Maňa: One Girl’s Story is a project created to help 2nd-4th grade educators teach immigration, community development, and about life long ago.

In 1922, The Machovsky family immigrated from Kolin, Czechoslovakia to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Maňa Machovsky* was seven years old when they moved. As an adult, she recounted her memories of moving to the United States and her experiences at Ellis Island. These accounts, along with many documents and photographs from her life, tell a complete immigration story of a real person.

Study Trips

Maňa comes alive for students in an onsite study trip, which incorporates artifacts, oral histories, letters, photographs and art in the setting of the permanent Faces of Freedom exhibit. Students interact with Maňa and make conclusions about what it means to be an immigrant.

Lesson Plans

Too far away to visit the museum on a study trip? Lesson plans are available for classrooms both near and far. The lessons use a variety of teaching methods and may be used in social studies, mathematics, art, physical education, reading, writing, and music classes. Educational materials align with Common Core standards.

*In Czech, Maňa’s name (pronounced MAHN-ya) would be spelled Ma’ňa. However, Maňa chose to spell her name as we show here.

Download Lesson Plans

These lessons are designed to be used with the Bringing History Home curriculum, and specifically compliment the second grade unit on immigration history. These lessons meet Iowa Core Curriculum Standards, incorporating Maňa’s story into lessons about geography, immigration, and document analysis.

Teachers may download individual lessons, or they may download all four lessons in one PDF document. A PowerPoint presentation and timeline cards are also available for download.