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Parks Title

Lesson 3: Immigration--Many Stories

Upon completing the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Use rhetorical thinking to analyze a poem.
  • Analyze the perspective shared in a poem, a primary source document.
  • Engage in a "Text Talk," by coming to a discussion prepared after annotating a poem.

Time Required
One to two class periods

Materials Required
Copies of poems for Learning Partners (1 poem per 2 students)
Pre-selected poems from Island
Sensory Image copies for each pair of Learning Partners
video clip "Carved in Silence"
"Text Talk" expectations
"Text Talk" questions for the facilitator
LCD projector
Computer/tablet for PowerPoint


  1. Student walk in to see a poem on the screen, on their desk, or the video clip; students are asked to make note of what they hear and/or read and note it.
  2. Students share out their idea with a Learning Partner using the sentence starters, I noticed....It seems like....The poem's message is....I am uncertain about....I liked....
  3. The teacher uses a share out strategy that promotes students to share, move quickly, be fast, keep the momentum going.
  4. Show the Sensory Icons. Ask the students to connect the first impression they had to one of the icons.
  5. Introduce the Sensory Icons by sharing about perspective: define perspective, and all agree about what perspective means. Perspective: a view, a mental outlook. Embrace this concept by putting on a few different pairs of glasses. Exaggerate the idea that we are reading these poems to gain a perspective of understanding.
  6. Use the PowerPoint to view poetry images on the walls of the Immigration Station.
  7. Discuss/brainstorm why people would have written these poems. Chart the ideas on chart paper, a paper under a document camera, or use the Big Notes App. Record what is shared.
  8. Provide each pair of Learning Partners with a poem and have each pair identify the perspective of the poet using the Sensory Icons.
    Possible ending point. Extend to a second period for the discussion and assessment.
  9. Use the PowerPoint to focus on one poem and have the students use Sensory Icons to share the perspective.
  10. Prepare the students for a "Text Talk," a discussion where the students interact in conversation and the teacher is a participant/facilitator.
  11. Focus the discussion around the interpretation of the poems. Be sure to promote students to cite evidence from the poems when sharing out.

Extended Activity
Students compare and contrast two poems.
Students research the phrases used in the poetry.
Students write their own poetry using emotional elements observed.
Students use the Sensory Images with a characer from a text, historical figure from the past, with him/herself.
Students write an "I Am..." poem using the poetry frame.
Students listen to several immigrant oral histories ( and compare and contrast the different perspecitves and experiences.

Students respond to the Essential Question #3, "Why do we call the United States a nation of immigrants" using sensory language discussed with the poetry during the "TextTalk."