Becoming US

Becoming US is a new educational website for high school teachers and students to learn immigration and migration history in a more accurate and inclusive way. Despite a long history of immigration, incorporation, and importation of people to the place we now call the United States, most school curricula leave out key truths and themes about how people become American and live in the nation together. Becoming US provides resources that change how migration and immigration are learned.

In 2014 the museum embarked on a pan-institutional journey to research, document, interpret, and present the history of the United States through the lens of migration and immigration. This effort resulted in an exhibition in the museum’s “The Nation We Build Together” wing called Many Voices, One Nation; the scholarly book Many Voices, One Nation: Material Culture Reflections on Race and Migration in the United States; and Becoming US, the national education set of resources.

The Becoming US website, launched in November 2019, is built on the Drupal 8 platform. Instructional content is presented via 15 historical case studies grouped around five thematic units. Each case study incorporates primary sources using the Smithsonian’s educational platform Learning Lab and invites teachers and students to create their own collections based on the case studies. In 2021, full Spanish-language translation will be added to the site.