Lesson 1: Lawrence Immigrants - Who are they?

Created by UMass Lowell graduate student/Methuen High School social studies teacher Stephanie Turmel under the supervision of UMass Distinguished Professor of History Robert Forrant and Lawrence History Center staff (2019).

Unit Plan #1: The Immigrant City

Lesson 1: Lawrence Immigrants - Who are they? 

Lesson Summary: In this lesson students learn about the different immigrant groups that came to Lawrence between its early years and present day through the viewing of photographs displayed at gallery stations. Students examine and observe each photo and answer questions using a graphic organizer. 

Learning Objective(s): Students will understand the different reasons immigrants come to the United States. Teacher 

Introduction: Today we are going to learn about immigration to Lawrence, Massachusetts by examining photographs of immigrants throughout history. We will focus on the following two questions: “What does it mean to be an immigrant?” and "What was the experience of those people who came to Lawrence, Massachusetts?” 

Lesson Overview: Prep: Print & distribute Gallery Walk Picture Analysis Worksheet (Resource #1)

  1. Opener/ Warm up Activity: Think- Pair-Share (“What is “immigration”? & “What does it mean to be an immigrant ?”) Think-Pair-Share Procedure

    • Think - Students reflect & write a response on a worksheet.
    • Pair - Students pair up and share their responses.
    • Share - Student pairs share their conversations during a class discussion debrief.


  2. Students will participate in a Gallery Walk. Gallery Walk Procedure

    • Set up - Print out Immigration Gallery Walk Pictures (Resource #2) and post pictures around classroom.
    • Students pair up or break class into small groups.
    • Review directions and explain how students should rotate through the gallery walk.

    Note: Before students begin Gallery Walk, it may be helpful to pick one picture and model picture analysis steps. 

  3. Gallery Walk Reflection & Group Discussion Questions Prep: Print out copies of Immigration Gallery Walk Photo Identification Chart (Resource #3) 
  4. Writing Assignment: Students choose one photo from the gallery walk and imagine they are the person in the photo. They will write a diary entry about their life as that person. The following items can be included in entry: age, name, where they live or work, what they find difficult about your their new life in Lawrence, what they enjoy about their new life in Lawrence, etc.