1. Discuss community push factors and pull factors.
Have a whole-class discussion about community push and pull factors. Ask:

  • Why do different communities have different push and pull factors?
  • How do these factors make a place unique?
  • What can we learn about ourselves from this kind of information?
  • Why is it important to preserve and pass on this information for future people?


2. Have students interview a person in the community who migrated.
If possible, have students conduct an interview with a person in the community who migrated in one form or another. Help students choose people to interview, such as family members, teachers, or other students. The person may have emigrated from another country, moved from another state, or moved from a rural area to an urban area or vice versa. As a class, develop a list of interview questions, such as:

  • Where and when were you born? What do you remember about that place?
  • When did you come to this community?
  • What is the primary reason you came to this community?
  • What were your first impressions about the community?
  • How have you seen the community change since then? What do you think caused those changes?


3. Have students compare and contrast the push and pull factors of the people they interviewed.
Draw a simple T-chart on the board. Have each student share the push or pull factors that motivated their interviewee to move to the community. List them in the T-Chart. Then ask:

  • What are some similarities among the people interviewed?
  • What are some differences?
  • What trends do you notice?
  • What are some common reasons people have moved to the community?

Subjects & Disciplines

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • describe community push and pull factors
  • conduct an interview of a person in the community who migrated
  • identify similarities and differences between migration stories

Teaching Approach

  • Learning-for-use

Teaching Methods

  • Discussions
  • Hands-on learning

Skills Summary

This activity targets the following skills:

Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices

National Council for Social Studies Curriculum Standards

  • Theme 3:  People, Places, and Environments

National Geography Standards

  • Standard 9:  The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface

What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Pens

Required Technology

  • Internet Access: Optional


  • Large-group instruction

Background Information

It’s important to understand why people move, or the push and pull factors that cause them to move. Push factors “push” people away from their home and include things like war. Pull factors “pull” people to a new home and include things like better opportunities. Conducting an interview is a great way to learn more about human migration patterns.

Prior Knowledge

  • push and pull factors



to move from one's native land to another.

human migration

the movement of people from one place to another.

pull factor

force that draws people to immigrate to a place.

push factor

force that drives people away from a place.