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Grade 2 Simulates Journey to Ellis Island
Jen Minkus

 

Grade 2 simulates immigration to Ellis Island

This week, Grade 2 welcomed their families to the Ellis Island Simulation, which showcased the many highlights from the immigration unit. The unit began with each child bringing in their family’s unique immigration story. Students took turns sharing at morning meeting where their families came from, why they came to this country, the reason they left their country of origin, when they arrived and special heirlooms that are meaningful to their families.

Technology was incorporated by using a coding app to share each student’s family's immigration story in four parts. They also learned more about immigration through literature, relating these stories to their own family’s experiences. In Hebrew, they learned about the immigration to Israel from various countries. Again, they looked at the motives for moving to a new land and what life looked like once they arrived in Israel.

In science, students examined the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of freedom and justice and conducted an experiment about why it turned green over time. By using pennies and vinegar, they mimicked the conditions of the harbor on the copper statue. Both classes then performed a Reader’s Theater about the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty. 

At the simulation, students were able to immerse themselves in the Ellis Island experience. To better understand what it was like to pass through Ellis Island, they made passports and packed luggage they had created in art. Students had to pass a medical examination, a literacy test, and go through customs. If they did not pass the first time, students had to get back in line and try again. 

The morning concluded with students saying the Shecheyanu and singing two songs they learned in music that emulate the immigration journey to America.

Grade 2 students simulate immigration to Ellis Island
Grade 2 student shows his family highlights from the immigration unit