Lesson plan

Immigration: Ellis Island

This is a lesson about the immigration procedures at Ellis Island. Students will learn about the process and creatively write about what it was like for immigrants to pass through Ellis Island.
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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