These resources, compiled by the education teams across the Smithsonian Institution, feature lessons, activities, exhibitions, videos and tools that can be used to teach students about immigration and "What It Means to Be an American Today"

A Nigerian Yoruba Naming Ceremony
Online exhibit focuses on the cultural traditions of an African immigrant community in the United States. A Nigerian family’s Naming Ceremony story raises the topics of cultural preservation, community, and family. Includes descriptions of the event, people, and links to relevant local publications.
Provider: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage​
Grade(s): K-12

A Century of Challenge and Change: The Filipino American Story Curriculum
Curriculum guide exploring topics in Philippine history including colonization, immigration to the United States, and influence on modern America. Includes lesson plans, downloadable guide, resources, and link to interactive website for students.
Provider: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program​
Grade(s): 4-8

Maritime Nation 1800-1850
Section of the online exhibit On the Water: Stories from Maritime America focused on the maritime history of the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century. Learn how shipbuilders, mariners, and maritime merchants helped the new nation defend itself and grow. Topics covered are the roles that privateers played during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, immigration, early steam travel and coastal shipping in the Atlantic Ocean, the California Gold Rush, and the life-saving technology that was used to rescue the victims of shipwrecks.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-8

Borders/Fronteras
Uses artifacts to explore the borderlands, from the outlaw ballads of the Scots-English border to the heroic corridos of south Texas. Includes images, interviews, music, and discussion questions. Bilingual English/Spanish.
Provider: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Grade(s): 9-12

¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz Homepage
Online exhibit exploring the life of Celia Cruz, an influential and legendary musical figure both in her native country of Cuba and in the United States. Visitors can connect her story to a variety of subjects including immigration, history, geography, music theory, music history, and art. Available in English and Spanish.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-8, 9-12

America on the Move – Creating Stories Activity Kit
Activity kit has students use primary and secondary sources and conduct oral history interviews to construct a family immigration or migration story. The kit contains step-by-step instructions, sample interview questions, and research guidance. Can be used with the “Transportation in US history: Creating Stories – America on the Move Electronic Field Trip Part 2” included in the America on the Move online exhibit.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 9-12

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964
Online exhibit telling the little-known chapter of American history in which labor shortages caused by World War II, led to an estimated two million Mexican men being recruited on short-term labor contracts to work on U.S. farms and railroads. This agreement became known as the bracero program. Presented in English and Spanish, the experiences of these men are brought to life through photographs and quotes from oral history interviews.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grades: 4-8, 9-12

Bracero History Archive – Spanish Version
Collection of oral histories, photos, and objects documenting the history of the Bracero program, a little-known chapter of American history in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the United States between 1942 and 1964 on short-term labor contracts. Browse more than 600 oral histories and numerous objects, use social bookmarking tools to share resources, add notes, make a poster using items from the archive, and contribute to the archive by adding personal stories about the Bracero program.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 6-12

Document Deep Dive: A Holocaust Survivor Finds Hope in America
Online primary source: the immigration records of a boy who escaped the Holocaust by hiding in a Polish wood.
Provider: Smithsonian Magazine
Grade(s): 9-12

Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution: Topic 1 - Immigration
Section of the A More Perfect Union online exhibit focusing on the experience of Issei, the first generation of Japanese immigrants to the United States, through the use of artifacts from the Museum's collections, primary source documents, photographs, and oral histories. Most Japanese immigrants to Hawaii and the mainland United States faced severe racial prejudice and restrictive laws specifically aimed to limit the rights of Asian immigrants to own property and become citizens. Also discussed are the challenges later immigrants to both Hawaii and California faced as racist attitudes and policies were legalized.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-12

Making a New Life in the United States/Arte Y Cultura Latino: La Nueva Vida En Los Estados Unidos (Spanish)
Portion of the Latino Art and Culture module taking a close look at the art and culture of Puerto Rican Americans, Mexican Americans, and Cuban Americans. Bilingual English/Spanish.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
Grade(s): Pre-K-12

Ocean Crossings 1870-1969
Section of the online exhibit On the Water: Stories from Maritime America focused on the role ocean liners played during the massive immigration of people to the United States from Europe and Asia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors will also learn how ocean liners such as the Mauretania, Titanic, and the S.S. United States became a popular, and sometimes dangerous, mode of leisure travel for those who could afford it.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-12

The Bracero Archive - Tracing the Route of a Bracero
Lesson has students examine an oral history related to the Bracero worker program and present their research on a map. Students will use the Bracero archive, a collection of oral histories, photos, and objects documenting the history of the Bracero program, a little-known chapter of American history in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the United States between 1942 and 1964 on short-term labor contracts.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 6-12

