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An Immigrant Story:
Writing a Biography


Subject:Language Arts,
Social Studies
Grade:3-5, 6-8,


Brief Description

Students write biographies about immigrants who made significant contributions to their adopted country.


Students practice research and writing skills as they learn about the contributions immigrants made to U.S. life and culture.


biography, immigration, multicultural

Materials Needed

Other print and/or online resources about notable immigrants to the United States

Lesson Plan

Provide students with a list of notable immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. (The resources referenced in the Materials Needed section above will be helpful.) Ask each student to choose one name from the list and write a biography of the person selected. Encourage students to include information about the person's country of origin and reasons he or she chose to immigrate to the United States. Alternatively, students might choose to write biographies about successful immigrants they know personally. Invite students to present their biographies to their classmates. Then ask all the students to brainstorm a list of personal qualities successful immigrants appear to share.

Additional Resource
Illustrious Immigrants Lesson Plan (Grades 1-4)


Evaluate students on the accuracy of the information in the biographies and compliance with district or national writing standards.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards


Social Studies:

Originally published 10/02/2000
Last updated 12/16/2010