Oakwood's 2nd-grade students learned that the journey to enter American for many immigrants was historically very difficult. The children were taught about Ellis Island and immigration as part of their history unit. As the unit came to an end, students selected a country of origin from their ancestry and participated in an Ellis Island immigration simulation. Many of the students came to school wearing clothes that represented the country they were emigrating from and brought a small treasure that would help remind them of their old country to bring in their luggage. The interactive experience began with learning how crowded the ships were and also the poor quality of food for most passengers. After their simulated boat ride, they had to wait in long lines for questioning, and examinations which landed some in the infirmary and even the detention center. Students were welcomed to America by Legal Inspector Shales. Once they had passed all of the necessary tasks, a great cheer was given as they were granted entry into the country. The students then celebrated with an international feast. Students were struck by the difficulty of the process and were touched by the differences in first class and steerage travel. All involved recognize the blessings in being here in America, and in being here at Oakwood.
Second Graders Engage in Historical Ellis Island Immigration Simulation