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 and go 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/does America offer?


  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a two-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 the identity of these groups and why they wanted to leave home to start a new life in America.

  • Panel 1: Illustrate a group of immigrants who chose to come to America in the past. Include the reason(s) they left their homeland.

  • Panel 2: Illustrate a group of immigrants who are currently immigrating to America. Include their reason(s) for leaving their homeland.

Closure: Hang up posters in the room with titles such as “religion” or “land”. Have students post their printed comics under the reason they believe their chosen immigrant groups came to America. Discuss this as a class or ask students to reflect on what they see.


  • Provide visual examples of reasons why people may immigrate. 

  • Allow students to use speech-to-text as needed. 

  • Provide sentence frames for students. 

  • Assign a specific immigrant group for the student comic.