From 1860-1882, hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrated to the U.S.  In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned further Chinese immigration.  In this lesson, students will explore the social and economic factors that fueled the wave of Chinese immigrants as well as the factors that eventually led to their exclusion.  Students examine an excerpt from an anti-Chinese play, a political cartoon, an anti-Chinese labor speech, and an immigrant’s autobiography.

Image: 1885 Drawing of the massacre of Chinese miners at Rock Springs, Wyoming, by Thure de Thulstrup. From the Library of Congress.


Thank you teachers so much for providing video ideas from "Out West.". So helpful!
Two different clips are mentioned here, both from Ken Burns' "The West." The clip form episode 7 is about anti-Chinese sentiment, and highlights Cheung Son (sp?). The clip from episode 5 is about Chinese workers building railroads. Both could be used to give context.
In the Ken Burns series it should be at 19:15 in episode 5 of The West: The Grandest Enterprise Under God:1868-1874. I don't have United Streaming, so I am not sure if it is the same clip.
Hi tevans24 - As a rule, we don't provide answer keys for our lessons. Many times we embed possible answers to the in-class activities within the teacher's notes. In general, we try to make our questions narrowly tailored, so the answers are readily available to educators. If you come across any questions that are unclear, please let us know.
All of these lessons are great. I am wondering if you have any rubrics that go along with these lessons.
For the video clip, I used a clip from Ken Burn's "The West". It is streaming on Netflix right now. Episode 7, 31:42-37:44 on the streaming version.
HI dlrill, we're aware that some videos have been removed from Discovery Education. We're not sure why this is, and we recognize that the inability to access the video clips must be frustrating. The particular clips that we have selected are not essential to the lessons and can be replaced with a different video, a textbook passage, or a short lecture on the subject. The inclusion of videos seem to cause more trouble than they're worth, so we're working on phasing them out little by little, but it will be some time before we're able to complete this task.
I love your lesson plans. They help engage my students in history! The link for the video for this lesson doesn't seem to be working. Thanks again for creating these!
This is an excellent lesson. It does a wonderful job of allowing the students to explore and discover the nativist reasons America passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. I used this lesson with my eleventh grade U.S. history class. It worked great, but I would recommend adding a vocabulary bank to help the students better understand some of the documents.
My classes are more engaged and challenged by your lessons. These lessons are quality and challenging and interesting when it comes to historical thinking. When students have to back up their statements with text evidence and they are able to do it in a 45-minute period, I find this very powerful and affirming. I enjoy watching students unlock and uncover the evidence to support central questions through inquiry and analysis. Watch out science, history rocks on!
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