The Italian Americans

For Educators

For Educators

What are the stories of Italian Americans? How can these stories teach us about our shared history and illuminate our understanding of this nation?

Our students are at the center of one of the greatest demographic shifts in our country’s history. Children born after 1998 constitute the first truly pluralistic generation in the U.S. Now more than ever, stories of arrival, exclusion and inclusion, stories of immigrant labor,discrimination and the collective struggle around “becoming American” are not only historical facts, they are the building blocks of effective citizenship.

In this standards-aligned collection of lessons, activities and videos, we invite teachers and learners to explore the particular experiences of Italian Americans – from arrival as migrant laborers who played a vital role in the nation’s modernization, to the struggle against discrimination and lingering stereotypes, to a central role in the making of postwar America. In addition to the specific experiences of Italian Americans, these resources challenge students to make broader connections to economic, social and civic topics and compare and contrast the experience of Italian Americans with that of today’s highly diverse communities.

Lesson Plans

Lesson 1 - Italian + American

Lesson 2 - Birds of Passage: Italian Immigrant Labor in the U.S.

Lesson 3 - Italian Americans and WWII: Heroes & Aliens

Lesson 4 - Becoming Italian American: A Journey of Culture, Place and Time