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 2: Push and Pull Factors of Immigration

Lesson Summary: This lesson will give an overview of the history of immigration in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Students will learn about the different reasons immigrants came to Lawrence. They will identify push-pull factors including economic, political, and social factors that contributed to human migration and settlement in the United States, specifically Lawrence,Massachusetts.

Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will understand the different reasons immigrants come to the United States.
  • Students will analyze push-pull factors including the economic, political, and social factors that contribute to human migration and settlement in the United States, specifically Lawrence,Ma

Lesson Overview:

  1. Opener/Warm up Activity: Push and Pull Factors Worksheet

    Prep: Make copies & hand out Push and Pull Factors Worksheet (Resource #4)

    • Teacher Introduction- Review Historical Context information on Student Resource
    • Present the following prompt to class,“Why might a person or family leave their home country to come to a new country?”
    • Ask students to share what they've brainstormed and write answers on the board or chart paper.
    • Preview Vocabulary - Students Define Push factors and Pull factors or teacher defines these terms for class.
      1. Pull Factor - something that would entice someone to come to a new country
      2. Push factor - a reason why someone might want to leave their home country
    • Class Discussion - Review student ideas, create a Pull/ Push Factor T- Chart and organize examples into pull /push categories.

  2. Immigration Group Research Jigsaw Assignment

    Prep: Make copies & pass out Student Historical Context Handout (Resource #5) and Group Research Worksheet (Resource #6)

    Read teacher intro and explain jigsaw activity. “Today we will learn about specific groups of people who came to Lawrence during the major years of immigration. We are going to break into four groups and complete a jigsaw activity. Each group will be responsible for researching their time period, answering questions,and sharing that information with the rest of the class though a poster, slideshow, or oral presentation.”

  3. Jigsaw Activity Presentation

    Groups will present projects. During presentations, students will use graphic organizer to take notes on who came to Lawrence and why they came: Group Presentation Graphic Organizer (Resource #7)

Optional Lesson Extension:

Writing prompt/Journal Activity: Show picture of trunk from Lawrence Heritage State Park. Students will imagine their family is moving to a new country and they could only pack what would fit in the trunk. Pose the question, “What would you bring?”

Additional Teacher Resources

  • Immigration Chart Activity: Population of Lawrence by Year Chart with discussion questions.
  • Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration Interactive Map: Use the link to access, “Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration” interactive map, that shows immigration flows, 1 dot = 10,000 people. From 1820 to 2013, 79 million people obtained lawful permanent resident status in the United States. The interactive map below visualizes all of them based on their prior country of residence. The brightness of a country corresponds to its total migration to the U.S. at the given time. Use the controls at the bottom to stop/resume the animation or to move back and forth in time.