Fifth Grade Mulitcultural Curriculum Lesson Plan by san16464


									                           Fifth Grade Multicultural Curriculum Lesson Plan
                               The Irish Potato Famine and Immigration
Content/Theme:                    Immigration
Grade Level:                      5

Primary Benchmark :
SS.5.A.1.1 Use primary and secondary sources to understand history (e.g., diaries, letters,
newspapers, audio/video recordings, pictures, photographs, maps, graphs).
SS.5.A.1.2 Utilize timelines to identify and discuss American History time periods.
Time: 1-2 class periods
       •      Students will understand how the potato famine affected the Irish population.
       •      Students will speculate on how the Irish were viewed by the English and the new
       •      Students will understand why the Irish immigrated to the new colonies.
       •      Students will evaluate how new people should be treated when coming to a new
Teacher Preparation/Materials: Reading Passage
   •   Many immigrants came to American at this time. What other countries do you think
       immigrants come from?
   •   Have a student point out where England and Ireland are on the map.
       2. Tell students the story of the Irish immigrants who came to America after the Irish
              Potato famine.
       3. Have students read the reading passage or use the reading passage as a shared
       4. Check students’ comprehension of passage by discussion questions:
                 •   When did the Irish come to America? Why?
                 •   Why were the Irish treated badly in Ireland?
                 •   Why were the Irish treated badly in America when they arrived?
       5. Place students in groups of four and tell them they will be creating a short story about
              an immigrant coming to America.
       6. Remind students of the elements of a short story – write them on the board and assign
           them some importance. This list will be useful to the groups. When finished, create a
           rubric with these elements for assessment.
                                     Story Elements
                         Characters Name
                         Character’s home country
                         What year Character arrived (setting)
                         How character came here
                         Why character came here
                         With whom did the character travel?
                         What happened when the character got here?
                         What did the character learn?
ESOL Strategies:
       •   Shared reading/visuals/cooperative learning
       •   Assessment rubric for short story
       •   Optional multiple choice quiz
Multicultural Content Information:

In the 1500s, King Henry VIII was the ruler of Great Britain. During this time,
there were two different religions in this area of the world. The first was
Catholicism, and the second was Protestantism. Both religions believed in
God, but they had different rules, and at this time, if you were different than
other people, they didn’t treat you fairly.

Around this time, Protestants began to move and settle in Ireland where many Catholics lived.
Eventually, the Protestants gained control and passed terrible laws that made it hard for the Irish
Catholic people to live. Even though the English eventually gave Irish people a say in their
government, the Irish were still angry. They were upset about paying taxes to the Protestant
Church and paying high rents to Protestant landlords.

             Next, a devastating potato blight and famine struck Ireland in the 1840’s. Irish
             Catholic peasants were hit hardest and suffered immediately. At this time, the potato
             had become one of the main crops of Ireland. It was an easy crop to maintain, and gave
a bountiful harvest, even greater than that of wheat. One acre of potatoes could feed a family of
five or six for the entire year. The other crops and food sources; grain, meat and dairy products
were mostly taken away, or exported, to sell in England, where they would make more money.

The common people in Ireland, (one-third of the population), largely ate potatoes as a main part
of their diet. They lived in small one-room shacks along the countryside. Some people rented
their land, or paid a rack (bed) tax to work on someone else’s land. Their only chance to succeed
was to plant larger harvests, so they used strains of potatoes that were susceptible to disease. This
set the stage for the disaster.
                The famine started in 1845. During that year, the potato blight took one third of
                the crop in Ireland. It would soon progress into a disaster. In 1846, the entire
                potato crop of the country was lost, while starvation and disease were rampant
                among the lowest classes.

The English government helped a little by sending over scientists to study the problem, but at the
same time they kept taking the grain and meat for themselves.

                  Many people could not afford to pay their rent or rack tax due to the disease
            and were forcibly evicted, while many others simply starved on their own land. The
              government finally offered food to the starving millions at reduced prices; but to
              people that had no money at all with which to buy it. People were
forced to immigrate, but at a price which guaranteed the worst possible
conditions. These ships were crammed beyond normal limits with already
starving and diseased people; and many more died during the voyages –
some even leaving children without parents.

Some Irish were even arrested and transported to the colonies under the country’s rule for not
having a home, while many more were arrested for not having anyone to support them. When
they came to America, they came with this “label” on their shoulders.

In 1848, the situation remained very bad, even though the disease had ended. The potato crop for
various reasons had not been planted. Either people were not allowed to plant, or they simply
were not there to do it. By 1849 and 1850, the famine was largely at an end. But this was not due
to relief efforts, it was simply because one third of the population of Ireland had died or been
shipped away to foreign lands.

When the Irish arrived in America, people did not treat them nicely. People thought they were
diseased and poor. People thought they couldn’t pay for a home, and could not work because of
what they had heard of their homeland. They were treated badly, and given odd jobs to do for
people. After a while, the Irish formed friends and community groups and found a better way of
life. They strived for what they wanted and succeeded in making America their new home. The
Irish are a very proud cultural group that works in many different areas of American life.
Words to know:
Blight:      a type of plant disease
Famine:      food supply is extremely low
Bountiful:   a large amount of anything
Evicted:     to force out of an area/place
Strived:     to put a lot of energy into something
                              Irish Potato Famine and Immigration

Directions: Choose the best answer to the following questions based on the reading passage:
1.   Why were the Irish upset with their new English neighbors?
a)   The Irish didn’t like their way of life.
b)   The Irish didn’t like to pay taxes to the church.
c)   The Irish didn’t have any English friends.
d)   The Irish were not upset with the English.

2.   Who was hurt most by the potato famine?
a)   The English
b)   The landlords
c)   The Irish peasants
d)   The Americans

3.   Why were potatoes so popular to eat in Ireland?
a)   Potatoes were hard to maintain.
b)   Potatoes were an easy and cheap crop to maintain.
c)   Potatoes would sell well in England.
d)   Potatoes could never go bad.

4.   Which are effects of the potato famine?
a)   People starved
b)   People lost money
c)   People had to move
d)   All of the above

5. What word belongs in the following sentence?
The people of Ireland were involved in a terrible ___________.
a) strive                    b) bountiful
c) eviction                  d) famine

6. American people treated Irish in which way:
a) nicely                    b) friendly
c) with disrespect           d) like neighbors

7. List one of the reasons why Irish people moved to America in 1846.


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