Through an examination of the Wagner-Rogers Bill of 1939, students consider how Americans debated the country’s role as a haven for refugees during the 1930s and 1940s. They identify economic, social, and geopolitical factors that influenced Americans’ attitudes about the United States’ role in the world during the critical years 1938–1941. Using primary-source documents, students identify and evaluate arguments that different Americans made for and against the acceptance of child refugees in 1939. The lesson concludes with reflection on questions that this history raises about America’s role in the world today.
Immigration and Refugees: A Case Study on the Wagner-Rogers Bill
Subject English Language Arts — Reading Standards for Informational Text, Speaking and Listening • Social Studies — Historical Thinking, US Government, US History
Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Activity, Assessment, Handout, Lesson Plan, Presentation
Common Core State Standards, State-specific
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.