September 19, 2015
by Caitlin Fahey

Lesson plan

Immigration: Ellis Island

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Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to understand the process for immigrants traveling through Ellis Island into the United States.

(5 minutes)
  • Display pictures of Ellis Island on the board for students.
  • Explain that an immigrant is a person who leaves another country to move to a new one.
  • Ask if any students have heard of Ellis Island to see if any students have background knowledge.
  • If this does not trigger interest, ask if any students are immigrants or if any have family members who are.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the Ellis Island worksheet.
  • Show photos of Ellis Island in the early 1900s and as it is now.
  • Read the worksheet with your students, and direct them to underline important information and vocabulary.
(20 minutes)
  • Have students work with partners to answer the questions at the bottom of the worksheet.
  • Ask them to write down 5 facts from the article on the back of the worksheet.
  • Review your students' work, and have each student list one interesting fact he learned from the worksheet.
(20 minutes)
  • Hand out the Ellis Island interview worksheet.
  • Read the instructions, and have your students independently work on the survey.
  • Direct your students to write a journal entry from the point of view of a child their age who went across the Atlantic Ocean to go to Ellis Island.
  • Enrichment: Have students use 5-8 new vocabulary words in their entries, and direct them to write a parallel journal entry from the point of view of an immigration official.
  • Support: Have students write a journal entry of 5 sentences with a drawing of Ellis Island.
(5 minutes)
  • As you walk around the room, check to make sure that your students are using facts from the worksheet to back up their journal entries.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students share their entries aloud.

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