The Bracero Archive - Learning From Documents
Lesson has students use the Bracero archive to examine two public laws and other primary resources related to the Bracero worker program and apply their knowledge to evaluate whether the program was carried out as intended. The Bracero archive is a collection of oral histories, photos, and objects documenting the history of the Bracero program, a little-known chapter of American history in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the United States between 1942 and 1964 on short-term labor contracts.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 6-12

The Bracero Archive - Learning From Photos
Lesson has students discuss their thoughts on immigration, learn about the Bracero labor program, and use photographs to deepen their understanding of the program. Students will utilize the Bracero archive, a collection of oral histories, photos, and objects documenting the history of the Bracero program, a little-known chapter of American history in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the United States between 1942 and 1964 on short-term labor contracts.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 6-12

Voting: The Acme of Reform
Section of the online exhibit Vote: The Machine of Democracy examining the reform of voting methods. As the electorate of the United States increased due to immigration and as women claimed their right to vote, the need for better and more secure ballots became necessary. Objects, images, and historical media illustrate the movement away from paper ballots.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-12

Working with the Short-Handled Hoe: Organizing Farmworkers after World War II
Lesson plans examining the short-handled hoe and its connection to agriculture and the organizing of Latino farm workers after World War II. Includes an introduction to doing history with objects, three lesson plans focused on Cesar Chavez and the struggle of Latino farm workers for social justice, and annotated links related to farm workers, Cesar Chavez and the Bracero program.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 9-12

Na Leo Hawai’i: Musics of Hawai’i
Webpage showcases music's defining role in the history and identity of Hawaiians. Offers video and audio recording of Hawaiian musical performance, from melee to slack-key guitar.
Provider: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Grade(s): K-12

A Nation of Immigrants: Latino Stories
Explore stories of Latino immigration and migration and see some of the complexities of immigration.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-12

Immigration, Migration, and How We Got There – Electronic Field Trip Part 1
This electronic field trip was designed to introduce grades 4–8 to the America on the Move exhibition on transportation in U.S. history. Curators and a student host visit the exhibition and examine the impact of immigration and migration and the influence of various forms of transportation on American history.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-8

Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution: Service
Students will learn about the 25,000 Japanese Americans who served in U.S. military units during World War II. This section of A More Perfect Union, an online exhibition, uses artifacts from the Museum's collections, primary source documents, photographs and oral histories to tell the stories of the military service and sacrifice of these brave men as well as the irony that they were fighting to preserve the world's freedom while their families were imprisoned. Their combat record aided the post-war acceptance of Japanese Americans in American society and helped many people to recognize the injustice of wartime internment. Oral history transcripts are available in the subsections Soldier's LifeMilitary Intelligence and Translation, and Ironies of Service.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-12

Exile: Cuba and the United States
In this lesson plan, students will research the events of the Cuban revolution and their effect on U.S.-Cuban relations and U.S. foreign policy by utilizing Celia Cruz's personal experience. They will then prepare a story about the revolution as if they were members of a television news team reporting on the events of the time.  This lesson is a resource included in the online exhibition entitled ¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 9-12

1880s Agricultural Nation Classroom Activity Guide
In this set of classroom activities developed for the exhibition America on the Move, students will use visual, analytical, and interpretive skills to examine primary sources including historical maps to answer questions about farming, transportation, immigration, and racism in the 1880s, and will answer questions about the history and impact of railroads on their own communities. The activities provide opportunities for historical analysis, interpretation, evaluation, analyzing cause/effect relationships, understanding multiple points of view, performing original research, debating and persuasive writing and help students develop and strengthen map-reading skills and the ability to identify issues and problems in the past and connect the past to the present.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 5-12

Statue of Liberty Print Artifact Exploration
Students can guide themselves to a deeper understanding of the Statue of Liberty with this 2-page activity sheet. The sheet includes description and analysis questions to use alongside the digitized version of a piece of art featuring the Statue of Liberty, suggestions for other related online resources, and possible extension activities. The student activity sheet is written for middle or high school students who are fluent in English. The digitized document is a part of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship, a learning portal for recent immigrants studying for naturalization. The online descriptive captions are written at a “low-intermediate” ESL level.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 6-12

Coming to America
Almost all Americans have family histories that trace back to other countries. By using this OurStory module, children and adults can enjoy exploring the experiences of immigrants who came to America and the ways that immigration has changed life in America through children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities.  Focused around Feivel’s Flying Horses, a historical fiction picture book about an immigrant who comes to America in the 1800’s, the module includes links to hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings for further exploration.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-6

Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project
Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants toiled at a grueling pace and in perilous working conditions to help construct America’s First Transcontinental Railroad.  The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West. The Project coordinates research in the United States and Asia in order to create an on-line digital archive available to all. 
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-12

