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Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

Featured Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about immigration in your classroom, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine

Coming to America

Immigration is one of the most talked-about topics in American politics. But how much do you really know about it? Find out why America is often called a nation of immigrants, and what recent government data tells us about immigration trends.

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Reading a Graph
A graph of America's foreign-born population
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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“They’ll Kill Me If I’m Sent Back”

When the opportunity to escape presented itself, Ginger knew she had to act fast. It might be the last chance she’d ever have. Find out how she fled from a violent gang in Honduras, and how she’s fighting to stay in America legally.

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Coming to America
Analyze a political cartoon.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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The Great Immigration Debate

Who gets to be an American? It’s a question at the heart of one of the most heated debates in America today. Get the facts in this article, with support from text features like a timeline and a map.

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Compare and Contrast
Compare immigration then and now.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Undocumented & Afraid

There are millions of undocumented immigrants in America today. Under President Donald Trump, many of them are facing deportation or incarceration. What are some arguments for and against allowing undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to stay?

Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Quotes
 

Famous quotes about U.S. immigration

“Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as their talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.”

— Robert F. Kennedy

“Nearly all Americans have ancestors who braved the oceans—liberty-loving risk takers in search of an ideal. . . . Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.”

— President George H.W. Bush, on signing the Immigration Act of 1990 into law

“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.”

— George Washington in 1788 (shortly before being elected the first president of the U.S.)

“As each new wave of immigration has reached America it has been faced with problems, not only the problems that come with making new homes and new jobs, but, more important, the problems of getting along with people of different backgrounds and habits. Somehow, the difficult adjustments are made and people get down to the tasks of earning a living, raising a family, living with their neighbors, and, in the process, building a nation.”

— John F. Kennedy, from his book A Nation of Immigrants (written in 1958, when he was a U.S. senator)

Key Figures
 

Four immigrants to the U.S. who made an impact on this country—and the world

Madeleine Albright
(1937-    )

The first female secretary of State in U.S. history was born in what is now the Czech Republic. She immigrated to the U.S. with her family when she was 11.

Sergey Brin
(1973-    )

The computer scientist and entrepreneur who co-founded Google—one of the biggest tech companies in the world—moved to the U.S. from Russia with his family when he was 6.

Albert Einstein
(1879-1955)

The world-famous physicist (and perhaps the most famous scientist in history) immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1933 to escape the Nazis.

Levi Strauss
(1829-1902)

The man who invented blue jeans moved to the U.S. from his native Germany at age 18.

Glossary

Terms and definitions that pertain to immigration

American dream

noun

the idea that the U.S. economic, political, and social systems make success possible for anyone willing to work for it

assimilate

verb

to become fully part of a different culture or society

asylum

noun

protection given by a government to someone who has left his or her country to avoid harm

green card

noun

a document that allows a citizen of another nation to legally live and work in the United States indefinitely

migration

noun

the act of moving from one place to another

undocumented

adjective

lacking the official papers required for legal immigration or residence

Explore Other Topics

Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources from Junior Scholastic magazine.

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

The United States Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.

The United States Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.

The Civil Rights Movement

Get to know Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Johns, the Little Rock Nine, and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.

The Civil Rights Movement

Get to know Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Johns, the Little Rock Nine, and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

ClassicStockAlamy (immigrant crowd); Drew Angerer/Getty Images (boy with woman); Nick Hagen (girl in hood); Fotosearch/Getty Images (immigrants coming down ramp); Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP Images (ICE arrest); Krista Kennell/Sipa Press via AP (Albright); Taylor Hill/Getty (Brin); BettmannGetty (Einstein); Fotosearch/Getty Images (Strauss)