The purpose of this unit is to teach the middle school student about the Italian migration and its struggles and contributions in America. It is also intended to illuminate other cultural plights through the use of comparisons that may be implied.
The objectives are simplistic but may reveal a strong opinion from the students. The primary goal is to help instill a proud feeling for one’s heritage. This was accomplished by illustrating the Italians’ role before the great migration. The difficult life that made many flee Italy and the contributions that were made after years of struggle in America. There is a questionnaire that is included to be asked of Italian America and all others. This information will help to stimulate conversations among the students and hopefully ignite some curiosities. The unit also contains a section on Italian entrepreneurship, which may be helpful in illustrating today’s business ventures that have such an impact on our country. The business contributions of the Italian-Americans are vast. The students will have “hands on” opportunities to see a business in operation and to report back information for discussion. The conclusion of the unit includes lesson plans and notable contributions to the Italian American heritage. Two annotated bibliographies are included for teacher and student.
(Recommended for 7th and 8th grade Social Studies)
Italian American History