Immigration
This inquiry leads students through an investigation of the experiences faced by immigrant groups who traveled to New York throughout the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Understanding those experiences helps students develop keen insights into the cultural fabric of New York State. In examining the initial hopes of immigrants and their reasons for coming to America, the social and economic conditions in New York City at the time, and the realities of establishing a new life for immigrant families, students should be able to develop an argument with evidence to answer the compelling question “Did the American Dream come true for immigrants who came to New York?”
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-5

Imagine an Immigration Interview
Imagine what it felt like to be an immigrant arriving at Ellis Island or Angel Island during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Could you pass the interview to enter the country? Part of an OurStory module entitled Coming to America, this activity includes interview questions, discussion prompts, and background information. OurStory is designed to help children and adults explore history together through the use of children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 3-5

Reading Feivel’s Flying Horses
Use this guide to actively read Feivel’s Flying Horses a picture book about an immigrant who comes to America in the late 1800’s. Part of an OurStory module entitled Coming to America, this activity includes discussion prompts, a glossary, and background information. OurStory is designed to help children and adults explore history together through the use of children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-4

Timelines Tell Stories
How can the Statue of Liberty be used in a timeline? Take a close look at an object made by an immigrant, then tell your family or cultural stories through a timeline. Part of an OurStory module entitled Coming to America, this activity includes a guided exploration of a museum artifact, step-by-step directions, and background information. OurStory is designed to help children and adults explore history together through the use of children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 3-5

Preparing for the Oath
Preparing for the Oath is an online study guide for the civics portion of the U.S. Naturalization Test. This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a “low-intermediate” ESL level.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-12

1970s-2000s Global Economy Classroom Activity Guide
In these classroom activities, developed for the exhibition America on the Move, students will use visual, analytical, and interpretive skills to examine primary sources including a historical map and answer questions about them to learn more about global consumption, production, and transportation and the impact of globalization in their own communities. The activities provide opportunities for historical analysis, interpretation, evaluation, analyzing cause/effect relationships, understanding multiple points of view, performing original research, debating and persuasive writing will help students develop and strengthen map-reading skills and identify issues and problems in the past and connect the past to the present.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 5-12

Flight to Freedom: Caribbean Rafters
The lure of economic opportunity and political freedom in the 20th century enticed many Caribbean people to attempt the risky journey to the United States aboard rafts and other flimsy vessels. Those arriving from communist Cuba were generally given refugee status and allowed to stay, while most from Haiti and other impoverished areas were returned.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 5-12

Gateway to the 19th Century: The William Steinway Diary Homepage
Beginning eight days after the first shots of the American Civil War were fired and three days before his wedding, William Steinway’s remarkable diary bears witness to one of the most dynamic periods in American history. This website examines the life of William Steinway and the display of his diary at the Smithsonian.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 9-12

From Ellis Island to Orchard Street
This online exhibition, produced by the Tenement Museum, allows students to play the role of an immigrant to New York City in the early twentieth century. Students will learn about the immigration experience by creating an identity and making decisions about making a living and making a living in the Lower East Side. Video clips of an actress playing the role of an immigrant add context and give students helpful advice. Panoramic photographs of rooms in a tenement apartment give students a unique perspective into the lives of immigrants in the early twentieth century. 
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-10

The Lynch Family: Immigration and the Industrial Revolution
Students can learn about the Lynches and the realities of life for many Americans during the Industrial Revolution by examining a map and description of their apartment, a page from an 1885 account book, and objects from the period. In the 1870s and 1880s, Catherine Tracy Lynch, an Irish immigrant, and her daughter, Mary, rented one side of the Ipswich, Massachusetts house that is the focus of Within These Walls, an online exhibition. Catherine took in laundry and Mary was one of hundreds of workers employed by Ipswich Mills. Renting meant sharing space with boarders, other renters in the house, and probably relatives recently arrived from Ireland.  
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-12

Within These Walls
Students will learn how the Smithsonian acquired the house at 16 Elm Street Ipswich, Massachusetts and saved more than a dozen family stories and 200 years of American social history. They will also learn some of the methods historians and curators used to learn about this house's past, the ways that it changed over time, and the people who lived in it.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4-12

Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation is a non-profit organization whose primary goals are to lead the effort to preserve, restore and interpret Angel Island Immigration Station, a National Historic Landmark, as the Pacific gateway for U.S. immigration; and to promote educational activities that further the understanding of Pacific Rim immigration in American history.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): K-12

