Field Trips

Be An Inspector

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Science,Social Studies


Uncover the steps that immigrants took to start a new life a century ago! Students start off by playing the role of a detective. They will uncover problems that immigrants had to face in the United States in the early 19th century. Eventually, as a role reversal, they will have to imagine themselves being apart of a newly arriving immigrant family. Making some tough choices, they will have to decide: What city to move to? Will the economics of that new city be beneficial? Will their extended family be close by, and does this new community desire a labor force with their job skills?

This self-guided school activity is designed to be used by school groups visiting the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The 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:

  • 2-sided activity sheet (one per student)

  • Pencils or pens

  • A clipboard or notebook is also recommended so that students can easily complete their activity sheet.


Download Be An Inspector (Self-Guided Activity)

Last updated: December 15, 2018