A few years ago our History 7 team set out to create an Ellis Island Simulation for our students. The problem: the ones we found online were expensive or weren't what we were looking for. So, with the help of our amazing school librarians, we created our own -- now we want to share it with you and your students! This simulation helps kids develop a rich understanding of what it was like to be an immigrant passing through Ellis Island in the early 1900's. It's fun, interactive, and has become a tradition at our school. Sure, it takes time to set up, but it gets easier every year and from our perspective it's worth it. In this post, we'll talk you through things step by step, show you some photos, and at the end of the post you'll find all of the materials we use (passports, registries, reflection docs etc.) to make the simulation come alive. Let's set sail for Ellis Island!
So one thing Gretchen and I firmly believe is that kids learn best by doing. Luckily, we work in a school where our fellow history teachers embrace this philosophy and as a result we do several history simulations throughout the year, including Ellis Island, Factory Life, and WWI Trench Warfare. We design our own simulations as a grade level team, as we've found that the ones you can purchase are well, expensive, and never quite exactly what we are looking for.
Today, in celebration of our 100th blog post (yes, I can't even believe it). We wanted to share one of our favorite simulations - The Oklahoma Land Run! We hope you can use it when teaching Westward Expansion. Feel free to use as is, or change it up to meet the needs of your students. When teachers share, great ideas BubbleUp; so let's giddy up and get going ya'll.
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