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Social Studies - 5th Grade
Standard 4 Objective 4
To come at a later date: Birth certificate template PowerPoint presentation Certificate Welcoming to the United States
Before the unit begins, give the kids a copy of a birth certificate and have them fill out as much information as they can. Tell them it is an important document and needs to be kept with them at all times. If the kids cant answer all of the questions on the birth certificate, tell them they can take it home and get the answers, but stress that the document is extremely important and they absolutely have to have the document with them at all times. Before the unit begins, give the kids a copy of a birth certificate and have them fill out as much information as they can. Tell them it is an important document and needs to be kept with them at all times. If the kids cant answer all of the questions on the birth certificate, tell them they can take it home and get the answers, but stress that the document is extremely important and they absolutely have to have the document with them at all times.
On the day the unit begins, have the kids gathered together by an authoritative person (principal, director, department head, etc). Have the authority boss the students around telling the kids to keep their bags with them and sit quietly and wait until their name is called. Students sit in straight rows, are to be in their seats at all times, and patriotic music is playing in the background. Show a PowerPoint repeatedly until names are called to visit each station.
To begin stations, have the kids pull out their documents from the day before. If any child doesnt have their document, for any reason, they stay watching the slide show until the whole activity is completed. (This is to be an actual simulation of Ellis Island, and not all people were allowed to come into the U.S.) Call a small group, (with their documents) to begin the stations.
Station 1- Health Station Have a leader inspect the kids by looking at them - hair, teeth, eyes, state of attire, etc. and eliminate 3-5 students for any reason. (Found lice, dont like their hair color) Send those students back to watch the slide show and the rest of the group moves on.
Station 2- Papers Have the leader inspect the documents to make sure they are filled out correctly. Ask students if they have a job, a place to live, money, someone to come and get them, etc. If the documents are not completely filled out, or they cant answer the questions it is up to the leader to decide if they are eliminated or not. They can also decide for any reason to let students go on or go back to the slide show. Ellis Island was filled with discrimination so really anything goes.
Station 3- Pledge of Allegiance Station Have the kids Pledge, sing the National Anthem, recite the school motto or song, and then send some on and eliminate others.
Station 4- You made it! Any student who makes it to station 4 has been welcomed to the United States. Take their picture (using a Polaroid or digital camera) and put it on their passport certificate. Stamp the paper with the school logo or an eagle or something patriotic.
Have students journal their feelings about how far they got, being discriminated against, boredom, etc. Then have a class discussion of what was written and connect it to real life at Ellis Island.