In this unit, students will go through a series of lessons to help them better understand what it was like to make the decision to leave one’s homeland, travel to the U.S. by ship, go through Ellis or Angel Island, and settle in a new country. Students will be able to compare and contrast immigration experiences over time.
Before beginning the journey simulation, students will take on the life of either an Irish, Italian, German, or Japanese immigrant. Each student will become part of a specific “ethnic family.” As a “family” they will learn information about their life, family, and the issues that prompted them to leave their country. While traveling, they will continue to assume the identity of this immigrant, and along the way meet other immigrants from their home country as well as other countries. This unit was designed for four 4th grade classes, but can be adapted to meet the needs of your grade level.
Created by 4th grade teachers in Framingham Public Schools, Massachusetts
Credit for banner image:
Crowd Powered Media (2009, April 28). Immigrants Arriving at Ellis Island. Retrieved June 28, 2013, from Now Public: http://www.nowpublic.com/world/immigrants-arriving-ellis-island