Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
- outline the significance of Ellis Island
- define immigration
- analyze the immigration process used at Ellis Island
- 1.5 to 2 hours
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claims.
- Paper copies of the text lesson Ellis Island: History & Facts
- A quiz created using the quiz from the associated text lesson
- A worksheet created using the following questions modeled after those that were asked of immigrants at Ellis Island:
- What is your name?
- How old are you?
- Are you male or female?
- Are you married or single?
- What is your occupation?
- Are you able to read and write?
- What country are you from?
- What is your race?
- What is the name and address of a relative from your native country?
- What is your final destination in America?
- Who paid for your passage?
- How much money do you have with you?
- Have you been to America before?
- Are you meeting a relative here in America? Who?
- Have you been in a prison or institution for care of the insane?
- Are you a polygamist? Are you an anarchist?
- Are you coming to America for a job? Where will you work?
- What is the condition of your health?
- Are you deformed or crippled?
- How tall are you?
- What color are your eyes? What color is your hair?
- Do you have any identifying marks? (scars, birthmarks, tattoos)
- Where were you born? (Country & City)
- Who was the first President of America?
- What are the colors of our flag?
- How many stripes are on our flag? How many stars?
- What is the 4th of July?
- What is the Constitution?
- What are the 3 branches of government?
- Which President freed the slaves?
- Can you name one of the 13 original Colonies?
- Who signs a bill into law?
- Who is the current President of the United States (in 1907)?
- Ellis Island
- Begin by writing the following on the board: 'Ellis Island'.
- Ask the students to raise their hands if they have heard of this location.
- For those who raised their hands: what can you tell us about Ellis Island?
- Pass out the paper copies of the text lesson and instruct students to take turns reading aloud a line or two at a time from the introduction and 'Welcome to America!' sections.
- What is immigration?
- Did any of your ancestors come through Ellis Island?
- Tell the class to take turns reading aloud again from the 'The Island's Origins' and 'Dreaming of a Better Life' sections of the text lesson.
- Why might America have chosen Ellis Island as the main hub for immigration?
- Why was America considered a safe haven for immigrants?
- Instruct the class to take turns reading aloud the remainder of the text lesson now.
- Why did America have to place restrictions on immigration?
- Was it fair for immigrants to be questioned in English when it was not their native language?
- How do the events at Ellis Island mirror current immigration issues?
- Pass out the quiz and ask students to work independently to complete it.
- Divide the class into several small groups.
- Pass out the Ellis Island questionnaires, one per group.
- Instruct the groups to review each question and analyze its purpose. In other words, why was this question asked of immigrants? Students should write their analysis next to each question.
- When all groups have finished reviewing and analyzing the questions, have them present their analysis in a question-by-question class analysis and discussion.
- How different would your analysis of these questions be if they were in a foreign language?
- How has this activity on Ellis Island changed your opinion on immigration in our country?
- Take a virtual field trip to Ellis Island.
- Ask students to research and report on an immigrant who traveled through Ellis Island.
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