Unit Topic: Immigration in the late 19th Century Grade level: 5th
Title: A Suitcase Packed for Ellis Island
History Essential Question:
What hardships did immigrants face coming into the United States in the late 19th century?
How did Ellis Island play a role in immigrants entering into the United States?
Common Core State Strategies:
5th grade Reading from Informational Text
1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
SS.5.A.1.1 Use primary and secondary sources to understand history.
LA.188.8.131.52 The student will compare and contrast elements in multiple texts
LA.184.108.40.206 The student will determine the main idea or essential message in grade-level text through inferring, paraphrasing, summarizing and identifying relevant details.
LA.220.127.116.11: The student will edit for correct use of capitalization, including literary titles, nationalities, ethnicities, languages, religions, geographic names and places;
Students will evaluate the importance of Ellis Island as an entry point into the United States.
Students will examine the hardships faced by all immigrants entering the United States.
Students will interpret the meaning the poem The Great Colossus
Relate and connect fiction to non- fiction
Recognize differences between primary and secondary sources.
Vocabulary: immigrant, Ellis Island, emigrate, persecution, refugee, tenement, Statue of Liberty, refugee
Materials: picture books: The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
Coming to America by Betsy Maestro
Statue of Liberty: A Biographyby Doreen Rappaport
Document camera, projector and laptop computer, chart paper, tape and various colored markers, construction paper, glue sticks
Assessment(s)Students will create a document -based essay regarding the hardships immigrants faced coming into the United States.
Background Knowledge and Purpose Setting:
To hook students: Before students walk into the room, have gold wrapping paper covering the door with an excerpt from Emma Lazarus’s poem The New Colossus on it.
The teacher will initiate discussion about students who were born in other countries and came to the United States for various reasons such as economics, politics, or just for a change. She will display a world map and invite students to come up and locate their countries of origin.
The teacher will discuss the various nationalities that immigrated to the United States in the late 19th Century.
Steps for Lesson:
Read The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco and discuss things that people bring with them when they move to another country, such as traditions or physical items.
Display primary source (Attach A) photograph of a family looking out over the water.
Complete Document Analysis sheet for photograph-This can be done independently or in pairs. (See attached B) Share on Document camera.
* Teacher may need to review primary and secondary sources before showing this photo.
Day 2 Read Coming to America by Betsy Maestro
Show the following video “Arrival at Ellis Island”
6. Display on projector, photos of various identification cards and signs that the immigrants had to display on their clothing. As well as the list of passengers on an immigrant steam ship.
7.Carousel Brainstorm with various primary/secondary sources. (See attachment D, for directions and attachment E).
8. Bring students together and have each group report on one of their stations, stating what category that source should be grouped in.
9. Display for students the “chickenfoot” writing organizer. (See attachment F)
10. Elicit from students what might go on the “foot.” and what might go on the “claws.”
Display students’ responses on a sample “chickenfoot.”
11. Now ask students how this type of organizer can help you write. After listening to responses, explain to the students that they will compose a 5-paragraph essay based on the DBQ question-What hardships did immigrants face coming into the United States?
12. If needed display the frame for composing an essay and rubric (attachment G)
The meaning of the Statue of Liberty
1. Read Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport
2.Show the Following video “The Statue of Liberty”
3.Discuss the symbolism and the statue and how immigrants felt upon seeing it in the harbor.
4. Students will create a foldable of Statue of Liberty and enter vocab words on the statue. (See attachment H). Students may also write some facts about the statue on the foldable.
5. Read Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” (Attachment I) While teacher reads aloud students follow along on their own copy, underlining unknown words.
Discuss the vocabulary in the poem as well as the meaning of the symbol, Statue of Liberty. After reading all material, viewing videos, composing an essay, students will create their final activity.
6.They will decorate a “suitcase” with printed pictures of primary source documents and drawings on the front and back. (See photo with attachment J). Just fold a piece of 12 x 18 construction paper in half, staple the sides, and create a handle.
