The following unit was constructed for the purpose of educating the 8th grade middle school student on the struggles and contributions of the Italian-Americans of New Haven. The unit will also help to illuminate some of the discriminatory practices against other ethnic groups and their similarities.
The Italians came to America to work for a better life for themselves and their children. They came to work on the farm and in the city. The family members each had their role, each was dependent on one another to succeed. When success was imminent they would send for more family living in Italy to come to America and enjoy life, or at least contribute to a better life. Education, business religion and economic conditions in general would eventually determine how or where they would live.
New Haven attracted a large portion of the Italian immigrants because of its oyster industry and proximity to the Long Island sound. Not only did they work immediately after their arrival in the late 1800’s but they continued to contribute in other areas of production. Industry played a vital part in the work life of the Italian-American as well as farming on America’s rich soil.
Have they succeeded in establishing themselves as a proud culture? Time has past and the future is coming. The feeling is that America sure has done well to welcome the Italians. Time will tell.
This unit is intended to explore the contributions and struggles made and to arouse the students curiosity about his or her own culture and to research any similarities. The students work load will include discussions about Italian-American life, as well as independent work and role playing of various Italian struggles and achievements.