Lesson Plan:

Middle Atlantic State Migration

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August 29, 2015
by Catherine Crider

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to report in an organized manner the migration of people to a Middle Atlantic state by discussing key people and motivating factors involved in the state’s settlement.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Call students together near the posted map of the United States.
  • Begin by asking students why they think people move. List all of the reasons students give on a whiteboard or piece of chart paper.
  • Tell students that these reasons can be divided into two categories: push factors and pull factors.
  • Explain that push factors are things that push people away from the area they currently live in. For example, if people are getting hurt there or if people are hungry because of a famine, they will be pushed to move.
  • Tell your students that pull factors are things that attract people to another area. For example, freedom of religion and expression are pull factors for America.
  • Have students separate the list they made as a class into push and pull factors.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Have students find Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania on the map of the United States.
  • Then, pass out a copy of the State Profiles sheet and a copy of the State Profiles worksheet to each student.
  • Explain to students that one way to organize the information they find in non-fiction texts is through the use of guiding questions.
  • Explain that guiding questions are specific questions that point to a specific resource or topic in order to understand more about something.
  • Tell your students that the State Profiles worksheet provides some guiding questions to help determine the push and pull factors that led to people migrating to the Middle Atlantic states.
  • Read “Profile 1: Pennsylvania,” and as a class, answer the guiding questions from the worksheet.
  • Demonstrate to students how they should report this information to the group by standing up straight and speaking in a slow, clear voice.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Assign each group one of the 3 remaining profiles.
  • Remind students that they should use the profiles to figure out the answers to the following questions: Who were the important people involved in settling the colony? What push and/or pull factors were involved in causing people to migrate to or from these states? What year was the state settled?
  • Tell students that they will be reporting back to the group, so they should take this task seriously.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Remind students of any rules and expectations for group work.
  • As students work in groups, walk around the room and check for progress.



  • Enrichment: If students have extra time before presenting, have them refer to books to learn more about their profile state. Direct them to research reasons why people have migrated to other parts of the United States.
  • Support: Instruct your students to take turns with transcribing on the State Profiles Worksheet so that not all students have to be engaged in writing. Additionally, use colored highlighters to help students focus on names and years as they read the material.

Related Books and/or Media


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Use the assessment rubric to evaluate your students during the lesson.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Call students back together. Remind them that they will be sharing with the group and that they should share the answers to their four guiding questions.
  • Remind students of proper behavior when others are speaking.
  • Stress to students that when sharing with the group, they should stand up straight, speak in a slow, clear voice, and give eye contact to the people listening.
  • After students speak, have them locate on the map where the state is.

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