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Immigrants on Deck of Steamer, Ellis Island, c. 1925

Immigrants on Deck of Steamer Awaiting Debarkation at Ellis Island
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A14541
 
Document Description
Immigrants on the deck of a steamer awaiting debarkation at Ellis Island, circa 1925.
 
Questions
How are the people dressed differently than you would be dressed?
Why do you think that the people are so crowded together on the boat?
Why are people from so many countries coming to American?
 
Historical Challenges
Make a record of your family's history during their journey to America. Find out why your ancestors decided to make the grueling trip to America.
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Make a graph that shows the countries from which the ancestors of the children of your classmates came from.
Science: What are some of the diseases that the immigrants to Ellis Island might have had?
English Language Arts: Make a diary entry of a passenger’s trip on the boat ride to America.
 
Resources
Freedman, Russel. Immigrant Kids. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, May 1995. ISBN: 0140375945
Bierman, Carol. Journey to Ellis Island: How My Father Came to America. Hyperion Books for Children, June 2005. ISBN: 0786854995
Bode, Janet. The Colors of Freedom: Immigrant Stories. Scholastic Library Publishing, March 2000. ISBN: 0531159612
Maestro, Betsy. Coming to America. Scholastic, Inc., January 1996. ISBN: 0590441515
Stein, Richard Conrad. Ellis Island. Scholastic Library Publishing, September 1992. ISBN: 0516466534
Quiri, Patricia. Ellis Island. Scholastic Library Publishing, August 1998. ISBN: 0516263749
 

Historical Context
Ellis Island is located off the coast of New York City, not far from the Statue of Liberty.  From 1892 to 1924, Ellis Island received thousands of immigrants each day.  People from all over the world came to America looking for a better life.  Ellis Island is where immigrants were checked for diseases and disabilities, because either of these would have prevented an immigrant from staying in America.  In 1954, Ellis Island was closed due to a decline in immigration that started with immigration restrictions in the 1920s.
 
Essential Question
Why do people immigrate to a new country?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain why these individuals are immigrating to America.