Ellis Island

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 12049

When you enter a room, you go through a doorway. You might enter a yard through a gateway. When people came to live in America long ago, they entered through an island they called the Island of Hope!


United States, United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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If you traveled for months on the ocean and were tired and weary and maybe even sick, how would you feel when you saw land? Where did new immigrants to the United States of America go when they arrived in America?

Immigration is moving from your home country to live permanently in a foreign country.

Years ago, the largest immigration station in the United States of America was located in the New York harbor on Ellis Island. Between 1924 and 1982, over twelve million new immigrants came to America through Ellis Island. Many of these immigrants coming from different countries came to America in hopes of starting a new life. The hope of the new immigrants led to Ellis Island getting the nickname the Island of Hope.

Ellis Island

Did you know Ellis Island used to be very small? It was only three acres when it was first used. As time went on, more land was added to Ellis Island. By the time they were finished, the island was over twenty-seven acres. William Alciphron Boring and Edward Lippincott Tilton were the architects that designed the buildings that still stand today on Ellis Island.

Ellis Island

Many people from all over the world have come through Ellis Island to immigrate to the United States of America. Anyone who came to the island would have to pass inspection. They had to pass a medical inspection before they could enter the country. This helped keep harmful diseases out of the United States of America. They also had to be interviewed about whether or not they could take care of themselves. It was very important that new immigrants would be able to work and find jobs in America.

Statue of Liberty

Today, Ellis Island is a popular tourist attraction. Each year, three million people visit Ellis Island. Here tourists can take a boat to the island and tour the buildings on the island. Many tours also take tourists to the Statue of Liberty, which is located directly across from Ellis Island! (To learn more about the Statue of Liberty, visit our lesson found under Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.)

You did a fantastic job learning about Ellis Island.

Share two facts you learned with your parent or teacher, then move on to the Got It? section to take a tour of Ellis Island.

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