Recently my grade 5 son was given this homework task:
History - migration
During history, you have been examining migration and some of the reasons people migrate to different countries. Your task is to write a migration story about a member of your family, alternatively research a migration story.
Some things to include:
- Name of person that migrated
- Date of migration
- Why they migrated
- How they migrated (e.g. by boat)
- Their thoughts and feelings about adapting to a new country
- Any other relevant information
I'm not sure how a ten year old would manage this homework if their family were not relatively recent immigrants. In my son's case, he had a huge advantage since I've been researching the family for the past 25 years. At last, a reason for him to look at some of the research that I have been most excited about! I think he was quite perplexed to see how excited Mummy was about his homework.
I drip fed him source documents over a few days and talked with him about what they meant. Passenger lists, newspaper articles and of course the wonderful letter from John himself that I found at the National Library.
My son’s answer, below (included with his permission), was entirely his own words.
History migration John Allsop
John Allsop migrated to Australia with his wife and children. The boat left England on the 12th of March 1852. On the Chowringhee there were 319 passengers. Throwout the journey 95 people got cholera 98 people had fevers and 39 other cases even the doctor got sick and they were worried he was going to die. The ship had a total of 17 deaths. On the ship there were 9 babies been born including a new son for Jonh and Ellen. They arrived on 5th July 1852.
Johns family came as Assisted Immigrants because in England they were poor and the government needed more workers for Victoria. When he got there it was the gold rush but he did not run away to get gold. In Australia he was much happyer because he got more money and he had his own house he now had enough money he could save it and sent it to his mother.