The American Experience in the Classroom: Immigration and Migration
The collection demonstrates this far-reaching theme in many of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's artworks. From the earliest artwork in this theme (Young Moravian Girl, 1755-60) to the most recent (Electronic Superhighway, 1995), each illuminates the immigrant and migrant experience. These artworks seek to answer questions such as, "What attracted diverse groups of people to this land?" and "What did they hope to gain or achieve through this undertaking?" In each of the following artworks we will explore how the issues of the time in which the artwork was created affected the experience of the immigrant and the migrant.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
Grade(s): K-12

¡del Corazon! Latino Voices in American Art
How can artists express their experiences through their artwork? Many Latinos have immigrated to the United States. Whether their experiences are told firsthand or handed down from parents and grandparents, they seek to communicate the importance of their journeys and their culture.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
Grade(s): K-12

Journey Stories
Downloadable poster exhibition with discussion questions takes a broad look at American expansion and migration, from the earliest European settlers and Native American displacement, to the effects of transportation advancements on modern mobility.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Grade(s): 6-12

I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story
Downloadable poster exhibition explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by our nation's history. While this journey has many points of origin, it truly began in America, a nation founded and built by immigrants, and enriched by the vibrant diversity of their heritages and traditions.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Grade(s): 6-12

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964
Downloadable poster exhibition explores the little-known story of the Bracero Program, the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. Between 1942-1964, millions of Mexican men came to the U.S. on short-term labor contracts. It's a story of both exploitation and opportunity.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Grade(s): 6-12

Second Opinion: Immigration in America - Smithsonian Resources
This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains interdisciplinary education resources, including videos, images and blogs to complement the Smithsonian's national conversation on immigration, highlighted on Second Opinion. Use this sample of the Smithsonian's many resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic and spark a conversation.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 6-12

Conflict and Compromise: Chinese Exclusion Act
These resources - including digital exhibitions, photographs, documents, and lesson plans - help explore the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), a United States Federal Law restricting immigration of all Chinese laborers and the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States.  Resources highlight the lives of Chinese-American families and racism in American advertisements from the Act's enactment to its repeal in 1943.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 3-12

Bracero Program: Unveiling Stories
In this activity, students will examine photographs documenting the Bracero Program, the largest guest-worker program in US history. Started in 1942 as a temporary war measure to address labor demands in agriculture and railroads, the program allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and 24 other states. By the time the program ended in 1964, over 4.6 million contracts were awarded. Using two Project Zero Global Thinking Routines - "Unveiling Stories" and "The 3 Ys" - students will analyze the stories these photographs tell about the experiences of braceros in this program, and the impact of these stories in multiple contexts.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 6-12

Japanese Internment Through Art and Documents 
These resources can be used in an activity that introduces a lesson on Japanese-American Internment during World War II.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
Grade(s): 6-12

Sacco and Vanzetti  
Students may use this collection to explore the reasons why Sacco and Vanzetti became a celebrated cause among liberal activists in the 1920s, and how their trial exemplified cultural divisions that emerged during the decade. Examining artists' perspectives on the trial through visual arts and music will help provide insight into the era.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 10-12

Responses to Immigration: Then and Now  
This collection will prompt thinking about attitudes towards new immigrants throughout our nation's history. What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 6-12

The Melting Pot at the United Shoe Machinery Corporation  
This student activity includes a set of archival documents from the United Shoe Machinery Corporation. These documents can be used as resources to help students investigate the relationship between industry, education, and immigration in the early 20th century.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 6-12

Photographs from Ellis Island   
This is a collection of five photographs taken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as well as a handout to be used with the photos. Use the collection as a warm up or prompt for further research about the experience of immigrants to America. Teachers could assign different photographs to small groups so that students can share ideas and questions as they closely examine each one, focusing on differences between what is clearly evident in each photo as well as what can be inferred or hypothesized. What can we learn about the experience of immigrants at Ellis Island from photographs? What emotions are expressed in these images? Challenge students to consider the photographers process and perspective: Are these images staged or candid? What kind of statement do you think the photographer might be making about immigration at this time?
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 3-8

Immigration to America   
This collection provides an overview of immigration to the United States, but emphasizes the increased immigration during the Gilded Age. Students can complete the collection independently, keeping in mind the following guided questions: Why have people been motivated to immigrate to the United States? What challenges have immigrants faced while traveling to or after arriving in the United States? What contributions have immigrants made to American society?
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): 3-8

GATEWAYS Family and Visitor Guide

English Version / Spanish Version
A gateway, or portales in Spanish, is an entrance or passage that can be opened and closed.  This exhibition examines how the increase of Latinx immigrants and migrants is changing social, political, economic, and cultural life in the United States. The exhibition focuses on four urban areas in particular: Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. All but Baltimore experienced a rapid increase of their Latinx populations over the past several decades
Provider:  Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum