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An Interactive Tour of Ellis Island: An Immigration Activity

Scholastic offers students the unique opportunity to explore this historical landmark through text, audio, video, and photos.



3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Computer Lab Activities

The Interactive Tour of Ellis Island offers students a foundation of American immigration history. With the help of historical photographs, film footage from the time period, and the oral histories of real immigrants, students tread the path that all immigrants at Ellis Island followed in the process of entering the United States at the beginning of the last century.


The tour includes these stops.

  • Stop 1: The Passage. Describes the arduous journey immigrants took across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Stop 2: The Arrival Immigrants saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time as they arrived in New York Harbor and made their way to Ellis Island to begin immigration processing.
  • Stop 3: The Ellis Island Baggage Room. Officers greeted immigrants as they landed on Ellis Island and led them to the the Baggage Room, where they could leave their belongings until inspections were over.
  • Stop 4: The Stairs to the Registry Room. Doctors stood by to carefully observe the immigrants for any signs of sickness as they anxiously made their way to the Registry Room.
  • Stop 5: The Registry Room. Immigrants entered the huge and noisy room, and waited in line as officials determined who could proceed and who required further inspection.
  • Stop 6: The Medical Exam. Doctors conducted a speedy medical test to check the immigrants for contagious diseases or conditions.
  • Stop 7: The Legal Inspection. Uniformed inspectors asked each immigrant a long list of questions to determine who could enter the country.
  • Stop 8: Detainees. Immigrants who did not pass the inspection were kept in dormitories or treated in hospitals until their case was reviewed another time.
  • Stop 9: The Stairs of Separation. Immigrants walked down seperate stairs depending on their destination and exchanged their money for U.S. dollars.
  • Stop 10: The Kissing Post. The immigrants passed this last threshold where they kissed, embraced, and celebrated their reunion with family and friends.


Learning Objectives

While participating in the Interactive Tour of Ellis Island activity, students become proficient with several of these skills.

  • Use Web technology to access immigration history
  • Develop an understanding of the concept of immigration
  • Read for detail
  • Use technology to explore a historical place and event













Susan Cheyney

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