Subject: Social Studies

Lesson Length: 45 - 50 mins

Topic: Identity and Immigration

Grade Level: 5

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will become familiar with the variety of reasons different groups of people chose to leave their homes and start a new life in America.

Know Before You Start: Students should be able to define words such as: immigrant, religion, identity, freedom, culture, melting pot, heritage, traditions, prejudice, and persecution.


  • Discuss immigration.

    • Why might a person want to leave their home to live somewhere else? 

    • What kinds of sacrifices might people have to make to move to another country?

  • Read and discuss the sample comic. Focus on immigration and reasons people might want to leave their homes (countries) to live in America. What did or does America offer?


  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a four-panel comic illustrating why a particular group of immigrants chose to come to America in the 18th-19th centuries and why immigrants today are coming to America.

  • The comics should:

    • Depict these groups and why they wanted to leave home to start a new life in America.

    • Include the reason(s) people chose to immigrate to America in the past.

    • Include the reason(s) people are choosing to immigrate to America in the present day.


  • Display posters with titles such as Religion or Land.
  • Have students post their printed comics under the reason they believe their chosen groups immigrated to America.
  • Discuss as a class and ask students to reflect on what they see.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Provide visual examples of reasons why people may immigrate. 

  • Provide sentence frames as needed. 

  • Assign a specific immigrant group for the student comic.