4.4 Students explain how California became an agricultural; and industrial power, tracing the transformation of the California economy and its political and cultural development since the 1850s.
4.4.3 Discuss immigration and migration to California between 1850 and 1900, including the diverse composition of those that came; the countries of origin and their relative locations; and conflicts and accords among the divers groups.
4.4.4 Describe rapid American immigration, internal migration, settlement, and growth of towns and cities.
Correlation to K-8 California Adopted Textbooks:
Harcourt Brace: California. Unit 2: Newcomers to California. Unit 3: California Joins the U.S. Unit 4: A Changing State. Unit 5: Modern California.
McGraw-Hill: California. Chapter 8: Bringing the World to California.
Setting the Context:
Many immigrants from all over the world came to California between the 1870s and 1910s. Immigrants often suffered discrimination when they arrived in California, but their rich cultures, hard work, desire to build a good life, and differences added to the fabric and success of the state. Immigrants made many contributions to the growth and development of California. An immigrant from Italy, Domingo Ghirardelli, started a chocolate factory in San Francisco that has become very famous. Levi Strauss, from Germany made and sold Levi denim blue jeans to the gold miners during the Gold Rush.
César E. Chávez descended from an immigrant family that immigrated to Arizona in 1880. In 1938, when César was ten, his family moved to California. He became an important citizen who is honored by the State of California for his role as a labor leader, civil rights leader, and leader of a movement that worked for social justice.
Where did various immigrants to California come from and how were they treated?
How do immigrants enrich California?
Was César E. Chávez from an immigrant family and what did he contribute to the State of California?
Would other immigrants who arrived to various areas in the U.S. also have made contributions?
What immigration history can be found regarding various people such as family members, neighbors, teachers, cafeteria workers, janitors, or principals?
Expected Learning Outcomes:
The students will learn about the immigrant history of California and discuss the manner in which immigrants were treated.
The students will discuss discrimination and racism, as well as develop an appreciation for what various cultures have contributed to California.
The students will identify and assess the immigrant heritage of relatives or other adults that work at the school.
The students will determine that many immigrants contributed to California’s success.
The students will identify whether there is an immigrant connection between all people.
The student will be able to explain what discrimination and racism is and gives examples today.
The students will interview family members or any adult school staff person and collect data that will allow them to trace immigrant history of the person’s family.
The students will produce a written critique of the interview that identifies the country of origin, date of arrival, route taken to California, work history, experiences, photos, and any remembered family stories of the original immigrants.
The student will compare the immigrant’s life to the life of César E. Chávez.
The information gathered in this lesson will build be used in the next lesson on cultural diversity.
Farm workers of different races (Photo 1, Photo 2)
Pictures in text book that deal with various immigrants
Map of the United States
Map of the world
Map of immigration patterns
Ask students to define an immigrant, accept answers, and then give them the definition.
Post a large map of the world on a bulletin board. Tell the students that most people who live in California come from families that immigrated to California, and ask “Does anyone know what country their family immigrated and when? When did your family enter the U.S.? When did your family move to California?”
Let the students put colored pins in the country or countries from which their family arrived. List these countries on the board.
Briefly tell them about your heritage and your family’s immigration history and show from where your family originated on a map.
The First Wave of Immigrants to the U.S.
Scientists believe that the first immigrants to California were the Native Americans who crossed into North America from Asia about 10,000 years ago. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. Between 1820 and 1991, 58 million immigrants entered the U.S.; during this time there have been major waves of immigration into the United States of America. There have been four major waves of immigrants into the U.S. The first wave was in 1600 when the colonists immigrated from England and other European countries. They immigrated in order to escape economic and political oppression, and to have the opportunity to practice freedom of religion. For example, the Quakers were not allowed to practice their religion in peace in England, so they came to North America in order to be free to practice their religion. England also sent convicts to the North America, and in this same time period many African Americans arrived as slaves.
The Second Wave
The second immigration wave took place from 1820-1870 when 7.5 million immigrants arrived from northern and western Europe. Chinese immigrants also arrived during the Gold Rush.
The third wave of immigrants arrived during 1881-1920 when 23 million arrived from eastern Europe. However, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act greatly limited the number of Chinese immigrants.
