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

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

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  • Ellis Island is open on a limited basis while repairs continue.

    Ellis Island has reopened on a limited basis. Due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy parts of the historic Main Building and museum, including most of the exhibits and both elevators, remain closed at this time. More »


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?

Guastavino ceiling Ellis

The Guastavino Ceiling in the Great Hall: Rafael Guastavino Moreno (1842 –1908) was a Spanish architect and builder. He created a "Tile Arch System" patented in the United States in 1885 used for constructing robust, self-supporting arches and architectural vaults using interlocking terracotta tiles and layers of mortar, it is found in some of the most prominent Beaux-Arts landmarks across the United States