As part of their US History classes, eighth graders studied the history of immigration in the United States. After talking about current immigration issues, the students learned about the mass influx of immigrants to the US in the early 1900s. Throughout the unit, they were asked to think about how America, a country built by immigrants, viewed immigration throughout history. The students were each given a character who was an immigrant in the early 1900s. They were asked to write a research piece about the immigration experiences of people from their character’s region of the world.
Today, students completed this lesson by simulating the Ellis Island immigration experience. Eighth graders were assigned a specific immigrant or processor to portray in the immigration process. Students wore costumes of their “native” lands and stayed in character as they completed the vocation station, background check, health exam, character station, clearance and loyalty oath. Immigrants that did not pass were sent to the appeals station to plead their case or to face deportation.
Mr. Wallace, Mr. Scott and Ms. Robb joined the students in today’s simulation. Ms. Robb and Mr. Scott portrayed immigration officers as Mr. Wallace played the role of an angry patrol officer,(complete with a mustache). Students will conclude their roles by writing a letter as their assigned character. Immigrants will write to their families already in the United States, and processors will write to their families back home, telling of their experience in America. The eighth graders did a wonderful job researching and performing their role, and truly gained perspective on what it’s like to immigrate to the United States.
To see more pictures from today’s immigration simulation, please visit our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ensworthschool