While teachers can use Immigration Nation as a pre-assessment of students' assumptions about citizenship and immigration, it works best as a practice activity to reinforce learning about how people become citizens of the US. Paired with current events discussion, student inquiry into civics issues, or with guiding questions such as, "Why do people move to new countries?", or, "How should we decide who gets to become a citizen?", Immigration Nation works as a solid and fun activity for students who like games and thrive on frequent, detailed feedback about their mastery of new learning. Teachers can use the game along with iCivics' other free and standards-aligned activities and lessons.Continue reading Show less
Immigration Nation, part of the iCivics family of online educational civics games, teaches students about the requirements for citizenship and immigration in the US. Players control Liberty Belle, a fairy who helps the Statue of Liberty evaluate incoming immigration requests and guide them to the appropriate ports, each representing a reason someone can enter the country. For example, returning American travelers might go to the "Born in the USA" port while a foreign born scientist coming to work for NASA might go to the "Right to Work" port. Players must also refuse to admit immigrants who do not have a right to enter the country such as criminals fleeing justice. Kids work through multiple waves of citizens and immigrants and receive feedback on their decisions at the end of each turn. At the end of the game, players get a printable performance certificate that evaluates their overall performance.
Full Disclosure: iCivics and Common Sense Education share a funder; however, that relationship does not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.
Immigration Nation is best for reinforcing citizenship, immigration, and repatriation requirements. It's cartoony style and relatively quick pace make it good practice for upper elementary and middle school students, but older students might see it as too simplistic or childish. The amount of text that pops up for each boat is manageable, but struggling readers may want to work with a buddy who can read aloud. The evidence in each pop-up helps students make inferences without being too obvious. However, students are doing little more than learning facts, and not wrestling with the deeper complexities of immigration. It's easy to pair Immigration Nation with any of the other iCivics games, and points earned in Immigration Nation can be used to unlock achievements, avatar accessories, and Impact points for kids with registered accounts.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Reading Informational Text
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4–5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.