Update: Due to extensive damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy, our traditional onsite programs cannot be offered during the current school year (2014-2015). However, we are pleased to be introducing new self-guided activities for school group field trips! Scroll down and click on the titles to read about the activity and download the worksheet; click the links in the bulleted list below to view the worksheet. We also suggest using these Teacher Guides (Grades 4-6) (Grades 7-8) to assist in your trip planning with pre and post visit activities.
We're glad you are interested in visiting Ellis Island with your students! Field trips to Ellis Island can be the highlight of your unit on Immigration, and there are a number of opportunities to make the most out of your visit.
Programs we've offered in the past, including ranger-guided Education Programs ("Shore to Shore" and "Immigration GameZone") and Introductory Programs ("Island of Hope, Island of Tears Documentary Program" and "Ellis Island 101") are not currently being offered due to Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts on Ellis Island.
Even without a ranger-guided program, there is plenty to do and see while at Ellis Island, including a variety of lesson plans designed for implementation before, during, or after visiting Ellis Island with your class. Or, check out these ideas and tips for self-guided groups. The audio tour is included in the price of your ferry ticket, so you can pick up your class's headsets when you arrive on each island.
Students play the role of a detective, uncovering the different steps immigrants had to go through before entering the United States a century ago. Then, students play the role of an immigrant family and decide what city to move to next based on family, work, and community.
While not available during the Spring 2014 Semester, ranger-led curriculum-based programs "Shore to Shore" (up to 40 students in grades 4-6) and "Immigration GameZone" (up to 48 students in grades 4-8) are part of our traditional education program offerings.
Newly arrived immigrants often encountered challenges when settling into their new home and community. Some turned to advice columns in various newspapers to find support, guidance, and connections. Students will learn about the immigrant experience, some of the resources available to immigrants, and play the roles of advice-giver and immigrant in evaluating historic documents.
While not available during the Spring 2014 Semester, ranger-led introductory programs "Island of Hope, Island of Tears Documentary Film" (up to 127 students) and "Ellis Island 101" (up to 127 students) are part of our traditional education program offerings.
Newly-arrived immigrants have always stood in the crosshairs of United States policy. Politics! helps students examine the controversy surrounding the issue of immigration by looking at political cartoons and other primary sources. Students can also engage in dialogue over statements made about immigration. Students will better understand the immigration debate by connecting issues of the past with the present.