Teacher Lesson Ideas

Traveling Through the Immigration Station of the Late 1800s and Early 1900s

After learning about changes in immigration to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, fifth grade students brainstorm about why and how immigrants came into the United States.  Using primary and secondary sources, students then learn about the procedures the immigrants faced at Ellis Island.  Each student is then assign an immigrant identity, and asked to bring in five items they would carry with them to their new country.  After discussing these choices, students explore the items early twentieth century immigrants would have brought with them.  The students retain their immigrant identities for a mock processing through Ellis Island.  Finally, students use Venn diagrams to explore their own feelings about the immigration process, and relate this process of immigration to South Carolina (as shown through primary sources from the South Carolina Historical Society).

Belindalee Oliver
AC Corcoran Elementary, SC
2004 Lowcountry Institute

Margaret Stokes
AC Corcoran Elementary, SC
2004 Lowcountry Institute

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