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Volume I: Immigration

Teenie Harris: Illuminating a Hidden Past
Ruth Bedeian
Pittsburgh Minadeo PK-5

This curriculum unit focuses on the work of Pittsburgh Courier photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris. Teenie Harris worked for the Pittsburgh Courier from the 1930's through the 1970's. During that time he chronicled the lives of Pittsburgh's African American community giving equal weight and depth to lives of ordinary people as well as the famous and soon to be famous. His photos of his friends and neighbors as well as the rich and the powerful provide a glimpse into the bustling Pittsburgh neighborhood called The Hill District which was a considered an important stop for celebrities between Chicago and New York City.

Pittsburgh's vibrant night life made it a must for some of the great luminaries in the entertainment world with the likes of Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Rudy Vallee, and Cab Calloway, among many others performing in some of the night clubs like the Crawford Grill and the Savoy Ballroom. Harris took photos of entertainers, athletes as well as politicians, like Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower who made stops in Pittsburgh. He got the name "one Shot" from local mayor David Lawrence who noted it only took Harris one shot to make his statement.

Harris is known for taking photos of every aspect of black life in Pittsburgh. His photos chronicle the social clubs, the churches, the shop owners, the professional people, boys and girls clubs, the great baseball teams like the Pittsburgh Crawford's and Homestead Grays, and every facet of life for Pittsburgh black immigrants from the South. His pictures provide an authentic view into black life that was largely ignored by the white newspaper establishment or any other media outlet. His work shows a true picture of black accomplishments and struggle. It shows a world where blacks were determined to survive and triumph despite the harshness of the segregation and racism they still faced in the North.

In Harris's work we find a proud community striving to achieve some America's promise despite racial barriers and the prevailing negative stereotypes. Through examining his work African Americans as well as others experience a world of beauty and conviction despite the social attitudes of the times.

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Immigration Stories: Narratives from Near and Far
Isabel Espino de Valdivia
Pittsburgh Allderdice High School

The following is a thematic unit on Immigration narratives for high school Spanish students at the Intermediate level. The unit is based on Latino Immigration Narratives in Music, Literature and Real Life Stories. All lessons are designed according to the World language National Standards in Communication, Culture and Communities. Students will not only study but research the latino Immigration History and Literature in the United States. In addition, they will interview children of immigration to become familiar with their real life stories.

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The I’m in Immigration
Karen L. Ferraro
Pittsburgh Classical Academy

Do you know the names of your grandparents, great grandparents, or great, great grandparents? In what countries were they born? How did they get to the United States? This is the year of the census and they have asked us to divide ourselves into white, black, American Indian, or Asian. We all consider ourselves Americans but how did we get here? America is a nation of immigrants.

What is immigration? What is forced immigration? What is migration? Why is it important to understand these terms in relation to self, in relation to the world, and in relation to the Communications' Curriculum?

In the Pittsburgh Public middle school curricula this year, there were references to the Great Depression era, forced migration, and immigration. We read the novels: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, Chain of Fire by Beverly Naidoo, Whirligig Paul Fleishman (8th grade), Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, Among the Hidden by Margaret Petterson Haddix, The Giver by Lois Lowry (7th grade), and Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, On My Honor by Dane Bauer, Holes by Louis Sachar, and I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly by Joyce Hansen (6th grade).

This unit is designed for sixth, seventh, or eighth grade middle school students to use oral history techniques as a means to discover information relating to their roots and the stories of their families. This unit will focus on interviewing family members in order to create an oral history, create a family tree, and access the internet to find information regarding their family historical records. As a culminating project, students will write a personal narrative with their findings, give a speech highlighting what they have learned about immigration as it pertained to their family, help create an ethnic cookbook, participate in a family night ethnic dinner, and take a field trip to the University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms.

