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Immigration Experience

By Kassandra Lenters 90 minutes
Grades 4-6
Social Sciences
  • Programming
  • Data
  • Technology and Society
Tools & Languages

Key Coding Concepts

  • Algorithms
  • Events
  • Sequences


Migration is the movement from one country or region to another.

Emigration is when you leave your own country.  

Immigration is when someone moves to live in a new country.

Learners create an animation in Scratch to tell their family’s immigration story.

Q: What is migration? What are different kinds of migration?

Define migration, emigration, and immigration (see terminology for definitions).

Today’s Project: We are creating an animation in Scratch to tell our family’s immigration story.

*Keep in mind, that some immigration stories might be traumatic or difficult stories to tell, especially for newcomers who have fled unsafe living conditions. If this might be the case, give learners the option to tell their own story, or to research the story of someone else (e.g. historical figure).

Code Along

  1. Open up a new Scratch project at and click on “create” (top, left corner).
  2. Point out the main elements: Stage, Sprites, and Scripts. Demonstrate how to drag and connect blocks.
  3. Give learners a few minutes to click on blocks and explore.
  4. Go through 1-2 challenges with the group, where learners are tasked with trying to make something happen in Scratch. For example, “Try to make Scratch move” or “Try to make Scratch say something when the space key is pressed” (See the Code-Along Challenges doc ( for more examples and solutions)

Give learners 2-3 minutes to explore example “Immigration Experience” projects in Scratch. (Go to > Search for “Immigration experiences”)

Open one of the examples and click “See Inside.” Work together to break down the project. For our animations, we will need:

  1. A sprite or main character
  2. Multiple backgrounds for our story
  3. An event to start the story (e.g. when the green flag is clicked)
  4. “Switch Backdrop” scripts to change the background images
  5. “Say” scripts to tell our story

Co-create success criteria with the class, based off of the example projects. Consider:

  • How many backgrounds or scene changes should we have?
  • How many “say” blocks or sentences are in the example projects? How long should our stories be?
  • What would make the difference between an ‘okay’ project and an outstanding one?

Work Session
Provide time for learners to create their immigration stories.

If time, have learners present their projects and share their immigration stories with the class.

Use the co-created success criteria to create a rubric for assessment.

Consider creating a Scratch Teacher Account and class for learners to submit their projects.

Request an account here:

Learn more about teacher accounts here:

Challenge learners to also record their voice and narrate their story.

Talk about reasons why someone might move to another country, including refugees fleeing a crisis in their home country.

Discuss how we might make newcomers feel more welcome in Canada, and work in groups to brainstorm and share solutions.

Migration, Immigration, Heritage and identity, Changing family and community traditions, Natural resources and sustainability, Development of communities in Canada, Responses to global issues, Immigration policies

Example Scratch projects for “Immigration Experiences”:

Examples of Canadian immigrants article:

Scratch ED Teacher Accounts:

Australia photo by Catarina Sousa from

Teach lessons that are tied to your existing curriculum!


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