Picture a Nation
In this activity, students take a "picture of their nation" by locating
statistical information about the population of the United States and
representing some aspect of it graphically.
WHAT YOU NEED
WHAT TO DO
- Review with students the different kinds of graphic organizers they can
use to present statistics: line graphs, bar graphs, pictographs, and pie
- Explain that students are to choose a time period (present, recent past, or
more distant past) in America's history of immigration and use a graphic
organizer to take a "picture" of that time. The picture might show some
aspect of the population's ancestry in a single year. Or, it might show changes
over a period of time. Some examples might be:
- The four (or more) countries of origin from which the greatest number of
immigrants came in a particular year
- Immigration by continent during a single year
- The rise or fall of immigration from a single country/continent over a
period of years
- Ancestry of the U. S. population based on the most recent census
- A particular state's population by ancestry (Census information is
accessible through the U. S. Bureau of the Census)
- A comparison of two (or more) state populations by countries of origin or
- Encourage students to research periods they are especially interested in,
which may correspond to their family origins. They may wish to choose the
time period during which the majority of their family emigrated to the United
States. For example: Italy from 1918-1920; Ireland in 1910; Indochina in 1977
as compared to 1940.
- Have students share their graphic organizers with the class. Encourage
students to discuss what the numbers mean in terms of real people: the
immigrants themselves and those already living here.
Some students may want to write a piece of realistic fiction about a family
whose story is symbolized by the numbers and graphs.
You may download, print and make copies of this page for use in your classroom,
provided that you include the copyright notice shown below on all such copies.
Copyright © 1997 Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.