Lesson Plan - Get It!
Are you ready to be a detective? A good detective asks great questions to find clues! Today you are going to ask questions to learn from where your family has come!
Most families immigrated to America.
To immigrate means to leave the country where you were born and lived in to move to a new country. Maybe your parents immigrated here, or maybe it was your great-great grandparents. Unless you are of Native American descent on both sides of your family, someone in your family's past immigrated to America. Through asking questions, you will find out which family members or ancestors those were.
As part of this How You Are Connected to the Past series, you created your family tree; so now you know who your great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents are. If you did not complete the earlier lessons yet, find them in the right-hand sidebar under Related Lessons.
Most likely it was your great-grandparents, or possibly even your great-great grandparents who immigrated to America. It is even possible your family members have only been in the United States for a very short while because it was your parents who immigrated! The people who immigrated to America are called immigrants.
There was a large wave of immigrants coming to America in the early 1900s. For them immigrating to a new country was not an easy thing to do. The way of life in America was different from what most people were used to. Many immigrants did not speak English and could not understand the language. Many people wanted to come to America for a better life, which for them was freedom to believe and do what they wanted. In this lesson, you will get to find out where and why your ancestors moved to America.
To get a better understanding of what life was like for some immigrants coming to America, listen to the story The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleishman below:
What do you think it would feel like to go through Ellis Island?
The A Virtual Voyage Ellis Island video below will give you the feeling of what it was like to travel across the ocean with the excitement and nervousness of starting a new life in a new country. You might need your teacher to watch the video with you to help read it out loud. How did the video make you feel? What do you think your ancestors felt when they came to America? What do you think you would feel? Share your answers with your teacher.
Here is a great Ellis Island interactive website from Scholastic that will let you explore Ellis Island even more! In order to play the game you will need to read, so you might need your teacher's help to play.