Image-Making Family Immigration Stories
The Image-Making Family Immigration Stories Unit provides students with the opportunity to literally reconstruct their family or ancestral immigration story using collage made from hand-painted papers. While newcomers give shape to and reflect upon their recent experiences, students whose families arrived long ago conduct family research to learn about their own family’s journey to this country. This powerful unit engages multiple generations, helps to build empathy, and offers an important reminder that the United States is a nation of immigrants.
Family Immigration Stories Instructional Materials
Now available online!
Coming to America: Telling Our Stories in Pictures and Words
Watch the Image-Making Immigration Unit unfold in two very different classrooms as newcomers and students whose families arrived long ago reconstruct their family immigration stories using collage made from hand-painted papers. Following a comprehensive overview of the entire project, teachers can view key art and writing lessons filmed in each classroom (over 3½ hours of content).
The Instructional Video Package includes all 3 videos, a teachers manual, all 3 sample Image-Making family immigration stories, Image-Making Station Labels, a Times of Day Poster, an Artists/Writers Workshop Poster, and an Image-Making Artists Frame.
(Inquire about group rates for multiple copies of printed materials.)
Watch Video Clip: Coming to America: Telling Our Stories in Pictures and Words
Watch Video Clip: Student Reflections
Our Stories in Pictures and Words as Told by Immigration and Refugee Children
Witness a classroom of English Learners, grades 3-5, become captivated by a dynamic, art-based approach to reconstructing their family immigration stories in pictures and in words. As immigrant and refugee students give shape to their personal stories, they not only reflect on their experiences, but also become highly motivated to learn the English words to tell their story. Students’ colorful collage images, together with their honest recounting, offer a poignant look at the immigrant experience through the eyes of children (13 minutes).
Watch Video Clip: Our Stories in Pictures and Words as Told by Immigration and Refugee Children
Coming to America: Celebrating Our Family Stories
This lively montage of students’ collage images, set to Neil Diamond’s “America,” creates a poignant reminder that our country is a nation of immigrants (4 minutes).
Our Stories in Pictures and Words: Image-Making Immigration Unit
This Image-Making unit of study offers a dynamic way to teach immigration through reconstructing and sharing family or ancestral immigration stories. This powerful unit of study, suitable for both English Learners and native English speakers, contains daily art and writing lessons to support the creation of deeply meaningful family keepsakes. This manual is distributed as part of a hands-on workshop or as part of the Instructional Video Package.
From Nepal to America by Probin Tamang is the story of a young boy who, with his family, journeys from a refugee camp in Nepal to America after a fire ravages a neighboring camp. His stunning collage images and poignant story capture the hearts of readers young and old.
From Russia to the New Land by Elizabeth Engalichev is a well-crafted story about Lizzy’s grandfather’s journey to this country. Through her sequence of carefully crafted collage images and her use of words that paint pictures, Lizzy reconstructs the journey, bringing her readers along for the ride. Her pictures and words capture the immigrant experience (photos and family documents included).
From Ethiopia to America by Africawit Brooks recounts the experiences of a young girl growing up in Southern Ethiopia where, at the age of 5, she was brought to an orphanage by her mother to insure her safety. In carefully crafted collage images and heartfelt text, Africawit shares her memories of the orphanage and meeting her adoptive parents, the first white people she had ever seen. We travel with her on her first airplane ride and her first car ride as she journeys to her new home in New Hampshire to meet her new grandmother and siblings. In addition to this compelling 22-page story created by Africawit when she was 11 years old, this book also includes photographs of her Ethiopian village and family juxtaposed to photographs of her new home and adoptive family. Africawit’s stunning collage images and poignant text will inspire artists and writers of all ages.
Image-Making Station Labels
This set of 20 laminated station labels are folded to create “tabletop tents.” Each label provides a visual example of a paper-texturing technique on the front and directions on the back of how to set up each station and model that painting process. Available in English or French.
The Times of Day Poster is used during this Image-Making Family Immigration Stories Unit as a reference to remind students to consider what color skies they need to paint to tell various parts of their stories. It is also referenced during the collage-making process as students work on giving shape to their ideas. Available in English and French.