During our immigration unit, to have students fully understand and apply the knowledge we have been working with about Canada’s immigration policy, we had our students participate in an immigration simulation. But before we get to the simulation, I will explain how we scaffolded leading up to the task.

First, we had students engage in a flipped learning task where they had to watch the video below, visit the interactive website referred to at the end of the video and complete an entrance ticket.

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Students were given three days to view the video and complete an entrance ticket summarizing the content. Upon the day of this task, completed entrance tickets were collected at the class door prior to student entry. Students who had not completed the activity were provided with a laptop and an alternate space to view the videos and complete their task. Once finished, students were invited to join class and participate. The barn door between two classrooms was opened, but students could not work with different classes, as they had not earn the right to immigrate yet. In class, students were organized into small groups of 3-4. Using erasable tabletop whiteboards made of opaque plexiglass, students were asked to collaboratively recall, organize and define the five factors influencing immigration, and provide one example of a push and pull factor for each. During this process, the teacher acted as a guide, encouraging students to think deeply and posing questions they should be asking themselves. Once finished, students completed an exit ticket, ranking the five factors in order of personal importance and providing a rationale for their ranking. Please see the slide show below for the photo documentation.

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The next lesson involved students learning about the point system and how there are different categories that an applicant can earn points in for qualification.

From here, we asked students to come up with what categories of points are important, which are not important and what is missing.  For each class, we then voted and determined what the top five categories are when determining eligibility. Then students were grouped according to these categories and asked to determine the criteria, in realistic terms for a person their age.  Here are some samples of what was generated:

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From here, students had to create an immigration form to give to those wanting to try to immigrate into their classroom.  We used Google Docs for this task and provided them with a template to follow.  Man, did this test their formatting skills!! To see a sample, please click on the below the photo.

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Once the forms met our standards – yes this took a bit of time and patience – when then engaged in our immigration test where students were given the forms to complete to see if they qualified to enter other classrooms.  We had an immigration counter where you took your completed forms for verification, a customer service centre for questions, and border security to watch for people trying to sneak across.

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In the end, the students engaged in an active and authentic learning experienced where they had to apply their knowledge to a new context.  Students learnt just how tough it is to immigrate under the economic class, and gained a greater appreciation to being born in Canada.

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