Goals and Objectives--Grades 3 - 5
Voices and Choices--Carmella Gustaferre
Note: It is a good idea to print
Level One for easy reference.
Carmella Gustaferre is a 15-year-old immigrant
from Italy. She has begun to take English classes at Chicago's Hull
House. She has been asked to write an essay about her dream house
and must decide how to furnish it.
These themes can be explored with either a social studies or
language arts curriculum. Use these themes to tie in other
resources to your class discussion, i.e., other books, other
cultures, students' own lives.
- Immigration and how it has shaped America.
- Home as both a physical and imaginary space. What kinds
of adjectives and nouns can students associate with the word
These questions, which come at the end of each story (minus "the
answer"), can be used to start class discussions or be assigned as
What does it mean to be an immigrant?
An immigrant is someone who comes to a country to settle
Is Carmella an immigrant? Where did she emigrate from? And
where does she live now?
Carmella emigrated from Italy. She now lives on the West Side of
Chicago. She is attending classes at Hull House. In 1889, Jane
Addams had opened Hull House in the worst slum district on the West
Side of Chicago. Addams and her associates developed programs to
educate and improve the living conditions of immigrants--about half
the population of Chicago at the time.
What is Carmella writing an essay about? Who do you think she
is writing it for?
She is writing an essay about the kind of home she would like to
have. She is writing it for her English class at Hull House.
Describe Carmella's house in Italy as you imagine it.
You may want to show students books of photography of Italy to
give them a sense of Carmella's birthplace. Students may want to
draw Carmella's house as they imagine it.
Describe where Carmella lives now. What did Chicago look like
Carmella would have lived in the Italian immigrant section of
Chicago's southside. Students can also read the story of Ruby
Livingston and George Curtis and look at Side by Side to find more
photographs of the poorer areas of Chicago at the beginning of the
If you could have your dream house, what would it look like?
Would your house be out in the country or in a city? Would your
house be in the mountains or by the ocean?
Students may want to draw their dream house or even create a
collage of their dream house using cut-outs from magazines.
These are suggested classroom activities and student projects
that you may want to use with your students or as models to create
1. Geography activity
Using a world atlas and an atlas of the United
States, compare a map of Italy with a map of Illinois. You might
want to make a comparison chart like this:
- About making dioramas.
- If you could have a room all to yourself what would it look
like? What kind of room would it be? Create a miniature diorama of
your dream room.
- As a group, work together to create a "dream" house. Each
person or each set of partners can construct a different room. As a
group, assemble your house and show it to your classmates.
3. Art in the Home Activity
- Help Josephine Nordstrom decorate her home in Rockford,
- How are Josephine's life and home very different from
- Look at Side By Side and decide
if Josephine is a "newcomer" or a "native."
| Level 2 | Level 3
© Illinois State Museum