Field Trips

Be an Inspector! Self-Guided Activity

Top portion of prop used during activity on Ellis Island; Sioux Falls, SD advertisement
Learn about how immigrants find a destination for a new home.

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Uncover steps immigrants took to start a new life a century ago! 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.

This self-guided school activity is designed to be used by school groups visiting the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in the Spring Semester 2014 while most of Ellis Island's exhibits remain closed following the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. This activity can be completed in the Baggage Room on the 1st Floor and in the Registry Room/Great Hall on the 2nd Floor.

Items to bring on your field trip for this activity:

  • This worksheet—copy 2-sided to save paper! (one per student)
  • Pencils or pens (one per student)
  • Clipboard or notebook or something to write on (one per student)


Education Department


History, Immigration, Social Studies
Field Trips