Art & Sculpture



Academic Essays



Coming to America / Coming to Ohio

Marcie Beggs/ Teacher   

Roxboro Middle School, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Grade: 8

Subject: US History

Time: 2 – 3 days (43 minutes periods)



· Students pre assessment “Reasons to stay or leave” (appendix L-1)

· Suggested list of reasons for “Reasons  to Stay or Leave” (appendix L-2)

· Packing List For the Trip to America/ Primary Document ( appendix L-3 to L-6)

· Diary excerpts from Elisabeth Knape (German name- Liwwat Boke) primary document  ( L-7 & L-8)

· Diary excerpts from the diary of Margaret Van Horn Dwight  (L-9 to L11)

· Map of German-American Heritage 1800 (appendix L-12)

· Map of Germany showing villages and regions (appendix L-13)

· Wall map, which shows terrain and elevation of United States.

· Background information for the teacher in Annotated Bibliography and appendix  L-14.

· Student desks are arranged in pairs

Key Vocabulary words

    Continental Divide, expedition, immigrants, emigrate, colonization, 

     Economic opportunity, civic participation

Essential Questions:

    a.         What would it take for someone to leave their culture and go to a new one?

                    b.         What difficulties would an immigrant encounter traveling to their

               destination?  Say from the boat to Ohio vs. Philadelphia

                   c.          How and why did civic participation develop?


a.        Introduction

· Bellwork: As students enter the class have them refer to the board and write in their journals.  “Answer the following question in your journal.  List reasons that would cause you to move to another country.  Then list what you would take with you that would fit into only 3 trunks”. After bell have students share.

b.        Body

· Engage discussion of why they would leave their country and what would they need to stay.

· Explain to students that they will be looking into a journal written by a girl, 22 years old, who came to America in 1835, by herself.  We’ll look at why she left and what made her stay.

· Pass out “Reasons to Stay or Leave” L-1&2. Allow 15 minutes. Create a large chart on the board or overhead. As groups share, mark the overhead. Discuss essential question “ a.”

· Introduce Elisabeth Knape (see L-11 to L-13, )

· Pass out what she took on her trip (L-3 to L-6).  Have the student’s list in their journal 10 items for each, which are distinctly German, essential and non-essential. (NOTE: INCLUDE DISUSSION OF INDENTURED SERVANTS WHO CAME WITH NOTHING)

·  Discuss how she would get all this stuff to Ohio.  Include speed, cost, transportation and human support. How did the terrain affect movement?

Day 2

· Review ideas from yesterday: Why people came? What possessions they thought important?

· Pass out the two diaries. In pairs, they are to read and list all the challenges met by each girl, support each were given (civic participation) and method of travel. (30 minutes)

· Class discussion (10 minutes). Cover the essential questions as you hold a class discussion.

· On the board, write their comments. Fill in a Venn diagram showing similarities and contrasts of their experiences.  Have students copy this into their notebook.

c.        Closure

· Students will write one thing they learned about the following on paper and hand it in as they leave.

a.                    What reasons brought both girls to Ohio as pioneers?

b.                    How did their means of transportation help or hinder them?

c.                    Give one example of civic participation.


· Informal assessment: Teacher observation of student participation, and work done in notebook.

· Formal assessment of the students’ knowledge will be a homework assignment where the student will use the Ven diagram and material in their journals to create a pamphlet explaining the pros or cons of coming and living in Ohio.