Weekly Warm-Up: Your Community Migration Story

Which is more important: understanding where you are from or understanding the world beyond that place?

Trick question.

In our increasingly interconnected world, it is becoming more and more important for our students to both understand their own community and how it connects and compares to a broader world.

An aerial view of a residential neighborhood in Charleston, WV. Photograph by Jodi Cobb.

This residential neighborhood is in Charleston, West Virginia.
Photograph by Jodi Cobb, National Geographic

A Community Migration Story

In this activity, students have an opportunity to make these connections through three steps:

  1. Discussing community push and pull factors
  2. Interviewing community members who migrated
  3. Comparing and contrasting the push and pull factors of the interviewees

In some cases, interviewing community members outside of the classroom might be difficult. As an alternative, educators could invite a few speakers to the class. Students’ parents or grandparents may be good examples of community migration. Stories of past family migrations can spark conversation about the make-up of students’ communities today.

By mixing the familiar with the unfamiliar, students can start to make connections between what they experience every day and the rest of the world. With these valuable connections, students will start their journey towards becoming successful and beneficial members of a global community.

This post was written by former National Geographic intern Rebecca Bice in January 2014, and is just as relevant today!

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