Carol Dallman
9th Grade Teacher, Wellstone International School, Minneapolis

The Immigration Timeline: Becoming Minnesotan

Student Activity: Immigration Timeline


The timeline highlights important legislation and other policy changes that have affected immigration to the U.S., and the histories of the Khmer, Asian Indian, Somali, Tibetan and Hmong communities in their homelands and in the U.S.

Lesson Idea

My students like to compare and contrast different immigrant stories, especially because a large percentage of my students are themselves newcomers to the U.S.  This strategy fits well within my U.S. History curriculum where I can integrate these recent immigrant stories into my unit on immigration from the 1880s to the 1920s.

First, my students read a primary source or historical fiction account of an immigrant’s story from the 19th or early 20th century. Next they write down information about that person in four categories used on the Becoming Minnesotan website: Life in the Old Country, Coming to America, Becoming American, and We Are Here. (Note: You could adapt the Jigsaw Activity Handout provided in the Handouts section of the Teacher Resources page)

Then they use the timeline to find examples of more recent immigrants adapting to American life. The timeline is also a good way to enter the stories of Somali, Indian, Tibetan, Hmong and Khmer immigrants available on the Becoming Minnesotan website.

Although the details of the immigrant stories have changed, students  find that the difficulties and rewards of immigration are often very similar.

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