Continuing she explained, “They have the opportunity to base their character on an ancestor that may have traveled through Ellis Island. In order to research this valuable information they work with family members. I feel it helps to build familial bonds and develop a sense of family pride. So often, that rich family history is lost as family members pass on and this allows them to be gatekeepers of their family’s past. They can learn about and write this information down to cherish for a long time. Both students and parents loved this aspect of the project.”
At the end of the unit a classroom is turned into the waiting room at Ellis Island, the kids can show up in costume and have to go through several stations as immigrants. Be sure to check out the article for details. I'd love to see this in all schools. Does your school district have a program like this?