During this same time period, thousands of immigrants came to the U.S. from Mexico between 1910 and 1915, to escape the revolution in Mexico and to find work.
The Bracero Program
United States started a Bracero Program in 1942 and it lasted until 1965. The United States Government brought in farm workers from Mexico in order to cover the wartime shortages of workers in the agricultural fields. The workers were promised fair pay, a place to live, and good treatment. Often, they received low pay, poor housing, and unfair treatment. Through the Bracero Program, 5 million Mexican workers were brought into the United States to work in the fields, because many of the American workers had left to fight in WWII. Between 1950 and 1960 thousands of refugees came to the United States from Hungry, Chile, and China.
The Fourth Wave
The fourth wave of immigrants began in 1965; the numbers of immigrants from Asia and the West Indies leaped dramatically because of political unrest in their own country. Today large numbers of immigrants arrive from Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, China, Cuba, Ukraine, Jamaica, and South Korea.
Put the vocabulary words on the board.
Have one blank card available for each vocabulary word and break the students into four or five groups.
Divide up the cards between the groups and assign certain vocabulary words to each group.
Have the students write the words on one side and look up the definition in their social studies text or dictionary.
Have the students discuss the meanings and write the meanings on the back of the cards.
Call the groups together and have them share their definitions.
Give a stand up quiz on the vocabulary words.
Share the following information with the students, and list the countries from which the immigrants arrived on the board along with the dates mentioned:
Immigrants Arrive in California
Many immigrants from all over the world came to California between the 1870s and 1910s. Most of them came to escape the bad situations that existed in their own countries and saw the U.S. and California as a hope for a new beginning. Many came because of California’s mild climate and rich farming soil. European immigrants, from Ireland, Germany, Portugal, France, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and Finland originally settled on the east coast of the United States. Many took the transcontinental railroad that was completed in 1869 to California. Other immigrants arrived by boat from China, Japan, and later from the Philippines. The Chinese came during the Gold Rush, and later built the Transcontinental Railroad. After that, the Chinese worked in the wheat fields of the Central Valley. In 1865, following the Civil War, many African Americans who had been slaves in the South, came to California. Here they would find that they still suffered discrimination, segregation, and poverty. Mexicans had migrated to California for hundreds of years; from 1822 until 1848 California had belonged to Mexico.
In the 1870s, there was a depression in California and there were not many jobs. Californians didn’t want competition from immigrants for the few jobs that existed and fought them over the jobs. The jobs that immigrants could find paid very little, and most became farmers or farm workers. There were many Chinese in California during this time, and there was so much conflict between the Chinese and the other Californians that, in 1882, The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed to keep Asians out of America. African Americans, who had come to California to find a better life found discrimination and racism.
Mexicans had been immigrating to California for hundreds of years. From 1821 until 1848 California was actually part of Mexico. Between 1942 and 1965, millions of Mexicans were invited to work in California in the Bracero Program. Although they came over to work in the fields because there was a shortage of local workers because of WWII, they were often not treated fairly.
Immigrants Built Communities
Immigrants from the same countries tended to settle in the same area, where they felt comfortable and often helped each other, and also because they were often not allowed to live in the same areas as other Americans. Immigrants from Switzerland and Italy settled in Asti and grew grapes, while immigrants from Armenia and Russia settled in Fresno to farm. Immigrants from Germany settled in Anaheim and grew oranges. Immigrants from Denmark settled in the Danish town of Solvang. Immigrants from Portugal came to Monterey and became fishermen. Many Japanese immigrants settled in Los Angeles and became successful farmers of strawberries, rice, and potatoes. The Chinese settled in San Francisco in what is still today known as Chinatown. Mexicans settled in many communities throughout California and became a major labor force in agriculture.
Despite many difficulties, including prejudice, immigrants made great contributions to California and it is richer because of its immigrants. They brought with them their culture, which was their way of life, and includes their own music, language, food, and religion. Often immigrants built towns and homes in the architecture of their culture. Their cultures became part of the diverse culture of California making it a rich place to live. All Californians today enjoy holidays such as Octoberfest, Obon festivals, Chinese New Years Parades in San Francisco, Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, Mexican Independence Day celebrations, Greek Festivals, and Rodeos. Immigrants have contributed to the flavor of California and today we appreciate the cultural diversity and ethnic communities such as China Town, Solvang, and Olivera Street.
