Lesson Plans

Early National

Who Do We Hate And Why?
Author: Donna Beatrice
School: Baker Middle
Grade Level: 8th
Time Estimated: 3 days (45 minute periods)

Enduring Understanding

Although European immigrants faced danger and harsh circumstances on their journey to America, they flocked to the United States because of worsening conditions in their native countries. These included the following: over crowdedness, agricultural changes, crop failures, and religious and political turmoil. They were lured to America by the opportunities afforded citizens because of the industrial revolution. They came for promises of more freedom, economic opportunity, and abundant land. However, rapid urban growth of both immigrants and native-born cities brought many problems. This led to greedy landlords profiting from housing shortage and so disease and crime began to spread. These large cities, particularly in the northeast, were unprepared to tackle these problems. Natives were becoming fearful that the immigrants would soon outnumber them. As a result, immigrants faced anger and prejudice. Soon, after the Irish landed a group of native-born Americans started a secret society called the nativists. They even formed a political party that called for banning immigration particularly the Irish and the Catholics.


Given four primary source documents, a capture sheet, and a survey about immigrants, they will accurately analyze the similarities between views on the Chinese, Irish and Latino immigrants using political cartoons and provide oral and written evidence of their findings.


Unit 8.3: "Geographic and Economic Change Shape the Nation, 1815–1850"
Lesson 4.4: "Immigrants enter the Market"


Student Materials

  • Textbook (such as Creating America: A History of the United States, by Jesus Garcia, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2000.)
  • Student Capture Sheet

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


Day 1

  1. Goal: Students will recognize different types of prejudice.
  2. Activity: Students will not read the section about immigrants until after their findings. They previously studied about industrialization and the ramifications on the sections of the country and the country as a whole. They have reviewed both the positive and negative aspects of industrialization in the early 1800's.
  3. Students will be asked the question "who do we hate and why?" They will be given two minutes to record their answers in their spirals. We will then share answers with volunteers.
  4. Students will take a survey using Activotes using a Promethean board. They will decide if they agree or disagree with 10 statements about immigrants today.
  5. Next, they will break up into quads that were established at the beginning of the marking period. Students will use their capture sheets to analyze four political cartoon documents and record their findings on the sheet. They will collect specific information about political cartoons that focused on Chinese, Irish and Latino immigrants. They will use "close reading" skills to complete the capture sheet.
  6. Lastly, the teacher will collect the capture sheets to be used for the next day.

Day 2

  1. Goal: Students will be able to analyze one cartoon by trying to state what the author believed about the relationship between prejudice and immigrants.
  2. Activity: As a class, review the previous day's lesson on the four primary source documents that students analyzed.
  3. They will get back into their quads to analyze the last cartoon. They will have to pay particular attention to the dialogue bubbles and the different eras of our history with immigrants (1780, 1850, 1920, and now). Students will come back to their seats for a class discussion and reflection.
  4. Lastly, we will take the Agree/Disagree survey again and compare the results.

Day 3

  1. Goal: Students will be able to discuss and understand the history of immigration, the problems it has created; and at the same time recognize the contributions to our economic stability, contributions, and the richness that immigrants have brought to America.
  2. Activity: Students will be presented with the power point presentation that covers more political cartoons, societal reactions, a little history, and the question, "So why do they come?"
  3. They will get back into their quads to discuss how they will present freeze frames to that question. The freeze frames will be presented the following day so that they can get props if need be and have an opportunity to prepare.


Day 2: Students will use their notes on their capture sheet to help them answer the following: Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with the authors' implied message? Explain your answer based on any of the documents you have analyzed, our class discussions, or your own life experiences.

Day 3: Read pp. 407-412 (applicable section of textbook) and prepare for a five question warm-up quiz.


Students are put in specific quads in order to have assistance with both reading and writing evidence. The expectation is that all group members will complete the capture sheet.


Day 1: Every student will orally provide an answer to my questions including, sourcing, authors' intentions, intended audiences and specific details about each cartoon.

Day 2: Graded written answers to homework assignment.

Day 3: The five point warm up quiz. The five point freeze-frame presentation.

References: Web

The History Place. Irish Potato Famine: Gone to America. The History Place, The History Place.http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/america.htm
This site provides an in-depth history of Irish immigration. It includes information on the conditions they experienced in the new world as well as information on push factors such as the potato famine. Included on this site are several photographs.
Wikipedia. "Chinese American history." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_American_history
This site provides a very comprehensive history of Chinese immigration all the way back to the early 1800's. Although it's Wikipedia, and its accuracy should be double checked, it provides a wealth of information, pictures, and external links to other resources.
Wikipedia. "Immigration to the United States." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States
This site provides in-depth information on all aspects of immigration to the United States past and present. This site has a lot of charts, graphs, maps and links to other resources.
Thomas Nast. "Every Dog (No Distinction Of Color) Has His Day." Harper's Weekly, v. XXIII, n. 1154. (February 8, 1879), 101. HarpWeek, "Immigrant and Ethnic America."http://immigrants.harpweek.com/
"Unmixable." Puck. 1889. The History Project, "Image Archive," University of California, Davis.http://historyproject.ucdavis.edu/ic/
Thomas Nast. "The Day We Celebrate." Harper's Weekly. 1867. American Social History Project, Newsletter, May 2005. Center for Media and Learning.http://ashp.cuny.edu/about-us/newsletter/newsletter-archives/may-2005/
Brian Fairrington. "Illegal Immigrant Economy." Cagle Cartoons. October 17, 2003.http://www.cagle.com/news/Immigration06/
Barry Deutsch. "History Marches On; Nativism Marches in Place." Ampersand. October 9th, 2008.http://www.leftycartoons.com/history-marches-on-nativism-marches-in-place/