Our Ethnic Heritage: The German Americans

Our Ethnic Heritage: The German Americans
Lucy Hayes: Sports and Popular Culture

Skill: High School/College
Time Required: Two to three class periods


The contributions of German immigrants to the United States are numerous and far-reaching.  They and their families have embraced their adopted land and we have been the richer.  Major immigration from Germany took place during the lifetime of Lucy Webb Hayes.  And the city of Cincinnati, Lucy’s home for many years, was a major German immigrant settlement area.


The purpose of this lesson is to assist students in the development of an understanding of the contributions of one immigrant group with close ties to Lucy Webb Hayes.  The contributions by the immigrants and their families have greatly influenced American life.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet Immigration timeline link Access to print reference materials


1.  Have students access both documents listed under Websites and make a list of specific contributions by German Americans or of outstanding German American individuals and families.

2.  Working from the master list to prevent duplication, assign a specific contribution or the name of an outstanding German American individual or family to each student to research.

3.  Students should share the results of their research through presentation to the whole class.  If possible, students should bring in an example of the contribution or should present some visual representation.

Extending the Lesson:

This lesson can be developed by the teacher to use either groups or individual research and presentation.  It can also be the model for addressing immigration by other national groups that may be of greater importance in a particular geographic area.

Sources & Resources:

(This is the proclamation of a German-American Day in 2002 by order of the President.  Many contributions by Germans and outstanding German-Americans are noted specifically.)
(This document is a report, ordered by Congress, in 1983 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the first documented German immigration to the United States.  Although long, the listing of contributions, individuals, and families is extensive.)
This lesson was created and developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.