• Immigrants awaiting inspection in front of Ellis Island's Main Building

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

Self-Guided

A self-guided visit to Ellis Island is a great way for students to explore the museum and even walk in the footsteps of immigrants. To get the most out of your visit, explore the following:

Self-Guided Museum Exploration

While at the Park
Great ideas for what to see and do at Ellis Island based on how much time you have.

 
"Being Processed" Immigrant Files ready for student use with the information about the immigrant on the left side of the file folder and the immigrant's route through Ellis Island on the right.

Immigrant Files for the "Being Processed" activity for students in grades 8-12.

NPS Photo

Self-Guided Activities

Designed especially for students visiting the museum, these self-guided activities encourage students to explore the historic building, learn from primary sources in the museum exhibits, and better understand immigration a century ago. Students can complete these activities working individually, in pairs, or in small groups.

Fourth Grade through Seventh Grade (4-7)

"Immigrant Eyes" Students engage in an interactive self-guided tour that replicates some of the immigrant experiences at Ellis Island through emotional connections.

Eighth Grade through Twelfth Grade (8-12)

"Being Processed" Students use the information in an immigrant file (download below) to experience Ellis Island as an immigrant being processed through Ellis Island.

Immigrant File: Abraham Cohen
Immigrant File: Rosaria Esposito

 

Self-Guided Packet

Self-Guided Packet: Planning and Activity Guide
In-depth information designed to help educators plan a great Ellis Island visit for their students.

Did You Know?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Many government agencies have administered the Ellis Island immigration depot. The Bureau of Immigration, later called the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS), inspected immigrants. The agency was restructured in 2003 under the new Department of Homeland Security and is now 3 entities : U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services.