Matt Jason

Urbanization and Immigration


The things I most want my students to understand after this course or years are:

1.Who the different people are in their community.

2.Where these people come from and WHY.

3.The struggles involved in creating and sustaining families and communities.

Generative Topics

What will students learn about?

The urbanization of the U.S. subsequent to the Civil War, as well as the urbanization of their own community. Focus will be placed on the people who came to the cities, particularly immigrants (especially in Lansing), and how they shaped the North Lansing community.

Why is this worth learning?

This topic is central to knowing "who are we?" in our community. It is profound to learn the circumstances we come from as it informs our identities today. Many students talk about living on the "North Side," yet struggle to define what that geographic and mental grouping means.

Understanding Goals

What will students come to understand during this unit?

Performances of Understanding

What do you want your students to do to build and demonstrate their understanding?

Provide evidence from own lives and families of "who they are," and the history behind how they came to North Lansing.

...stories from family members.

...artifacts that relate to the personal histories.

and assemble and present to each other (in class, web based too?)

Ongoing Assessment

How will you and your students know what they understand?

Rough ideas...

Students will engage in a "field study" of local environs where they will have to describe what they see, taking pictures and taking note of historical sites and patterns of change.

Answer: What do the industrial areas have to do with current settlement?

Look at various buildings -- are they from the same period. If not, what might explain the development at various times?

What evidence do we have of immigration (how have immigrants from the past left their mark?)?

New Technologies

How do new technologies enhance Teaching for Understanding?

Make curriculum more generative?

Make goals more explicit and central?

Support performances of understanding?

Strengthen ongoing assessment?


The curriculum frameworks/standards addressed in this unit are:

1.Standard III.2 Ideals of American Democracy

All students will explain the meaning and origin of the ideas, including the core

democratic values expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other foundational documents of the United States.

American constitutional democracy is founded on a core set of values expressed in the nation's foundational documents. A shared commitment to these values bonds Americans with a common identity and provides social cohesion. Political and legal processes are created to clarify the meaning of values in the American creed and to resolve conflicts among those values.

2.Standard II.I "Diversity of People, Places, and Cultures"

All students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of places, cultures, and settlements. The mosaic of people, places, and cultures expresses the rich variety of the earth.

Natural and human characteristics meld to form expressions of cultural uniqueness, as well as similarities among peoples. Culture is the way of life of a group of people including language, religion, traditions, family structure, institutions, and economic activities.

3.Standard I.I Time and Chronology

Chronological thinking is at the very heart of historical reasoning. Without a clear sense of historical time we are bound to see events as one great tangled mess. Events must be sequenced in time in order to examine relationships among them or to explain cause and effect.

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Creation Date: 2/21/2000
Last Updated: 6/8/2000