The Melting Pot


US History (11th) Progressive Era The Melting Pot
Students watch a video on the concept of the melting pot. Then, they examine statistics on immigration during the crucial period of the early 20th century. They learn some of the reasons for immigration and do research for a report on immigration from selected countries. Finally, they read and analyze the poem “The New Colossus.”

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for The Melting Pot:

Preview - Scene 1
Exploros Learnign Experience Scene Navigation


Engage


Overview

In this experience, students watch a video made by an 11th grader on the concept of the melting pot. Then, they examine statistics on immigration during the crucial period of the early 20th century. They learn some of the reasons for immigration, and they do research for a report on immigration from selected countries and contributions from those immigrants. Finally, they read and analyze the poem “The New Colossus,” whose concluding lines are engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Students will collaborate in small groups in scene 3.

Objectives

  • Describe the immigrant groups who came to the United States in the early 20th century.
  • Explain the “melting pot” approach to assimilation of immigrants.
  • Analyze “The New Colossus” as a reflection of the melting pot ideals.


The early 20th century was a peak period of immigration to the United States from Europe and other continents, including Asia and North America. In this experience, you’ll find out who came to the United States and how they encountered the ideal of the “melting pot,” a phrase that helped shape Americans’ views of cultural diversity.

Objectives

  • Describe the immigrant groups who came to the United States in the early 20th century.
  • Explain the “melting pot” approach to assimilation of immigrants.
  • Analyze “The New Colossus” as a reflection of the melting pot ideals.




World War II patriotic poster


The phrase “melting pot” became popular in the early 20th century in reference to the United States and the diverse immigrants coming to this country. In the table below, write a brief definition of what you think “melting pot” means in this context.



A “melting pot” implied that the diverse cultures of immigrants would blend together to form a single, unified, unique national culture. While that vision still inspires many, newer descriptive labels such as “salad bowl” or “cultural mosaic” have become popular to emphasize immigrants’ desire to honor their roots.

Watch The American Melting Pot: Our Nation’s Greatest Strength, an 11th-grade student’s video that explores the impact of American cultural diversity. Watch from the beginning to 3:49, and then from 5:22 to the end.


If you had been interviewed for the video, what view of the “melting pot” would you have stated?

Post your answer

Student answers will vary, possibly in connection with their own families’ experiences with immigration and assimilation. Encourage class discussion. Ask students how their responses were influenced by their families’ experiences with immigration and assimilation, if applicable.

Recommend the article The Rise and Fall of the American “Melting Pot” to advanced students for a concise overview of how attitudes have shifted from assimilationism to multiculturalism over the past century.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

End of Preview
The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Progressive Era Unit.
Would you like to preview the rest of this learning experience, and get access to the entire functioning U.S. History HS course for your classroom? Sign up using your school email address below.
Back to top