A House of Tailors
Age 9-11: Concept 2 - Diversity and Interdependence: Unit 2

When Dina is mistaken for a German spy, she is forced to immigrate to America. Although she has heard about the wonderful life that awaits immigrants coming to America, reality proves to be a very different experience.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be used concurrently with the Immigration unit.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 5th or 6th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Usually used by children in fifth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: German Immigrants
  • Lesson 2: Dina in Germany
  • Lesson 3: Journey to New York
  • Lesson 4: Welcome to New York
  • Lesson 5: Dina's Job
  • Lesson 6: A New Hat
  • Lesson 7: Sickness
  • Lesson 8: Christmas
  • Lesson 9: A Letter (2 Days)
  • Lesson 10: Fire!
  • Lesson 11: Living the American Dream
  • Final Project: Today and Yesterday or Story Quilt (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze characters and events and cite supporting evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze characters and their actions. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze characters' motivations. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze characters, including their traits. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze differences among genres. (Language Arts)
  • Answer different types and levels of questions such as open-ended, literal, and interpretative. (Language Arts)
  • Compare text events with personal and other readers' experiences. (Language Arts)
  • Compose a draft that conveys major ideas by using preliminary plans. (Language Arts)
  • Connect personal experiences with those of others. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills when sharing information orally. (Language Arts)
  • Describe mental images that text descriptions evoke. (Language Arts)
  • Determine usefulness of information and ideas consistent with purpose. (Language Arts)
  • Draw conclusions and support them with text evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and interpret elements of fiction and nonfiction and support by referencing the text. (Language Arts)
  • Identify key words and discover their meanings and relationships through a variety of strategies. (Language Arts)
  • Identify the main events of the plot, their causes, and the influence of each event on future actions. (Language Arts)
  • Increase reading and writing vocabulary by examining the author's craft. (Language Arts)
  • Interact with text by making connections with previous experiences. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret text ideas through such varied means as journal writing. (Language Arts)
  • Maintain focus on a topic with specific, relevant, supporting details. (Language Arts)
  • Make inferences, draw conclusions, make generalizations, and support by referencing the text. (Language Arts)
  • Proofread and correct most misspellings independently with reference to resources. (Language Arts)
  • Provide a context that enables the listener to imagine the circumstances of the event or experience. (Language Arts)
  • Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable. (Language Arts)
  • Recite brief poems (i.e., two or three stanzas), soliloquies, or dramatic dialogues, using clear diction, tempo, volume, and phrasing. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize cause and effect relationship in text. (Language Arts)
  • Relate ideas, observations, or recollections about an event or experience. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes. (Language Arts)
  • Share written texts from a variety of genres, including letters. (Language Arts)
  • Speculate and interpret in response to text. (Language Arts)
  • Use a thesaurus to determine related words and concepts. (Language Arts)
  • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue. (Language Arts)
  • Use commas in a series. (Language Arts)
  • Use commas when combining independent clauses with a conjunction. (Language Arts)
  • Use concrete sensory details in writing. (Language Arts)
  • Use correct punctuation, including commas, when needed. (Language Arts)
  • Use effective rate, volume, pitch, and tone for the audience and setting. (Language Arts)
  • Use multiple reference aids, including a thesaurus and a dictionary, to clarify meanings and usage. (Language Arts)
  • Use the text's structure or progression of ideas, such as cause and effect or chronology, to locate and recall information. (Language Arts)
  • Use various reference materials (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, card catalog, encyclopedia, online information) as an aid to writing. (Language Arts)
  • Write complex sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Write to describe and express. (Language Arts)
  • Write to express and reflect on ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize the contributions of scientists throughout history. (Science)
  • Discuss the waves of immigrants from Europe between 1789 and 1850 and their modes of transportation. (Social Studies)
  • Hypothesize how differences and similarities among people have produced diverse American cultures. (Social Studies)
  • Interact with text before reading by making connections with previous experiences, information, and ideas. (Social Studies)
  • Use the library or online resources as well as interviews to learn about immigration in this country and gather information about cultural and ethnic heritages. (Social Studies)
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