Home » History » Ellis Island Immigration Simulation

Ellis Island Immigration Simulation


Students lined up at the 1st checkpoint to get into America. This is the registration station where they had to tell where and who they were going to live with in America. They also had to tell the “officer” what job they would be working. A few didn’t make it past this checkpoint and had to return to the ship.

The next checkpoint was the medical examiner who checked them for any signs of unhealthiness. Some made it into America after this, a few got sent to the hospital to wait out a sickness. A few had to return to the ship.

The picture below is just showing the signs for each checkpoint.


This was a great simulation to show the students what it might have felt like to try and come to American and to either make it or be rejected. Of course, we will never be able to truly recreate those feelings, but it was better than just reading it in a textbook. 🙂

We also watched a short video clip of Coming to America.

Their test included a question where they had to name one adjective to describe their emotions/feelings during their journey and then explain why.

I will most definitely do this simulation again. I might add a couple of stations and draw it out over a couple of days to really get a sense of what it was like.

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