Immigrants in the Workforce

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Immigrants in the Workforce

Grade 7 to Grade 12

4 to 5 class periods (plus an education field trip). This lesson plan was designed to be customized to your learning standards and to meet the needs of your students. Complete the whole lesson or select parts to use that best fit your learning standards and time.


Students will understand how immigration helped to build the industrial workforce and begin to appreciate the continuing importance of immigrants to the building of modern America. Through the exploration of primary sources about the immigration inspection process and the industrial workforce, students will draw connections between the screening process at Ellis Island and the development of the modern workforce.  Extension activities will allow them to explore the place of present-day immigrants in today’s workforce.


Students will be able:

  • to understand how immigration built the industrial work force
  • to examine how immigration helped in the building of modern America
  • to examine and discuss the immigrant screening process at Ellis Island and other immigration stations
  • to explore immigrants in present day workforce


  • How did the United States immigration policy affect the United States workforce from 1900-1924?
  • What role did immigrants play in the workforce in the early decades of the 20th century?
  • How do attitudes towards immigration and proposed immigration policy today relate to the current US workforce?
  • What role do immigrants play in the current US workforce?


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