American Studies Immigrant Oral Presentations (IOP J

American Studies
Immigrant Oral Presentations (IOP )
For these presentations you will be embodying a historically based character grounded
in the immigration story of one of your family members.
The characterization should be based entirely in fact, without necessarily being entirely
You will combine information from an interview conducted by you with a family
member and information collected
through research on general
immigration history from the region and time period of your relative’s
The family member that you interview does NOT necessarily need to be
the one who immigrated; they just need to be able to tell you about your
ancestor’s immigration. (For example, your grandmother could tell you
about her grandfather’s immigration to the US from Italy in the 1880s.)
Get as much information about your ancestor’s actual story as you can, then supplement
that information by doing research on the general immigration patterns of that time
period and population.
Here are some questions that should guide your investigation:
 Where are they from? (Many Americans have a huge diversity of ancestors, if this is the case, then pick one
branch of your family to focus on)
 What language(s) did they speak? What religion did they practice?
 What skills did they have?
 How old were they?
 What time period did your ancestors come to the
United States?
 Push: What was the situation in their home country?
Was there something that made them leave their
home country? (Potato blight? War? Economics?
 Pull: what made them decide to come to the United
States? (Family or community members here already?
Job opportunities? Religious freedoms? Etc.)
 Where did they settle? Why?
 How did they get here? (Boat, plane, foot…?)
 What kinds of jobs did they have initially?
 What were their early experiences and impressions
of America and Americans?
Once you develop the character’s story, you must then work on crafting their persona, as you will become the
immigrant in order to share the story with your classmates.
We will be turning our classroom into Ellis/Angel Island on Wednesday 10/26/2015.
In order to capture the spirit of the assignment you should use costumes, accents, food, etc.
Your presentation and story will:
 Be 3-5 minutes long (in small groups)
 Incorporate clothing, culture, and history
 Include a funny story (culture clash)