7.Add a wordle (word cloud) http://www.wordle.net/with various terms related to immigration. (See attachment J). You may want to require students to include a certain number of words in their wordles.
In the late 1800s, people in many parts of the world decided to leave their homes and immigrate to the
United States. Fleeing crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine, many came to the U. S. because it was perceived as the land of economic opportunity. Others came seeking personal freedom or relief from political and religious persecution. With hope for a brighter future, nearly 12 million immigrants arrived in the United States between 1870 and 1900. During the 1870s and 1880s, the vast majority of these people were from Germany, Ireland, and England--the principal sources of immigration before the Civil War. That would change drastically in the next three decades.
Immigrants entered the United States through several ports. Those from Europe generally came through East Coast facilities, while those from Asia generally entered through West Coast centers. More than 70 percent of all immigrants, however, entered through New York City, which came to be known as the "Golden Door." Throughout the late 1800s, most immigrants arriving in New York entered at the Castle Garden depot near the tip of Manhattan. In 1892, the federal government opened a new immigration-processing center on Ellis Island in New York harbor.
Although immigrants often settled near ports of entry, a large number did find their way inland. Many states, especially those with sparse populations, actively sought to attract immigrants by offering jobs or land for farming. Many immigrants wanted to move to communities established by previous settlers from their homelands.
Once settled, immigrants looked for work. There were never enough jobs, and employers often took advantage of the immigrants. Men were generally paid less than other workers, and women less than men. Social tensions were also part of the immigrant experience. Often stereotyped and discriminated against, many immigrants suffered verbal and physical abuse because they were "different." While large-scale immigration created many social tensions, it also produced a new vitality in the cities and states in which the immigrants settled. The newcomers helped transform American society and culture, demonstrating that diversity, as well as unity, is a source of national strength.
In this activity, the teacher attaches photographs, graphs, passages and charts around the room. The teacher should laminate the sources so the students may annotate them in different colored markers.
1. Divide class into groups of about 5. Each group is assigned a colored marker.
2. Display the 5 sources related to immigration at various points around the room.
3. Give each group a packet of 5 document analysis sheets (see next page).
4. When teacher directs, groups go to one of the displayed documents. At each station one student completes the document analysis sheet. Note that at the bottom the students must mark what category that source fits into. (For example, the photos of the immigrants living areas would go in the “living conditions” category.
5. After approximately 10 minutes, the groups rotate until all groups have been to each primary/secondary source.
6. When all groups are finished, return to step 8 in lesson plan.
Immigrating to America, 1905
The beginning of the 20th century witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of immigrants coming to America's shores. In the century's first decade over 9 million expectant new arrivals - almost three times the number of the previous decade - entered the United States. The majority came from Eastern and Southern Europe. The reason for their coming typically rested on the push of hardships at home - including a lack of economic opportunity, religious discrimination and political persecution - and the pull of the expectation of a better life in the "Promised Land."
Those who could not afford first or second-class passage were processed through screening centers such as Ellis Island before being allowed to continue their journey.
Sadie Frowne was typical of this new wave of immigration. She was thirteen when she arrived in America with her mother. They had left their native Poland after the death of Sadie's father and the failure of the small grocery store that provided them a living. The two made their way to America with the help of Sadie's Aunt Fanny who lived in New York City. Sadie's mother soon died and Sadie was left on her own, first finding a job in what she describes as a "sweatshop" in Manhattan's Garment District and then in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.
Sadie told her story to a journalist just three years after her arrival in America. It was first published as a newspaper article and later with other autobiographies as a book.
"We saw the big woman with the big spikes on her head."
We begin Sadie's story as she and her mother enter New York Harbor at the end of a twelve-day journey in steerage aboard a steamship:
"We came by steerage on a steamship in a very dark place that smelt dreadfully. There were hundreds of other people packed in with us, men, women and children, and almost all of them were sick. It took us twelve days to cross the sea, and we thought we should die, but at last the voyage was over, and we came up and saw the beautiful bay and the big woman with the spikes on her head and the lamp that is lighted at night in her hand.
