Mrs. Wesley: Learning about Immigration

"What do you think the word 'immigration' means?" asked Mrs. Wesley.

"Isn't that what you do to water plants and fields?" Charles said, with a straight face.

Mrs. Wesley smiled. "No, Charles, but thank you for your guess! I think you mean irrigation."

When Mrs. Wesley turned to pull down a screen from the ceiling, Matt poked Charles in the shoulder and laughed. Charles lifted his nose and said, "At least I tried. How about you, smarty?"

"Charles and Matt, quiet, please," Mrs. Wesley said.

"Immigration is a form of the word 'immigrate,' which refers to when a person or group moves from one country to another to make a new, permanent home. When they leave their country, they 'emigrate,' and when they come into a country, they 'immigrate.'"

"Kind of like exit and enter, right?" asked Ashley.

"Correct." Mrs. Wesley then projected a picture of the Statue of Liberty onto the screen.

Mrs. Wesley went on. "Most of us are descendants of immigrants. People left their homes in other places to come to America. Now, the Statue of Liberty stands near New York Harbor and the Ellis Island Immigration Station. Ellis Island was an entry point for many people coming to America from other countries. The statue seemed to be there to welcome them. The seven points on the statue's head covering represent the seven seas, so it is symbolically welcoming people from all over the world. There is a plaque at the statue on which a poem is inscribed that includes the words, 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.'"

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