*Please note, to complete the group work portion of this lesson, you must purchase the following book(s)



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Title: Italian Immigrants
*Please note, to complete the group work portion of this lesson, you must purchase the following book(s):

Puleo, Stephen. The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, From



the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007. Print.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Boston-Italians-Perseverance-Immigration/dp/0807050369

Riccio, Anthony V. Portrait of an Italian-American Neighborhood: The North End of Boston. New

York: Center of Migration Studies, 1998. Print.

http://www.amazon.com/Portrait-Italian-American-Neighborhood-North-Boston/dp/1577030060/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374070369&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Riccio%2C+Anthony+V.+Portrait+of+an+Italian-American+Neighborhood%3A+The+North+End+of+Boston.+New+York%3A+Center+of+Migration+Studies%2C+1998.+Print.





Teacher Course/Subject: U.S. History

Grade(s): 9-12 #students: 20 # with IEP, 504: TBD

Days of Class: This lesson would take 1 to 2 class periods.

Enduring Understandings


  • Americans come from many places for many reasons.

  • When people move, they take their cultures with them.

  • When people move they face challenges.




Essential Questions


  1. In what ways has immigration shaped Boston?

  2. In what ways has Boston shaped immigration to Boston?

  3. What changes occurred, and continue to occur, in the nation because of immigration?




Learning Standards and historical thinking skills
MA Curriculum Frameworks:

  • USII.28 Explain the emergence and impact of the textile industry in New England and industrial growth generally throughout antebellum America. (H, E)

B. the causes and impact of the wave of immigration from Northern Europe to America in the 1840s and 1850s.

  • USII.3 Describe the causes of the immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and describe the major roles of these immigrants in the industrialization of America. (H)

  • USII.30 Describe some of the major economic and social trends of the late 20th century. (H, E)

C. major immigration and demographic changes such as the rise in Asian and Hispanic immigration (both legal and illegal)

Historical Thinking Skills Standards



  • 2. Historical Comprehension

  1. Identify the central question(s) the historical narrative addresses.

  1. Evidence historical perspectives.

  • 3. Historical Analysis and Interpretation

  1. Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions.

D.Consider multiple perspectives.

G. Compare competing historical narratives.



  • 4. Historical Research Capabilities

  1. Interrogate historical data.

  • 5. Historical Issues-Analysis and Decision-Making

  1. Identify issues and contemporary issues.

  1. Formulate a position or course of action on an issue.




Materials/Resources Needed
“The New Colossus” poem

Do Now journals

Puleo, Stephen. The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, From the Years of

the Great Immigration to the Present Day. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007. Print.

Riccio, Anthony V. Portrait of an Italian-American Neighborhood: The North End of Boston. New

York: Center of Migration Studies, 1998. Print.

Italian Immigration Packets

Italian Immigration Newspaper Article Assignment

Italian Immigration Homework

Computer lab/laptop cart


Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks:

-Do Now journal writing response, students should show analysis of the poem and reasoning.

-Oral discussion of the poem.

-Italian Immigration Newspaper Article Assignment should show evidence of analysis of the reading and a structured, well written article.

-Italian Immigration homework should show evidence of reading their classmate’s newspaper articles and have accurate, thoughtful, complete sentenced answers.


Learning Activities/Plan
1-Initiator: Classroom Exercise

Have Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” posted on the board, projector, or on a handout. Ask students to raise their hands if they have seen this poem before. Ask students to write in their Do Now journals on the following prompt:



Who or what is the poem about? Do you agree with the message of the poem?

Ask students to share their responses. Discuss the student responses and the meaning behind the poem.


2-Introduction to class activity

Ask students what countries immigrated to Boston during the 19th and 20th centuries. Discuss. Ask students what countries made up the immigration groups of Southern Europe. Tell students that today we will be focusing on Italian immigration to the United States, particularly Southern Italians in Boston.


3- Group work

Divide the class into small groups (2-3 per group). Assign group roles (ie. leader, writer, reader, and time keeper). Tell students that they will be receiving a small packet of documents (this could either be electronic or hard copy from Puleo’s and Riccio’s books) on a particular topic regarding Italian immigration (ie. Citizenship, Education, Illiteracy, Quotas, Religion, etc.). There are many different packets so the teacher can alter groups as needed or combine the shorter packets together or decide which topics to cover in class. Tell students that they will be analyzing the documents in order to write a newspaper article for the North End Italian paper La Gazzetta del Massachusetts. Pass out the instructions for the analysis and newspaper article assignment called Italian Immigration Newspaper Article Assignment and review it with the class. Have students get into their groups and begin work. (It would be best if students could work with computers for the assignment.) Circulate around to each group to hear the analysis and discussion.


*How to create the document packets per topic:

  • America’s Pull Factors: Use pages 52-53 in Puleo, Stephen. The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, From the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007. Print.

  • Birds of Passage: Use pages 53-55 in Puleo’s book.

  • Citizenship: Use pages 103-105 in Puleo’s book and pages 38-39 in Riccio, Anthony V. Portrait of an Italian-American Neighborhood: The North End of Boston. New York: Center of Migration Studies, 1998. Print.

  • Education: Use pages 85-88 in Puleo’s book.

  • Illiteracy: Use pages 11, 74-77, 88-89, 97, and 111 in Puleo’s book.

  • Italian Criminals: Use pages 106-110 in Puleo’s book and pages 107-109 in Riccio’s book.

  • Italian Progress: Use pages 90-92, 96-97 and 182 in Puleo’s book.

  • Italian Push Factors: Use pages 47-52 in Puleo’s book and pages 27-28 in Riccio’s book.

  • Italian Settlement in Boston: Use pages XI-XIV, 7-10 and 45 in Puleo’s book.

  • Italians vs. Irish immigrants: Use pages 14-15 in Puleo’s book.

  • Italy’s Government: Use pages 55 and 58-62 in Puleo’s book.

  • Quotas: Use pages 136-137 and 148-151 in Puleo’s book.

  • Religion: Use pages 6-7 and 15-17 in Puleo’s book.

  • Southern Italians, a New Race?: Use pages 80-84 in Puleo’s book.

  • Tenements and Disease: Use pages 11-13 in Puleo’s book.

  • WWII: Use pages 198-201 and 209-213 in Puleo’s book.

Closure (Summarize, Review, Homework, Preview Next Day)
At an appropriate time, have students submit their newspaper article (electronically if using computers). Have students share their newspaper article headlines to give the other students an idea of what the other articles are about. Tell students that you will be posting the newspaper articles on the class website. Pass out the homework assignment called Italian Immigration Homework and review it. Inform students that their homework will be to review their classmates’ articles and answer the reflection questions.


Additional teacher information (other resources, websites, etc.)
“The New Colossus” poem by Emma Lazarus: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/liberty/lazaruspoem.html

Interpretation of “The New Colossus” poem: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/liberty/lazarus.html

Research Essay: Italian Immigrants of Boston

Italian Immigration Packets created from:

Puleo, Stephen. The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, From the Years of

the Great Immigration to the Present Day. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007. Print.

Riccio, Anthony V. Portrait of an Italian-American Neighborhood: The North End of Boston. New



York: Center of Migration Studies, 1998. Print.






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