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.

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