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From Africa to Pittsburgh: The Journey
Kim Flurry
Pittsburgh Faison Pre K-8

Many African-American children do not know their history that originates in Africa. Through following the journey of the Somali Bantu children this curriculum unit will provide a glimpse into a part of their own history. The activities will aim at creating an awareness of common ancestry, cultural similarities, and differences in world-views. The purpose of this unit is to inform, enrich and enjoy academics. It is imperative for students to learn about other cultures as a way of creating cross-cultural understanding. When the Somali Bantu arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania they were treated very badly. They were assaulted and ridiculed. They came from a culture that people had never been exposed to and didn't understand. This unit creates background knowledge about the Somali Bantu children and their culture.

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9th Grade Nation Reconsidered
Carlton Heywood
Pittsburgh Westinghouse/Peabody High School

In an attempt to encourage all incoming 9th graders to do well academically in their transition into high school the Pittsburgh Public School system has created and employed a Civics curriculum entitled the "9th Grade Nation". This program brings about the business community and historic sites in the city to instill civic pride and enthusiasm to make the 9th graders "promise ready". A few of the goals of the curriculum hope to decrease the high school drop-out rate and teach 9th graders Pittsburgh history.

The 9th Grade Nation Reconsidered unit is designed to supplement the 9th Grade Nation curriculum by providing research exercises that focus on the school neighborhood and community where the students live. It is hoped that students will discover the achievements of the ethnic groups and immigrants who lived in the neighborhood before today. Students will search for evidence of immigrant activity and predict why some school neighborhoods change. Students will also make predictions regarding the future of their school neighborhood.

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We Are All Different
Melissa Horgan
Pittsburgh Grandview Elementary School

My work has resulted in the creation of a curriculum unit relating to the idea of how we are all different and how that applies to a Kindergarten student's outlook on the world. Pittsburgh Public Schools are required to complete an Everyday Math, (Macmillan) Reading, (Foss) Science, and social studies curriculum. Each subject needs to be covered thoroughly with specific information needed to be taught. The unit I have created will intertwine throughout the curriculums. Each subject of reading, math, science, social studies, and the arts will involve not only the subject matter that needs to be taught but also the presence of many cultures in Pittsburgh. This curriculum unit will work best at the mid-term part of the school year. Kindergarten students take longer to become acclimated to their surroundings than older students. The students have to become more familiar with rules and routines before reading and writing are introduced. By mid-term this should all be in place and the unit will flow more smoothly. At any other grade level this can begin anytime.

This unit will consist of the students looking at where each of them has come from. Themes such as, family, employment, education, everyday living (routines), emergency situations (crisis), opportunities, transitions, and economic status will all be covered. We will look at why their ancestors came to this country. Was it for better opportunities or were they forced to come here? We will also look at the relationships they had with their new communities and neighborhoods in America. Were their expectations lived up to? We will also discuss the different nationalities with various activities.

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Pittsburgh’s Changing Face
Ginger Manker
Pittsburgh Arsenal PreK-5

This unit is written for K-2 ESL students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Pittsburgh is a city with a growing immigrant population.

Through this unit students will appreciate the immigration experience through guided reading and various classroom activities. Students will strengthen their communication and comprehension skills through accountable talk, and the use of graphic organizers. Students will also be able to express themselves through art and writing. This unit will provide the students an opportunity to share their culture with their classmates and learn more about their family story.

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The Outsider in All of Us
Laurel McMahon
Pittsburgh Student Achievement Center

It is true that there is an outsider in all of us. At times, we all feel as if we don't fit. This unit is to help students understand immigrants better by empathizing with the idea that we are all outsiders at some point in our lives and ostracizing someone because they are an immigrant is harmful not only to that person but also to ourselves because we miss out on the new world this person is offering to us through their perception and language, just to name two. As a class, we will look at several writers who all at some point feel like outsiders, regardless if they are immigrants or not, and how they use their craft to express these emotions. The students will then be asked to interview an immigrant to hear their story of coming to this country and how at times they were made to feel like an outsider. Students will then transcribe their interviews and write a narrative of this immigrant's story. Students will be asked to write their own story of being an outsider or triumphant over a certain situation in their lives. Finally, students will compile both the stories of the immigrants with their own stories in a literary magazine.