Aunt Fanny and her husband met us at the gate of this country and were very good to us, and soon I had a place to live out [Sadie is referring to becoming a live-in domestic servant] while my mother got work in a factory making white goods.
I was only a little over thirteen years of age and a greenhorn, so I received $9 a month and board and lodging, which I thought was doing well. Mother, who, as I have said, was very clever, made $9 a week on white goods, which means all sorts of underclothing, and is high class work.
But mother had a very gay disposition. She liked to go around and see everything, and friends took her about New York at night and she caught a bad cold and coughed and coughed. She really had hasty consumption, but she didn't know it, and I didn't know it, and she tried to keep on working, but it was no use. She had not the strength. Two doctors attended her, but they could do nothing, and at last she died and I was left alone. I had saved money while out at service, but mother's sickness and funeral swept it all away and now I had to begin all over again."
Sadie got a job as a seamstress at a dress factory in Manhattan's Garment District and began to slowly improve her ability to write and speak English. We rejoin her story after she has taken a new job in a factory in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn making ladies underskirts:
"I got a room in the house of some friends who lived near the factory. I pay $1 a week for the room and am allowed to do light housekeeping - that is, cook my meals in it. I get my own breakfast in the morning, just a cup of coffee and a roll, and at noon time I come home to dinner and take a plate of soup and a slice of bread with the lady of the house. My food for a week costs a dollar, just as it did in Allen Street, and I have the rest of my money to do as I like with. I am earning $5.50 a week now [equivalent to approximately $115.00 in today's money] , and will probably get another increase soon.
It isn't piecework in our factory, but one is paid by the amount of work done just the same. So it is like piecework. All the hands get different amounts, some as low as $3.50 and some of the men as high as $16 a week. The factory is in the third story of a brick building. It is in a room twenty feet long and fourteen broad. There are fourteen machines in it. I and the daughter of the people with whom I live work two of these machines. The other operators are all men, some young and some old."
At seven o'clock we all sit down to our machines and the boss brings to each one the pile of work that he or she is to finish during the day, what they call in English their 'stint.' This pile is put down beside the machine and as soon as a skirt is done it is laid on the other side of the machine. Sometimes the work is not all finished by six o'clock and then the one who is behind must work overtime. Sometimes one is finished ahead of time and gets away at four or five o'clock, but generally we are not done till six o'clock.
The machines go like mad all day, because the faster you work the more money you get. Sometimes in my haste I get my finger caught and the needle goes right through it. It goes so quick, though, that it does not hurt much. I bind the finger up with a piece of cotton and go on working. We all have accidents like that. Where the needle goes through the nail it makes a sore finger, or where it splinters a bone it does much harm. Sometimes a finger has to come off. Generally, though, one can be cured by a salve.
All the time we are working the boss walks about examining the finished garments and making us do them over again if they are not just right. So we have to be careful as well as swift. But I am getting so good at the work that within a year I will be making $7 a week, and then I can save at least $3.50 a week. I have over $200 saved now.
The machines are all run by foot-power, and at the end of the day one feels so weak that there is a great temptation to lie right down and sleep. But you must go out and get air, and have some pleasure. So instead of lying down I go out. Sometimes we go to Coney Island, where there are good dancing places, and sometimes we go to Ulmer Park to picnics...
For the last two winters I have been going to night school. I have learned reading, writing and arithmetic. I can read quite well in English now and I look at the newspapers every day. I read English books, too, sometimes."
Sadie's account appears in: Holt, Hamilton, The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans as Told by Themselves (1906); Kraut, Alan, The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (1982); Handlin, Oscar, The Uprooted (1951).
How To Cite This Article:
"Working in a Sweatshop, 1905," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2005).
Main idea/Category 3
Main idea/category 1
Main idea/ category 2
Question or thesis
Chickenfoot graphic organizer
Attachment H- prints on card stock, cut out, and use as a template
"The New Colossus" is a sonnet by Emma Lazarus (1849–1887), written in 1883 and, in 1903, engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"