Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 12, 2010

June 10, 2010 Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty



     The journey to Ellis Island, we saw the wonderful sight of the Statute of Liberty.  Just passing and imagining the different immigrants hoping to enter the United States with the different feelings some may encountered fear, anxious, hopeful for a better life, challenging the unknown, all the emotions a person feels when faced with uncertainty.  Many of the newcomers could not speak English, a challenge to keep all intact for fear of being swindled.  The immigrants had challenges from the start in Ellis Island especially the poor.

     The ship had three different levels; the rich on the upper level, middle class the area not taken by the rich and steerage the bowels of the ship reserved for the poor.  In steerage, one area was reserved for the women and children and the other area for men.  The sexes did not mix although many were married.  When the passengers arrived on Ellis Island, opened in 1892, the class made a difference in how they were treated.  The rich only were asked questions as how they were feeling and where they were going to stay, the same with the middle class.  The poor endured a complete examination of the body and mental capacity.  If the immigrant failed, he was sent back to the country of originated, approximately 2%. 


      The instructor did a wonderful job with activities we can use in the classroom as well a flash drive full of pictures and possible uses in the classroom.  A possible lesson for the classroom would cover a day on Ellis Island, using cards drawn randomly as the type of immigrant, doctor, nurse, inspector, etc. and have a mock inspection.  The students will answer questions:  how they feel as that person and why, could this be degrading as an immigrant why, etc.

          I had the opportunity to go to the Statute of Liberty.  At first it was during a downpour until we researched the island.  It became sunny and cool.  I had a wonderful time exploring the island.  I can see why the immigrants would look at the Statute of Liberty with hope for a brighter future.



  1. The flash drive at the end was an unexpected bonus. I hope people come away from this day knowing that immigration is not a bad thing. TAKE NOTE ARIZONA!

    • Howard,
      You are so right about Arizona in fact Arizona was part of Mexico until the United States insisted on acquiring the area (wheel and dealed away the land). I wish I could make such a deal!!

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