Begin the lesson by projecting the November 1959 image of Hari Singh Everest and asking students first to describe the literal aspects of the image: what do they see? Have students discuss the following questions in four groups: Who is the man in the photograph? Where was the photograph taken? What was the occasion? Ask for students to share their perspectives with the class as a whole.
Distribute Student Handout 1 – Hari Singh Everest: American by Choice. Read and discuss this short secondary background, first in small groups, then as a full class. Tell students that they will learn about the life of Hari Singh Everest in order to consider today’s focus question: How accessible was the American Dream in the post WWII period? In order to answer this larger focus question, let students know that they will first consider the following two questions: “How is Hari Singh Everest representative of the American immigration experience?” And, “How have more recent immigrants, such as Hari Singh Everest, changed the definition of what it means to be an American?”
Distribute Student Handout 2 – Hari Singh Everest Timeline. Tell students that they will be viewing a short film on the life of Hari Singh Everest and that they should use this Timeline as a reference / note-taking guide for the film. Show Hari Singh Everest video. After viewing the film, have students refer to their timeline and accompanying notes to start their discussions about the following questions:
Why did Hari Singh Everest come to the United States?
What was his trip to the United States like?
What difficulties did he face when he came to the United States?
What did he do in the United States?
Distribute Student Handout 3 – Primary Source Analysis Chart and Hari Singh Everest Primary Source Documents A – G to students, sitting in groups of 3-4. Each student should have their own chart; each group should have one set of primary sources. After explaining how to fill out the Primary Source Analysis Chart, have students analyze their primary sources as a group. After the small group discussion, review the content as a class.
After all groups have completed their analysis charts, distribute students into pairs to discuss the following questions, using Student Handouts 1-3 to provide evidence to support their answers:
How is Hari Singh Everest representative of the American immigration experience?
How have more recent immigrants, such as Hari Singh Everest, changed the definition of what it means to be an American?
How accessible was the “American Dream” in the post-WWII period?
As a culminating activity, have students write a letter to the editor of their local paper that uses events in the life of Hari Singh Everest as evidence in order to support their interpretation of the following question: How accessible was the “American Dream” to immigrants in the post-WWII period?