César E. Chávez Came From a Family of Immigrants
Many immigrants and descendents of immigrants have contributed to the advancement of California. César E. Chávez is an example of someone who descended from an immigrant family and worked to better the State of California. His grandfather, Césario Chávez’s, family immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1880 in order to escape the cruel and unjust hacienda system that existed in Mexico. Césario immigrated to Arizona when César’s father, Librado, was two years old. Césario started a small freight business and homesteaded land in the North Gila Valley. César E. Chávez was born near Yuma, Arizona in 1927, and during the depression César’s father lost their small business and the Chávez family came to California to work as migrant farm workers.
César worked as a migrant farm worker for many years and suffered low pay, poor working conditions, and unjust treatment. As a young man he worked for the Community Service Organization (CSO), who registered people to vote and organized citizenship classes to help immigrants become U.S. citizens. As a leader for over 30 years, César dedicated his life to help people who were victims of discrimination and poverty. He started a nonviolent movement that believed in social change and justice. Today the State of California recognizes César E. Chávez as an outstanding citizen, and has established March 31 as an official State holiday to honor his life and his work.
Find the countries on a map.
Use this example to list the immigrants and the treatment that they suffered on the board and discuss.
Immigrants suffered because of lack of jobs and different cultures
Created their own communities out of necessity
Became farmers and farm workers because it was the only work available
Discuss the ways in which immigrants helped California with their hard work and cultural diversity.
Focus on César E. Chávez, a descendant of an immigrant family and an outstanding citizen of Californian who made contributions to the State. Write the main points from the writing on his life on the board and discuss his contributions. Show pictures of César Chávez and his family and use him as an example of someone who came from an immigrant family and bettered the State of California. Share the Delaine Easton letter with the students, available on the CDE Web site.
Explain to the students that they will conduct an interview in order to find evidence of any immigrant history in family members, teachers, janitors, cafeteria staff, or office staff. The students will tie their research to the immigrant history of California. In their writing, they should compare what they have found to the life of César E. Chávez.
Questions for the interview:
Name and relationship of interviewee
Which country or countries did your family immigrate from?
What were the names of the people?
How did they get to the U.S.?
What year did they arrive, and what was the trip like?
Who were they traveling with?
What language did they speak?
Where did they settle?
What kind of work did they do?
Did they have any children? How many?
Do you have any photos of these family members that you can Xerox or copy for me?
Are there any interesting family stories of hardship or successes?
What kind of foods do your family eat that were handed down to you from your immigrant ancestors?
Are there any celebrations or traditions that you still practice in your family that were handed down from your immigrant ancestors?
Do you know any words from the original language of your immigrant ancestors? What are they and what do they mean.
Give the students one week to interview.
Use the information gathered to identify the countries from which any immigrant ancestors came. Give them a large piece of construction paper and have them put their names on it in large letters and underneath write the country or countries that are part of their history. Trace the routes their immigration ancestors took from the original countries to the U.S. and write names, dates, and family names on the routes.
Have each student give an oral account of where their immigrant ancestors came from and then post their work in the room
Have the students use the writing process to write an account of how the original family members came to the U.S. or California, and identify what routes were taken and what kind of work the family members did and what life was like for these family members. Have them include interesting family stories of the journey or lives of their ancestors.
The student will utilize active listening skills as the teacher starts the lesson and discusses the meaning of the word immigrants.
The student will utilize speaking skills as they interview relatives.
The student will utilize writing skill as they synthesize the information they gather into a final written product.
The students may investigate the countries that are part of their heritage, on line, in encyclopedias, or in the library, and write a report on the country.
The students may visit a travel agency and get information about the country.
The students may attempt to contact any relatives that continue to live in the original country and correspond with them.
The students could research contributions made by immigrants who came to California or the United States of America.
The students could research the life of César E. Chávez, since he is from an immigrant family, and report to the class about his life and accomplishments.
The students could research an on-line genealogy library to investigate their history.