Ms. Silgals' Social Studies Class - Immigration to the USA beginning in the late 1800s

Additional reading and Vocabulary
Student photos and projects


We are beginning to study about immigrants who arrived in the United States in the late 1800s.  To make a personal connection, I would like your child to choose one of the following projects to present to our social studies class. We will start presenting the projects on February 21 (after winter break).  Help your child plan on having his/her project completed by February 20.

Gus Worke, a farmer who came from Germany 40 years ago, Southington, Conn. (LOC)

Choose one of the following:

1.  Bring to school a photo of your grandparent(s) to share with the class.  Present an oral report or read a written report. Here are things you might want to include:

        What are their names?

        When were they born?

        Where were they born?

        Where did they live when they were children (your age)?

        Where do they live now?

        What type of work did they do for a living?

        What type of education did they receive?

        Tell an interesting story about them that you remember or your parents told you about them.


2.  Create a family tree on a poster.

        Draw the tree branches (be creative!).

        On the tree include as many names of your relatives as you can.

        If you have photos that you can copy, place the photos on the tree, also.


3.  Create a family shield/coat of arms/family crest.

        Make a shield with images that you have chosen that reflect who your ancestors are.

        One section could be a state flag of where they were born.

        One section could be a symbol of their profession.

        One section could be a symbol of their interests or talents.

        You can do research into colors and meanings behind a shield’s design.  Use this research to help you design your own family shield.


4.  Write a one to two page true story (narrative) about a relative who came to the United States to share with the class. 

Did you have a great, great, grandparent who came to the United States from another country?  Talk to your parents and learn more about him/her. 


Helpful web sites:
Designing Shields

The meanings behind the symbols - A web site on family shields and crests:


All Family Crests - A web site on designing shields and crests:


Family Tree Templates:

Free downloadable template


Free downloadable template


Helpful hints on writing a narrative


Personal Narratives:  Scroll half way down the page and read about individuals who immigrated to the USA.


Duncan Family Shield
My mother's maiden name.


School children, half of Polish and half of Italian descent, at a festival in May 1942, Southington, Conn. (LOC)

Mary M. Silgals, MLIS
Trident Academy February 3, 2008