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Immigration and the State of Washington
Washington State History students are introduced to immigration in the 4th grade. They are asked to investigate the influence that different cultural groups had on the growth and development of neighborhoods, cities, counties, and the state. HistoryLink.org has many resources that can help teachers prepare relevant curricula and interesting lesson plans.
HistoryLink features many specific essays that highlight immigrant groups in Washington. They have been compiled in a Special Suites category named Immigrants -- the Special Suites are located below New Essays This Week in the right hand column on HistoryLink.org's Home Page. Specific cultural groups featured in HistoryLink overview essays in this Special Suite include Ethiopian and Eritrean Communities in Seattle, Filipino Americans in Seattle, Japanese Immigration to the Puget Sound Region,Norwegians in Seattle and King County, Somali Community in Seattle, and Swedes in Seattle and King County.
In another Special Suites category named Southeast Seattle|, teachers and students will find essays and timelines that are specific to the neighborhood in Seattle that has one of the most diverse populations in the United States ( including Southeast Seattle ZIP Code 98118: Neighborhood of Nations. Nearly 20 of these Southeast Seattle essays have been abbreviated and translated into four languages -- Spanish, Chinese, Somali, and Vietnamese -- so that newcomers and current immigrants to the city and state can learn about and celebrate the history of their new surroundings.
The Education Resource also has identified and listed hundreds of great online resources that will link students, educators, librarians, and parents to primary sources, curricula, educational materials, and places to visit that will enrich the study of immigration.
- Dream of America: A Teacher's Curriculum Guide
This teacher's curriculum guide is intended to supplement a visit to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard. It was designed to give students a greater understanding of the reasons behind the decision of immigrants to leave their homelands and pursue a new life in an unfamiliar country. The activities introduce students to the museum's Dream of America exhibit, reinforce basic concepts about immigration to America, and encourage involvement in the experience of the immigrants while promoting historical research about the history of their own families. Activities include interpretation of primary sources and tracking immigrant voyages using a world map. Funded in part by 4Culture HCE program.
- King County and Western Washington Cultural Geography, Communities, Their History and Traditions
This curriculum was developed by Northwest Heritage Resources and is designed to meet the educational requirements of the state Classroom-Based Assessment for Enduring Cultures. This curriculum was designed for use by 7th and 8th grade students. Lesson plans are supplemented by cultural community essays (Puget Salish, Chinese American, Asian Indians, Laotian Americans, and Arab Americans) as well as traditional art form essays (Cantonese Opera, Kathak Dance, Hmong Basketry, and Oud Music of the Arab World). This project was funded by the 4Culture HCE program.
- What's the Story: Past and Present
Northwest African American Museum has developed four new curriculum packets inspired by the history, culture and art of the Pacific Northwest's African American community. Curriculum topics include stories of early local African American leaders and pioneers such as George Washington Bush and Harold Mills, which teach students about courage and inspiration; the migration of African Americans from Africa to the U.S. to the Pacific Northwest and the challenges they faced and the contributions they made; and what you can learn from everyday stories from the black community.
- World Religions and Spirituality
This 6th grade social studies curriculum was developed in conjunction with Rainier Valley Historical Society's Bringing World Religion Home Project and funded in part by 4Culture's Heritage Culture Education program. In this unit, students are exposed to many of the world's major religions, as well as to forms of spirituality that are not organized religions. They learn about the important historical traditions that make up the community in which they live.
- Neely Mansion -- Auburn: The Neely family were among the earliest settlers in the Kent area and played a major role in its development in the 1850s. Their farm consisted of 200 acres with a dairy and an orchard. The house (Neely Mansion) has been restored to its former glory and is one of the few remaining examples of the many Victorian-style farmhouses that were once commonplace throughout the region.
- Nordic Heritage Museum -- Seattle: The Nordic Heritage Museum's school tours take place in the Dream of America exhibit. Students travel back to nineteenth-century Scandinavia to begin the journey to America through the exhibit's life-like settings and period artifacts. The voyage continues as students board a ship to cross the Atlantic, disembark at Ellis Island, and settle in the Pacific Northwest and Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. The Nordic immigrant experience comes to life with this dynamic tour using role-playing and illustrative props.
- Northwest African American Museum -- Seattle: The interactive and inquiry-based school tours provide an in-depth look at the history, art, and culture of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Students explore the Journey Gallery with knowledgeable docents on a fascinating adventure through space and time, giving glimpses of the vibrant and exciting experiences of the African American community in the Northwest from 1790 to the present.
- Wing Luke Asian Museum -- Seattle: School tours visit the museum's permanent exhibition, "Honoring Our Journey," along with changing special exhibits. Students will learn about the 200-year story of Asians and Pacific Islanders immigrating to and settling in the Pacific Northwest. Docents engage students with first-hand stories, artifacts and photos, lively discussion, and multimedia and creative activities.
Heritage Education Resources: Websites:
- CINARC.org (Chinese in Northwest America Research Committee) was designed toencouragecollaboration in exploring the history of the Chinese in the PacificNorthwest -- including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska -- between the first known arrival in 1788 and the great changes in the regional Chinese population that followed the liberalizing of U.S. immigration laws in 1965.
- The Greeks in Washington website presents the history and culture of the Greek American community in Washington. It has been designed to tell the stories online, in a "museum without walls." Dozens of Greek Americans were interviewed and their stories are shared in three categories: "Making a Living," "Making a Home," and "Keeping Community."
- Washington State Jewish Heritage Association is dedicated to discovering, preserving, and disseminating the history of the Jews of Washington. This history is shared through publications, exhibits, displays, speakers, and tours. The material for these endeavors is gleaned from the Jewish Archives Project, a joint program of the Washington State Jewish Historical Society and the University of Washington Libraries.
Museum Programs (Trunks):
If there are other relevant online resources that should be added to the Education Resource listings on HistoryLink.org, please contact the Education Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important to HistoryLink.org to keep this Education Resource as updated as possible to be of the most benefit to educators and students who regularly use this website.
Image: Japanese immigration: staff member and baby, ca. 1920. Courtesy Museum History & Industry.
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The Education Resource is in its infancy and will be regularly updated with new content, curricula, and links representing organizations and individuals from across Washington state. We encourage continued feedback on this page and its resources. Please contact us with your input, suggestions, and information on related projects. Teachers, please send us your lesson plans for using HistoryLink.org in the classroom.