Author:
Amy Gaulton
Subject:
History/Social Sciences, American History
Material Type:
Lesson
Level:
Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
Tags:
American History, C3teachers, Ellis Island, Hanover-project, Immigrants, Immigration, Inquiry, Inquiry Design Model, Mini-grant
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Audio, Graphics/Photos, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards

C3 Teachers: Immigration Inquiry Remix

C3 Teachers: Immigration Inquiry Remix

Overview

Students will answer the question: Did the American Dream come true for immigrants who came to New York? Students will analyze primary and secondary sources, synthesize new information, and answer the compelling question using evidence from the lesson.  Students will use interactive simulations, videos, secondary sources, and primary sources as they engage in supporting questions throughout the lesson. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to explain why immigrants chose to emigrate to America, describe the process at Ellis Island, describe life in New York tenements, and explain how immigrants helped shape New York culture.

This lesson is adapted from the Immigration Inquiry designed by C3Teachers.org: http://www.c3teachers.org/inquiries/immigration/ 

Staging the Question: Did the American Dream come true for immigrants who came to New York?

Read the poem "New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, 1883.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips.  "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Public domain. http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/new-colossus

After you have read the poem, answer the question: Who is the woman that is described in the poem? 

 

After you have read the poem and answered the question, you may move on to the next section. 

Words to Know

American Dream: The idea that being in America includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. 

Immigrant: Person who moves from one country to another

Tenement: Low-quality apartment; characterized by crowded, unhealthy conditions

Ellis Island: The first place most immigrants travelling from Europe arrived when moving to America. Ellis Island screened the immigrants and decided whether they would be allowed into the country

Adapt: To change

 

After you have review the words above, you may move on to the next section. 

Why did people move to New York and what were their hopes?

You will discover the answer to the question: 

Why did people move to New York and what were their hopes?

Ellis Island

  1. Go to this link and take a virtual field trip to Ellis Island. You will need to be able to watch the video with sound. 

    • While you watch, list AT LEAST 5 reasons European people moved to New York. 

    • When you have finished the video, list AT LEAST 5 adjectives that would describe an immigrant's journey through Ellis Island. 

  2. Take an interactive tour of Ellis Island by going to this link. Click "Start the Tour!" to begin your discovery. Read the stories, look at the pictures, listen to the audio, and watch the videos.

    • As you read the stories and look at the pictures, I want you to think about why a person might put themselves through all of this trouble to come to America.
    • When have finished exploring all 10 stops, list 3 emotions that immigrants may have felt at the Stairs of Separation. 
  3. Answer the question: Why did people move to New York and what were their hopes?

 

After you have completed steps 1-3 on this page, you may move on to the next section. 

What was life like for immigrants in New York?

You will discover the answer to the question: 

What was life like for immigrants in New York? 

Tenement Life

  1. Go to this link and simulate life as a European immigrant. 

    • As you go through the simulation, you will be making choices, listening to Victoria tell you about her experience, and looking at primary source images and documents. Go through the simulation carefully. It should take you about 10-15 minutes to complete the activity. 

    • Need help navigating? Watch this video that shows you the controls you'll need. You should go through the simulation on your own. The goal of the video is to show you how to maneuver the site, it is NOT a replacement for completing the activity on your own. 

  2. Learn about 3 important aspects of New York life: Culture, Housing, and Jobs by clicking on this link

    • As you read and look at the pictures answer these three questions:
      • The Lower East Side was culturally diverse. Use context clues to discover: What does "diverse" mean?
      • On average, 10 people lived in one or two-room apartments. List 2 challenges that may have occurred as a result of crowded living quarters.
      • Read the information and look at the pictures. What does "garment" mean?
  3. Watch this

    • Describe Bridget Moore's experience as an immigrant to America. 
  4. Look at the Tenement Images Document 

    • List 3 adjectives that describe life in a tenement, based on the images. 
  5. Answer the question: What was life like for immigrants in New York? 

 

After you have completed steps 1-5 on this page, you may move on to the next section. 

How did immigrant groups adapt to and shape the culture of New York?

You will discover the answer to the question: 

How did immigrant groups adapt to and shape the culture of New York?

NYC Street

  1. Go to this link to learn about contributions by German immigrants.

    • After you have read the page, write two ways German immigrants influenced American culture.

  2. Go to this link to learn about contributions by Irish immigrants.

    • After you have read the page, write two ways Irish immigrants influenced American culture.

  3. Go to this link to learn about contributions by Italian immigrants.

    • After you have read the page, write two ways Italian immigrants influenced American culture.

  4. Read the first two paragraphs at this link to learn about contributions by Jewish immigrants.

    • After you have read the page, write two ways Jewish immigrants influenced American culture.

  5. Answer the question: How did immigrant groups adapt to and shape the culture of New York? 

 

After you have completed steps 1-5 on this page, you may move on to the final section. 

Did the American Dream come true for all immigrants?

Link to the C3Teachers website, from which this lesson was adapted: http://www.c3teachers.org/inquiries/immigration/

 

Recommendations for use: 

You will answer the question based on the information you learned in this lesson: 

Did the American Dream come true for all immigrants? 

 

You have options for how you will show your answer to the question. 

  • Create a cartoon comic strip with at least 4 panels that show your answer 
  • Write a 5-6 sentence paragraph that completely answers the question 
  • Create a poster with pictures and words that demonstrates your answer

 

Whichever option you choose. you must include the following things:

  • Your answer to the question
  • Reference to 3 pieces of evidence for your answer, based on what you learned in this lesson
    • Think about immigrants' lives before they emigrated 
    • Think about what happened when they arrived at Ellis Island  
    • Think about life in New York and tenements 
    • Think about how they had to change their lives to adapt to American life
    • Think about how they changed American culture, especially in New York

 

After you have created your final assignment, you are done with this lesson.