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Joined: Aug 2006
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trexteach
 
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,999
Senior Member
immigration unit
Old 10-07-2006, 08:11 PM
 

I teach fifth graders. We do activities like the following:

A simulation of being an immigrant coming to Ellis Island right off the ship. Each student plays a role (ex. doctor at the bottom of the long set of stairs, doctor who checks the eyes, doctor who checks for lice, one of the hospital workers, immigrants from various countries, interpreters for different languages, guards, money exchanger, and the question station workers (I don't remember the exact job title!) who asks a variety of questions to each immigrant such as "Do you have any money? Do you have a job ready for you? Why have you come here? Where will you live?" etc. The students really "get into" this. Each is given a role card at the beginning of the simulation that gives them suggestions on how to act and what to do/say. They do a lot of ad-libbing (sp?) which is neat to watch.
Each of the immigrants wears a piece of black construction paper pinned to his/her shirt. The doctors place chalk marks on them if they find any defects such as back problems, eye problems, lameness, heart problems, etc. Some were sent to the hospital, some were sent back to their country depending on the severity of their illness. They moved around the room as if they were actually moving through stations at Ellis Island. This activity makes for some great photo ops.

We read and discuss info on Ellis Island from resources such as the Ellis Island issue from Kids Discover magazine.


In partners, the students research a country and create a large poster to represent that country and its immigrants. They present it to the class as a minilesson. They have to include such info as the country's name, what the immigrants are called, time period when they immigrated, reasons for emmigrating (leaving the country in which they lived), the country's flag, areas where they settled, and interesting info about the country.

Last edited by trexteach; 10-07-2006 at 08:18 PM..
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