WELCOME TO AMERICA
A WEBQUEST FOR A 4TH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES CLASS
Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits Teacher Page
You have had a long day at school and all you want to do is go into your own room and watch TV or play some video games. But when you walk into your house, your parents are waiting for you and you notice that they have a look on their faces - one that you have never seen on them before. They seem so sad. At the same time, you notice that all of the furniture in the house is gone, and there are only three suitcases sitting by the door. You ask, "What is going on?" They look to each other and your dad comes next to you, putting his hand on your shoulder and tells you, "We have to leave. We are moving to another country to begin our whole lives over."
What do you think would be your reaction to this? Do you think your reaction would be different if you lived in Germany in the early 1900's, and those children's parents said, "We're moving to America?"
The questions that remain are, Why are they moving and leaving their homeland? Why are they moving to America?
In order for you to answer those questions, you and a partner will have to do research from websites that will be provided for you. Once you have obtained the information and put it into a single paper, it will be your job to create a brochure that contains information about "Coming to America."
Why are they leaving their homeland?
Why have they chosen America? And what was it like to come through Ellis Island?
1. Your task involves answering those questions. You will be able to work with a partner - one will be assigned to you.
2. Each of you will take one of those questions (the second one is a two-part question) and research the websites provided to come to conclusions.
3. Together, you will write a single paper about what you have learned in your research.
WEBSITES FOR RESEARCH:
http://www.surfnetkids.com/ellis_island.htm (this site will lead you to other Ellis Island links, as well)
Ellis Island has been closed since 1954 as an immigration port. You are on a committee that wants to reopen it as it once was - the place where people go to become American citizens. It is your and your partner's job to create the brochure inviting people to live in America. What information do you think needs to go into a brochure - what would make you want to live in America? What does it take to become an American citizen? Use the following websites as a guide in creating your brochure. Also, remember what your previous research found and be sure to include some of that information. There is a rubric provided in the evaluation section that shows how grades will be distributed.
* Your brochure must be a Publisher document.
* It must include who you are (create the name of your company/committee), your address, phone, and website (all created).
*It must include photographs, information about why people would want to come here, how to find out where they want to live, and the process they need to go through to become a citizen.
*Remember that you are trying to reopen Ellis Island, and that it will be the only place they can come into America and become a citizen. Use the past and today's information about Ellis Island and immigration to create something new and original.
WEBSITES FOR RESEARCH:
|Content of paper||Content is lacking for both Ellis Island and immigration research. No time was spent in researching the content.||Content is still in the development stages and paper could use more time on research..||There is evidence of a lot of research having been completed, but not as much effort was put into creating a well thought out paper.||There is evidence that a lot of research was done on the paper and was put together in a well thought out document.|
|Grammar/spelling for both paper and brochure||Both paper and brochure need great improvement in grammar and spelling.||Both paper and brochure have 3-5 errors in grammar and spelling.||There are less than 3 errors for both the paper and the brochure.||There are no grammatical or spelling errors in either the paper or brochure.|
|Creativity and design of brochure||No evidence that any time or effort was put into the brochure, and brochure lacks any creativity.||Some creativity and design is present, but more work could have been put into the layout of the brochure to make it more appealing.||Brochure shows much creativity and design in layout of information.||Creativity and design are excellent in layout of brochure. Shows enthusiasm for project and great effort in creating something that would "sell its product."|
The idea behind the paper is that you will learn about the past and gain an understanding of where our ancestors came from and what they may have had to endure on their journey here.
With the creation of a brochure, the hope is that you take the information from the first section and create something that would be beneficial to people of today. We still have a large population immigrating into the United States. What is the lure here, what hopes and dreams do they have today, and is it any different from the past? The hope is that you will understand what it means to live in America today.
Thank you to all the sites listed in the above sections for information that will benefit the students who perform this WebQuest.
Thank you to the History Channel and Ellis Island Museum Site for use of their pictures.
Discovery School at: http://school.discovery.com/schrockguide/webquest/webquest.html for information on WebQuests.
Social Studies: 4.1.02 and 4.1.03
Language Arts: 2.02, 2.06, 2.09, and 2.11
Our heritage and ancestors are a huge part of who we are. It is important for students to not only see where those ancestors came from, but to take that information and modify what they have learned to make it useful information for today. In this lesson, they do that when they create a brochure.
Preceding and Ensuing Events:
This lesson can be adapted in many ways. It can be used as an introduction to immigration, or as a lesson within a unit on genealogy or immigration and the history of immigration to the US. Prior to doing this activity, children would need information on how to gather information from websites and how to identify websites that have accurate and reliable information.
Using a WebQuest:
* can help improve students' learning by helping them to master new skills on more advanced topics,
* will have them working in teams which will help them acquire team building skills,
* will have them using project-based curriculum which often increases their learning motivation - their desire to learn,
* will prompt other learning skills, such as critical thinking, collaborative research skills, and informed decision making skills.
Improvement of Activity:
The websites provided are useful tools for guiding a students' research, but there could be other relevant sources of information for students (i.e., books, articles and other publications).
The WebQuest could include a list of expanded activities that could be done for extra credit or as further projects for a unit, such as a scrapbook, a family tree using the sites provided, a creative story of a journey of a specific or made up person who traveled through Ellis Island. The list can go on and on.