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Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today

Take a tour of Ellis Island, explore an interactive immigration timeline, and meet young immigrants in this online activity!


PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Computer Lab Activities

"Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today" shares with students the many reasons people come to America and how they’ve helped create our rich and diverse country. Through various learning activities (mostly for grades 3–8), including oral histories of recent and historic immigrants, an Ellis Island history lesson, data analysis, research skills, and several graphing activities, students get a comprehensive look at immigration.

  • Using graphs, charts, and tables, Who Lives in America? Explore Immigration Data (grades 3–8) offers students visual representations of immigration statistics. Students create their own immigration charts and answer questions using chart information and research skills.
  • In Relive a Boy's Journey (grades 3–8), students meet Polish immigrant Seymour Rechtzeit, who came to the U.S. in 1920 at age 8, later becoming a star of Yiddish theater in New York. This photo-illustrated oral history shares the challenges of young immigrants in the early 1900s, and how the talent of people like Rechtzeit has enriched American life and culture.

You can also explore and access all of the videos in this student activity through the descriptions and links included in Video Resources for Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today.


Learning Objectives

While participating in "Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today," students become proficient with several of these skills.

  • Use Web technology to access immigration history
  • Develop an understanding of the concept of immigration
  • Develop oral history writing skills, including note-taking and conducting an interview
  • Read for detail
  • Use real-world examples as models for writing an oral history
  • Compare and contrast immigration stories of the past with the present
  • Compare and contrast immigration through Ellis Island and Angel Island
  • Use technology to explore a historical place and event
  • Use graphs and facts to respond to several research-based questions and activities
  • Create a timeline
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Susan Cheyney

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