Field Trips

The Immigrant Experience in Salem, 1910

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Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Common Core Standards:
11-12.L.4, 11-12.L.4.a, 11-12.L.6


Program Summary:
Students examine primary sources from and relating to Polish and French Canadian immigrants to Salem in the early 20th century in effort to determine what their experiences might have been like. Students will visit St. Joseph's Hall/The Polish Club (1909). 

Essential Questions:
Who were the main groups of immigrants living in Salem in the early 20th century?
How did the experience of immigrants in Salem vary?
What did these immigrants do for work? For fun? As a community?
How does the experience of these immigrants compare to the experience of immigrants coming to the United States and to Salem today?

Program Length: 60 minutes

Target Audience: High School Students and Undergraduate College/University Students

Massachusetts History and Social Science Frameworks

Concepts and Skills, Grades 8-12

History and Geography

8. Interpret the past within its own historical context rather than in terms of present-day norms and values. (H, E, C)

10. Distinguish historical fact from opinion. (H, E, C)


General Economics Skills

14. Explain how people or communities examine and weigh the benefits of each alternative when making a choice and that opportunity costs are those benefits that are given up once one alternative is chosen. (E)


Industrial Revolution and Social and Political Change in Europe, 1800-1914

WHII.6 Summarize the social and economic impact of the Industrial Revolution. (H, E)

A. the vast increases in productivity and wealth

B. population and urban growth

C. the growth of a middle class

D. problems caused by urbanization and harsh working conditions


Industrial America and Its Emerging Role in International Affairs, 1870-1920

USII.3 Describe the causes of the immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and describe the major roles of these immigrants in the industrialization of America. (H)

2017 ELA Literacy Framework

Grades 11–12 Reading Standards for Literacy in the Content Areas: History/Social Studies [RCA-H]

Key Ideas and Details

  1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
  2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Craft and Structure
  1. Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
  2. Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
    1. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question
    2. Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.



Students can use this tool to determine what significant information they can learn from a primary source.

Download Primary Source Analysis Tool

Last updated: September 25, 2017