The United States of America is often referred to as a “nation of immigrants,” however students in the USA aren’t always aware of the impact that immigration has had on their communities.
When this week’s PenPal Star, Victoria from the USA, explored the impact of immigration in Immigration in the 21st Century, she expressed that she had never met an immigrant before.
“I have never met an immigrant before but I believe that immigrants have a positive effect on our society.”
By reading informational texts and connecting from PenPals, Victoria was able to think more critically about the role of immigration in the United States.
“I think America is made up of immigrants because all of our ancestors came here from different continents. There was already people here when they came over and they made a life for themselves.”
Victoria continued to demonstrate social and emotional skills like empathy and respect in her responses, citing textual evidence to further support her claim.
“I think many people are very ignorant when it comes to new things. They see somebody from a different language and culture and they are all of a sudden made out as a bad person. Most of them are coming over into other countries because of the bad home environment or they want to provide a better life for their families. Everybody strives to do that, so why do immigrants have to be looked at differently? In the text, the author states "People also immigrate to escape discrimination. Many people around the world can not practice their religion or share their political ideas. Immigrants will leave their communities to escape bullying, harassment, and even violence." If some immigrants are coming to practice their religion without being discriminated, then why are they being discriminated because of their customs or race? I believe that many people fail to realize that immigrants are just like you. If you were to go into a foreign country to seek asylum, would you like to be discriminated because you were different?”
-Victoria, PenPal Star from the USA
Even though Victoria has not met an immigrant before, she was able to form her own opinion about immigration based on textual evidence and conversations with diverse global peers. She also had the chance to ask questions in a safe and respectful environment, which allowed her to expand her thinking.
Victoria’s teacher, Ms. Gould, was excited to see how global connections helped expand her students’ worldview as they discussed immigration with PenPals from diverse perspectives.
“Global connections help students create authentic collaborations while expanding their creativity and critical thinking. Each experience bridges the classroom with our modern world.”
When she’s not learning with PenPals, Victoria likes to play basketball and read. We caught up with this PenPal Star to learn more about her experience exploring Immigration in the 21st Century.
PenPal Schools: What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
Victoria: I like that in the beginning we got to express how we felt about immigration before we started. I thought it was interesting that I could see other PenPals work from different areas.
What was the most important lesson you learned in this project?
I have learned that different reasons why people immigrate and the pros and cons.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
I think the world is great place but some people are so close-minded.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
I think it's important to learn with other students from around the world because you can get new ideas that you would've never thought of.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
I would suggest that you go through all of the steps in the program and get different ideas about what you should talk about.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I want to travel to Paris because ever since I was a little girl I've always wanted to learn their language and visit the Eiffel Tower.
Congratulations, Victoria, and thanks for being a great PenPal! Your students can join the discussion to learn more about immigration in Immigration in the 21st Century.