On Friday, December 7th, third graders at Deephaven Elementary had the opportunity to participate in an Ellis Island Simulation. Throughout the day, students moved through different stations that represented the steps to becoming an American citizen. This annual event falls near the end of the grade-wide immigration unit, and provides kids with a unique, hands-on experience of immigrant life that helps them to better understand the content studied in the classroom.
"This provides an authentic, real-world learning opportunity for our students [to experience what it was like to be an immigrant]," says Debbie Moss, third grade teacher at Deephaven Elementary. " They remember it for years to come."
Prior to participating in the simulation, students created an immigrant character that they would act as during the event. This character was based of research students conducted about their own family heritage and country of origin. Through this research, students were able to gain a deeper appreciation for where their ancestors came from, how they arrived in the United States and what it might feel like to be an immigrant today.