Do you know your name? That is one of the questions that immigrants were asked upon arrival at Ellis Island. The fourth graders received a passport with information about their new identity. They were asked to learn their name and where they were from. The "immigration officer" who was Pauline, our tour guide, rang a bell and stamped each child's passport to show that they were allowed to stay.
Where are you from?
What year did you arrive?
Next we discussed where we were from. We broke up into our groups based on this information and began to unpack a bundle of artifacts. These items were things that reminded of family and friends, tools that could be used in their new home, clothing, items that demonstrate traditions, and religious artifacts. Our task was to set up all of the items from the bundle as a museum would, so we had to look for patterns of items that could be categorized together.
After lunch, we acted out a scene from a town meeting. Each fourth grader received a role card and an article of clothing. The town meeting was about what to do with some unruly Irish teenagers and whether or not building a school would help solve the problem.
Finally we got to see where the "Mill Girls" worked, ate, and slept.
We learned a lot and had an outstanding day! Thank you to Pauline of Lowell Mills. Thank you to Mrs. Miner for chaperoning and sharing photos. Also, thank you to Mrs. Scali, Mrs. Proel, and Ms. Armstrong for chaperoning and helping out.