Teachers Page

Grade Level(s): 3

Age Levels(s): 8-9 years old

Subject Area: History and Social Studies


  1. Students will be able to identify the different paths that can be taken in order to achieve American citizenship.
  2. Students will be able to discuss the different paths that people must take in order to become an American citizen.
  3. Students will be able to analyze the laws of Naturalization and Immigration and list how citizenship is different between American born citizens and immigrants.
  4. Students will be able to construct a double-sided poster that explains the different paths taken to gain American citizenship using examples from what they have learned from Joseph Wehner and Antonio Pierro.

Curriculum Standards:



Timeframe: 1 hour lesson per day for 3 days.

Student Foundational Skills:

Learning Activities and Organizational Notes:

Before starting this lesson,

(1) Pre-Assessment - Day 1

Add Activity information here

Organizational Notes: none

(2) Activity 1:

Today the students will be introduced to Joseph Wehner and Antonio Pierro. You will have students first:

  • Take a look at the news articles from the Everett Gazette about Joseph Wehner. Have the students read the articles carefully and try and find out as much information about Joseph Wehner as they can.
  • Next. have students look at the pictures of Joseph Wehner and try to find out even more information that they can by looking at these pictures.
  • Finally, have the students take a look at the cartoon.
  • Show the students a video about Antonio Pierro, and encourage students to learn as much as they can about Antonio. Remind them that they are trying to find out how each man became United States citizens.
  • Have the students take a vote. Pass out will two slips to each student. one will have Joseph Wehner's name and the other will have Antonio Pierro's name. Have two voting boxes ready, one box should represent who was born a United States citizen and who became a United States citizen. Have students place their voting slips in the boxes that they think they belong. After every students has voted, count the votes with the class.
  • When voting is complete, make a T chart together with the students and record as much information that is given, based on the newspaper articles, video and cartoon about both Joseph Wehner and Antonio Pierro. Tell students to think about when both men were born, when they died, where they were born, what branch of the military they were in, where they lived, what was their primary language, where were their parents from, could they read and write and how long they lived in the United States. Use all of the primary sources to complete this chart.

(3) Activity 2:

  • Present the book "Becoming a Citizen" by Sarah DeCapua to the students and determine the different paths to becoming a United States citizen.
  • Hand out copies of the pages that list and explain the different paths to American citizenship.
  • Have a discussion about the different ways that Joseph Wehner and Antonio Pierro could have become United States citizens.
  • Next, hand each student a Character Venn Diagram and have students transfer the information from the t-chart that was made yesterday to compare and contrast Joseph Wehner and Antonio Pierro's lives.
  • Finally,hand out two voting slips and have students take a new vote just like we did yesterday. Explain to the students that with all of their new knowledge ,they will vote again. Ask students if they think their vote will change based on what they have learned these last two days? Count the votes when everyone has voted again.

Organizational Notes: none

(4) Activity 3:

  • Hand out materials to students, (markers, crayons) and have each student create a double sided poster that shows an immigrant's path to citizenship on one side and on the other side, a poster that shows an American born person's path to citizenship. Ensure that all students use the information that they have learned when creating each side and to keep in mind the different paths taken by Antonio Pierro and Joseph Wehner took to become American citizens.

Organizational Notes:

Assessments: Pre and Post Survey

Assessments: Limited to this lesson.

Assessments: Limited to this lesson.

Teacher Notes: