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5 1 5 the land of opportunity (social studies) TG

5.1.5

The Land of
Opportunity
SUMMARY

Many people left their homes overseas and came to the United States in the early
1900s. They had dreams of making good money
and having a better life. The road to a better life
was filled with hard times and disappointment.
For most, the journey was worth the effort.
LESSON VOCABULARY

barracks
detainees
interpreter
steerage

citizens
emigrate
naturalized

tenements

INTRODUCE THE BOOK
INTRODUCE THE TITLE AND AUTHOR

Discuss
with students the title and the author of The
Land of Opportunity. Based on the title, ask
students what kind of information they think
this book will provide. Tell them that this is a
nonfiction book, and ask them to name other
nonfiction books they have read. Discuss
elements of nonfiction.

BUILD BACKGROUND

Discuss with students what
challenges they think immigrants might have
experienced. Have them think about a time
when they tried something new or difficult.
Ask: Was the experience what you expected?

PREVIEW/USE TEXT FEATURES

Ask students to
look at the photos in the book and read the
captions. Draw their attention to the chart on
page 7 to show them the massive number of
people who immigrated to the U.S. As a class,
summarize what students think the book will
teach them.

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CAUSE AND EFFECT
SUMMARIZE

READ THE BOOK
SET PURPOSE


Have students set a purpose for
reading The Land of Opportunity. Encourage
them to think about the causes and effects of
immigration as they read.

STRATEGY SUPPORT: SUMMARIZE

Have students
review the sentences they wrote that
summarize each section. Then have them
write a short summary of the book based on
those sentences. Ask students to evaluate
whether they wrote a good summary of the
main ideas.

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
PAGE 4

Why did immigrants move to America?
(They wanted a better life, more money,
freedom from their own governments.)

PAGE 7

Name some countries immigrants
came from initially. (Italy, Hungary, Russia,
Germany, England, Canada, Ireland, Sweden)
PAGE 12

What was life like for immigrants?
(They had little money and lived in run-down,
crowded tenements.)
PAGE 18

Make a general statement about
education for immigrant children. (Most
immigrant children had a difficult time getting
an education because there were no schools in
their homelands, and their parents didn’t want
them to get an education in the United States.)

The Land of Opportunity

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REVISIT THE BOOK
READER RESPONSE

1. Cause: Many Americans on the West Coast
thought that the Chinese immigrants were
taking jobs away from them. Effect: Many
Chinese immigrants were held at Angel
Island for a long time.
2. Immigrants had to wait for one year. They
also had to pass a test that asked them
questions about United States history and
how the government worked.
3. Sample sentences: The family decided to
emigrate from Russia to the United States.
What year did you immigrate to our country?
4. Responses will vary.
EXTEND UNDERSTANDING

Ask students to look
at the photographs in this book and to explain
how the pictures help them better understand
the story.

RESPONSE OPTIONS
WRITING

Have students imagine that they are
an immigrant child. Have them write a letter to
a friend or relative back home, listing things
they miss about their home country and things
they like about their new country.

SOCIAL STUDIES
CONNECTION
Encourage students to
learn more about how
immigrants become citizens
today by finding a book or Internet article
about the subject. Encourage them to find
samples of the test that immigrants must
take to become citizens. How many of the
questions can the class answer correctly?

Skill Work
TEACH/REVIEW VOCABULARY
Divide students into small groups. Have
each group choose a vocabulary word and
write a sentence using that word. Each
group writes its sentence on the board,
leaving a blank where the vocabulary word
should go. Have other groups guess which
vocabulary word completes the sentence.
Have students list vocabulary words
and then write them in their home language.

TARGET SKILL AND STRATEGY
CAUSE AND EFFECT Remind students that
cause tells why something happened and
effect tells what happened. As students
read, have them use a graphic organizer to
list reasons why immigrants came to the
United States and what happened as a
result.
SUMMARIZE Remind students that when
they summarize, they boil a story down to its
most important points. As they read, have
them write a sentence that summarizes
each section. Remind students that
summarizing can often help them organize
the main causes and effects in a story.

ADDITIONAL SKILL INSTRUCTION

GENERALIZE Remind students that
sometimes when you read, you are given
ideas about several things or people and
you can make a statement about all of
them together. This statement is called
a generalization. Valid generalizations are
accurate or true. Have students look at the
picture on page 6 and make a generalization
about the immigrants’ voyage to America.

The Land of Opportunity

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Name

The Land of Opportunity

Cause and Effect
• A cause tells why something happened.
• An effect tells what happened.

Directions Answer the following questions.
1. What caused many people to leave their homes and come to the United States?

2. What effect did immigration have on New York?

3. What caused immigrants to work so hard?

4. What caused immigrant neighborhoods to spring up in many major cities?

Directions Write whether the following are causes or effects of immigration.
6. Immigrants were poor in their home countries.
7. So many people immigrated to New York that it became overcrowded. _____________________

© Pearson Education 5

5. What effect did crowded, run-down tenements have on immigrants?

8. Children were given a better education in America.
9. America provided freedom from a harsh government.
10. Immigrants heard that America was the land of opportunity.

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The Land of Opportunity

Name

Vocabulary
Directions Write the vocabulary word that matches each defintion.

Check the Words You Know
barracks
interpreter

citizens
naturalized

detainees
steerage

emigrate
tenements

1.

part of the ship occupied by passengers traveling at the
cheapest rate

2.

people who are members of a nation

3.

to leave your own country to settle in another

4.

buildings that are divided into sets of rooms occupied by
separate families

5.

someone who orally translates from one language to
another

6.

people who are kept from moving forward; delayed

7.

having been made a citizen of a country by an official act

8.

group of buildings for people to live in, usually in a fort
or camp

Directions Write two sentences using at least two vocabulary words in each.

© Pearson Education 5

9.

10.

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