Immigration Simulation Day: A Day in the Life of an Immigrant at Ellis Island
Uthoff Valley Elementary School

Students will transition between four stations to experience a day in the life of an immigrant arriving at Ellis Island.

Students will know and be able to experience the questioning process to be become a citizen of the United States.
Students will know and be able to empathize and reflect on the hardships of immigrants in a friendly letter.
Students will know and be able to complete a citizenship test.
Students will know and be able to describe how immigrants used character core values throughout their experience.
12 volunteers
2 pens per station
tables (depending on how many students are participating)
4 different stamps or stickers for passports*
cruise ship horn sound effect downloaded from computer
siren from a party store (used for transitioning stations)
rubber gloves
plates (one for each student unless you are able to wash them)**
cups (one for each student unless you are able to wash them)**
bread (half a slice for each student)
milk (about 1 gallon per class)
bananas (half banana for each student)
Loyalty Oath
green card
letter form
American flag worksheet
markers, crayons or colored pencils
an AR book (silent reading book)
cardstock parchment paper (one piece per student)
gold seal sticker (one sticker per student)
*For authenticity, we ordered online 4 different rubber stamps (a cruise ship, “You Did It”, an American Flag, and a star) Instead of using stamps, you could use stickers of your choice.
**For authenticity, we ordered 30 tin plates and cups from a Civil War reenactments site.
Instead of tin plates and cups, you could use paper products.
*** For authenticity, we hand-made passports of cardstock parchment paper and placed a gold seal sticker on the front.
All students (immigrants) will bring their book-bags and coat as luggage. In the book-bag they will need: Immigrant Checklist, Loyalty Oath, Green card, letter form, money, American flag worksheet, clipboard, pencil, markers, crayons or colored pencils, an AR book and their passport.

Simulation of coming over on ship in Steerage – Back Wall of the Gym
Captains: 4 parent volunteers-one from each class-keep immigrants together until siren sounds-rotate to first station
• Each classroom teacher will give their captain their passenger list
• Each class has a piece of rope
• The parent volunteer “Captain” will stamp each passport with a “cruise ship” stamp
• Each class will line up along their rope-staggered one on one side, then one on the other side all facing the same direction
• Horn will sound after the morning announcements
• Captains will take all immigrants on a voyage to America-one line at a time will leave the gym with all immigrants holding the rope and walking in the same direction
• Teachers will go to greet students at their arrival stations
9:00 - 9:25 Immigrants gather in gym and travel to America
9:25 – 9:45 Arriving in Ellis Island Miss B’s Class
Health Station Mrs. M’s Class
Clearance Station Miss N’s Class
First Meal Mrs. W’s Class
9:50 – 10:10 Arriving in Ellis Island Mrs. W’s Class
Health Station Miss B’s Class
Clearance Station Mrs. M’s Class
First Meal Miss N’s Class
10:15 – 10:35 Arriving in Ellis Island Miss N’s Class
Health Station Mrs. W’s Class
Clearance Station Miss B’s Class
First Meal Mrs. M’s Class
10:40 – 11:00 Arriving in Ellis Island Mrs. M’s Class
Health Station Miss N’s Class
Clearance Station Mrs. W’s Class
First Meal Miss B’s Class
Arriving at Ellis Island (front doors of the library-by the flag pole)
Background Station (1 table set up in the library near the smartboard)
Inspectors: Classroom teachers
Volunteers: Direct students to the Character Station after they have been processed and stamp passports
Captain will give the passenger list to the Inspector (Miss B, Mrs. M, Miss N, or Mrs.W) at the Background Station
• Students will give their passports to the Inspector
• Inspector will ask each immigrant the questions in the background section of their checklists
• Inspector will write in the answers
• Inspector will give a total of points
• Inspector will sign the line that says “Station 1 Official”
• Parent volunteer will stamp each passport with a “star” and direct students to proceed to the Character Station

Character Station (2 tables set up in the library)
Inspectors are: Administrators, Counselors and Librarian
Volunteers: Keep students together until siren sounds
• Students will give their checklist to one of the Inspectors and the Inspector will ask each immigrant the questions in the Character section
• Inspectors will give one point for each acceptable answer
• Fill in the total number of points
• Sign the line that says “Station 2 Official”
• Volunteers will direct students to sit on the floor to complete any forms on their clipboard then read an AR book
• Listen for siren sound to rotate to new station as a class

Health Station (two tables set up in the library by the wall mounted TV) (Cot with blanket off to one side)
2 Processors/2 Doctors: Nurse and parent volunteers
• Processor asks questions in the health section of the checklist
• Processor gives one point for every acceptable answer
• Processor passes the checklist to the Dr.
• Dr. checks immigrant’s hair, and eyes (rubber gloves needed)
• Dr. totals points
• Dr. checks off “accepted” or “denied” on the checklist
• Students who are “Denied” go sit on the cot in quarantine
(after 5 minutes or so, let immigrant finish the processing)
• Dr. signs name at bottom of Health section
• Parent volunteer stamps passports with “You did it” stamp
and directs immigrants to sit on the floor and read AR book
• Listen for siren sound to rotate to new station as a class

Clearance Station (three tables in the rotunda-with chairs for 24)
Supervising officials - 4 parent volunteers
• As a class arrives at this station they will complete their citizenship test
• All immigrants will take the citizenship test at the same time
• Volunteers will walk between the tables to grade the tests and put scores on the top - immigrant gets copy of test
• All immigrants will read the loyalty oath out loud together, with right hand raised, volunteers will sign the oath - immigrant keeps copy of loyalty oath
• Volunteers will stamp passports with “American flag” stamp and sign green cards
• Listen for siren sound to rotate to new station as a class

First Meal in America (tables will be set up in the cafeteria to accommodate immigrants eating and immigrants waiting) – 2 parent hostesses, 2 volunteers for the part of the class waiting
• As immigrants arrive gather 12-15 students at a time to start the meal
• Immigrants will be given a plate and mug
• Immigrants will be given a choice of a piece of raisin bread, piece of banana and a mug of milk
• Hostesses serve immigrants food and wipe down the tables for the next group
• Plates and mugs will be washed by the cafeteria staff for the next meal
• When first students finish feed the rest of the class
• The immigrants waiting to eat should work on forms on their clipboards
• Listen for siren sound to rotate to new station as a class

Any students finished and waiting in any area should be working on:
1. an American flag
2. writing a letter back to their home country to let their loved ones know they made it safely to America
3. reading an AR book
4. filling in name and date on green card-an official will sign the card at the Clearance Station
5. filling in name and date on loyalty oath-an official will sign the card at the Clearance Station

Teachers will rotate with class to each station and help students enjoy the Immigration experience.

When immigrants return to class with their classroom teachers they must have their checklist, citizenship test, loyalty oath, green card, and passport. Teachers will sign the “exit station official line” on the checklist.
Verbal background check questioning
Hand written friendly letter about experience, hardship and process
Paper-pencil citizenship test
Reflection in class meeting about core values immigrants used