Third grade has been studying immigration as part of our social studies unit this trimester. We focus on past and present immigration ideas and begin by traveling back in time to where millions of immigrants, some of them our ancestors, passed through the Great Hall at Ellis Island.
We look into reasons why people immigrate and how immigrants contribute to American culture. With this we study the phrase America is like the Melting Pot or Salad Bowl if you will, where people can maintain their cultural heritage and identity and become part of the fabric of our society. Along the way, students conduct family interviews and assemble oral histories about their own backgrounds. Our study culminates with our immigration feast where we make from scratch a melting pot stew of sorts. In a ceremonious way, each students adds some idea about immigration to the pot as they add the ingredients one at a time. The next day, each student brings in a traditional dish from home to share at our feast. It is a great way to learn about not only our nation’s history, but our family history as well. This year we are publishing a cookbook filled with the recipes from our feast and the family traditions behind them.