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Negating the Nadir:
African American Migration to Pittsburgh at the Turn of the 20th Century
Patricia Pugh Mitchell
Pittsburgh Arsenal 6-8

"Nationality and color probably play less part here [Pittsburgh] in the matter of employment than in any other city…The prime questions are: Do you want to work? and can you put out the goods? " The Colored American Magazine, October 1901

According to historian Rayford Logan, the power of degrading racial propaganda, coupled with the Plessy vs. Ferguson Supreme Court decision of 1896 upholding segregation, "accelerated the descent of the Afro-American and brought him to his lowest and lowliest position since emancipation." Logan refers to the years 1877 – 1901 as the "nadir" of the Afro-American experience.

In this unit, Negating the Nadir: African American Migration to Pittsburgh at the Turn of the 20th Century, 8th grade Social Studies students will see through the study of periodicals, census information, photographs, and texts, how Pittsburgh, as a focus of the Colored American Magazine's four- part series on the Smoky City provides a mirror for us to examine a select group of individuals at a critical time in the history of our city, and the nation at large. This study restores missing links in the overall history of an important period in the city of Pittsburgh and provides a window through which students can glance into the personal and professional lives of a number of individuals and gain information to which they otherwise would not be privileged. These Pittsburghers that appeared in the four- part series on the Smoky City did more than sip tea, smoke cigars, and discuss the latest novel. They were very much aware and immersed in the political and economic climate that surrounded them. Ultimately, through their willingness and foresight in migrating to the city of Pittsburgh, they played a key role in negating the "nadir" of the African American; instead of alms they did pursue opportunity.

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Finding a Place in a New Land: Immigration in America 2010
Janelle A. Price
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12

This unit seeks to acknowledge the divergent voices that comprise the current waves of immigrants to America through non-fiction works. The unit is anchored by Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down concerning the collision of cultures between the American medical field and Hmong immigrants over the care of their young epileptic daughter. Other non-fiction works read in the unit are excerpts from Passport Photos by Amitava Kumar, Judith Adler Hellman's The World of Mexican Migrants: The Rock and Hard Place, Bonnie Tsui's American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, and the essays "The Heartland's Raw Deal: How Meatpacking is Creating a New Immigrant Underclass" by Marc Cooper and "The Complexity of Identity: Who Am I" by Beverly Daniel Tatum. Along with the readings, students will investigate topics such as the on-line application process an immigrant must tackle to work or become a citizen and the history of immigration in the U.S. While engaging in the unit, students will be able to produce a response to literature and a compare/contrast essay. For the culminating project, they will create a passport along with a persuasive essay in the voice of an immigrant seeking to come to the U.S.

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Immigration in Pittsburgh: The Songs and Lives of the People
Ella C. Wilder Slaughter, NBCT
Pittsburgh Allderdice High School

The title of the curriculum unit that I constructed is, "Immigration in Pittsburgh: The Songs and Lives of the People". The historical background of selected groups of immigrants was explored as well as some of the songs that have evolved. One of the hopeful outcomes is that students will experience the aesthetic realm as they study/ perform some of the songs. Additionally, another goal is that all who explore this unit will become enlightened and utilize its content.

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Is Global Pittsburgh Global Enough?
Christine Tapu
Pittsburgh Allderdice High School

Immigration is part of the daily life in the United States but it still remains a politically charged topic in national politics. For the high school students I teach who have immigrated to the United States, immigration carries even more charge. Adolescents from all backgrounds are in the process of developing a sense of self as individuals. For students from other countries, the added complexities of learning a new language and a new culture add another layer to work through. This unit is a tool kit for teachers of English as a Second Language or for teachers who work with English Language Learners to have a way of bringing cultural adjustment issues to the table. The materials from various news sources, literature and academic sources put the students in charge of their own self-exploration since this is highly personal topic. The teacher is meant to be a facilitator of the discussion by pointing out relevant themes in the reading and listening passages.

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Chatham University
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Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
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