People have been migrating for thousands of years. Why did people migrate to Lowell in the past, and why do they still come to Lowell now? Lowell’s immigrant residents brought, and continue to bring, their unique experiences and cultural identities, helping to shape and define our American culture. Students will learn why people migrate to Lowell and explore commonalities and differences in immigrants’ stories.

Step 1

Find out if someone in your family, or a friend, is an immigrant. What country did they come from and how long ago did they migrate?

Step 2

Read about the different reasons people were pushed or pulled to immigrate. Then, choose one of the immigrant stories to read. Notice the story has three parts: Life in Home Country, Life in Transition, and Life in Lowell.

Step 3

Answer the following questions about the immigrant’s story:

  1. What was the immigrant’s country of origin and why did they leave it? Was something pulling them away or pushing them away?
  2. Why did they decide to come to the United States? What specific reason did they give for coming to Lowell?
  3. What is one thing the person gave up, and one thing the person gained by immigrating to Lowell?
  4. How do you think the person felt leaving their home country?

Step 4

Choose another immigrant’s story to read and answer the same questions.

Step 5

Answer the following questions about the stories you read:

  1. What are the similarities and differences between the two stories you read?
  2. How, if at all, has your view of immigration changed based on what you learned from the stories?

Extend Your Learning

Explore your own family’s immigration stories.