The best cures I know for misunderstandings between people are conversations and books. Lately, it seems, we in the United States are engulfed in conflicts between people who are having trouble understanding each other's points of view. One of the contentious topics is immigration...who should be allowed to visit or live in the United States and under what circumstances. To help young readers grapple with this question, I am sharing stories about refugees and immigrants who along with their descendants are, after all, the vast majority of our country's population.
Coming to America: The Story of Immigration is one great story that provides an overview of the history of immigration in the United States. Readers may also be interested in reading historical fiction accounts of the experiences of immigrants.
If you're looking for books on this topic that you can share with the children in your life, there are a few great lists already published by very reputable sources.
School Library Journal - Tales of Child Refugees and Safe Havens
The NY Times - How Do You Explain the Refugee Crisis to Children?
The Horn Book - Refugee Children
Additionally, Teaching Tolerance has an article for educators including many facts about refugees and immigrants. This detailed guide can provide helpful background information for adults who are hoping to facilitate student conversations about the current, and eternal, topic.
After reading some of these great books, students can reflect on U.S. immigration policy using a fantastic printable prompt from Make Beliefs Comix that asks students to think about what the Statue of Liberty thinks of President Trump's executive order banning immigration from certain countries.