2.8: The immigrant experience

Lesson overview

Theme:Being comfortable with difference
Age Group:Year 2
Learning Area:English

Content descriptor

Students use interaction skills, including active listening behaviours and communicate in a clear, coherent manner.

Teachers notes

  1. As a variation to this activity, parents or other community members may be invited to the class to be interviewed by students.
  2. Students could be prompted that migration refers to crossing borders (either across states or internationally). Immigration refers to people moving in to New South Wales or Australia. Emigration refers to people moving out of New South Wales or Australia (ie. either to a different state such as Queensland or a different country).
  3. Caution should be taken when students come to interviewing neighbours or community members. If they are not well known, suggest to the students that they be accompanied by an adult or older sibling.


Butcher’s paper


  1. Introduce the concept of migration to students explaining that people often move from one place to another for a variety of reasons such as for work, education or for a different lifestyle. Explain that the term migrant or immigrant refers to a person who has come to live in a new place.
  2. Divide students into groups of three or four. Ask them to devise a list of about five questions they would like to ask someone who has migrated to Australia or to their town. Emphasise open-ended questions that begin with: how, who, what, where, when and why.
  3. Ask each group to report back to the class the questions they have devised recording the questions on the board or on butcher’s paper.
  4. As a class, select the 10 most appropriate and interesting questions from the list.
  5. Ask each group to interview a migrant in their community using the selected 10 questions. Students may interview a family member, friend, neighbour, teacher or another member of the community. Groups may nominate a group member as the interviewer or they may each choose to interview people individually.
  6. Ask each group to share their interview responses with the rest of the class.
  7. On the board or on butcher’s paper, summarise the diversity of the local community.