than something that wholly defines a person.

American Identities

This is a website which contains articles that are relevant to Asian Americans. It is also a forum and message board aimed at Asian Americans where that can discussion and give opinions on issues that affect them such as the trafficking of Asian women and oppression they may face in society for example, if there is a housing bias despite them being seen as a 'model minority'. With regards to identity the article 'Use of "Asian American" Wanes' looks at this issue. The article brings up the issue that many Asian Americans do not wish to be referred to in this term but rather by their ethnicity. 'Fewer are embracing the term Asian American'. This is partly due to the fact that the term 'Asian' is too broad as there are many different countries that fit into this category.
However the article mostly argues in favour of the term 'Asian American'. This is because Asian American is unifying . "To break ethnicity down into the various subgroups works against the collective voice the greater community needs," Wong said. "When you look at our history, culture and language, there are a lot of similarities." Whilst there are several different countries of origin that are classed as Asian American, they are similar and by having a term they can unite under may make them one big minority rather than many small minorities that could lead to discrimination within their different minority groups. One member has commented on this article ' I identify with Chinese or even east Asian as opposed to Asian. I think it's because all the Asian ethnicitys' are so different. Fitting us all under one term is not doing any of our cultures justice.' People who live in a country that is different from their ethnic background will want to keep in touch with their roots as this is who they are. Even by saying Chinese American, they are stating that they are Chinese first before American.