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Immigrant Children at School


Immigrant Children at School
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.18

     challenging words:    flamboyant, penmanship, repeated, accomplishment, education, lanky, pupils, productive, sweatshop, memorize, equipment, writing, dreams, especially, lower, pointed
     content words:    United States, New York City, George Monezis, Ellis Island, One Yugoslavian, Before World War, New York, Miss Frizzle, Magic School Bus

Immigrant Children at School
By Colleen Messina

1     You sometimes might not feel like going to school. However, if you were an immigrant girl or boy in the late 1880s, you would be relieved to go to classes because it meant that you didn't have to work all day in a sweatshop. Children wanted to go to school and learn about their new country and its customs.
2     Many immigrants came to the United States between 1880 and 1920. They came from many countries. They came with many dreams. And one dream that all immigrants shared was the dream of a better life. They also wanted their children to become educated, productive American citizens.
3     In 1903, a school in New York City had students of twenty-five nationalities! These children often did not speak English. No special classes existed for these children, and they were put in regular classes with younger American students. For example, a big, lanky twelve-year-old boy might have to squeeze into the tiny second-grade-classroom desks. After the boy learned enough English, he could move up into his regular class. One girl only knew Russian and Yiddish when she came to America. She had to stay in kindergarten until she learned English, but she was so proud when she could finally speak her new country's language. She was the first one in her family to speak English.
4     No one liked this system of keeping children in a lower grade until they could speak English. The immigrant children felt silly being with younger children. The children who spoke English well were often slowed down in their studies by the immigrants. After a while, most schools had special classes so the immigrants could learn English. These classes taught English to the students in four or five months. Can you imagine moving to a new country and learning a new language so fast? The immigrant children had no choice.

Paragraphs 5 to 12:
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United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
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    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

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