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Instructional Design



1. Title

Welcome Home?

 2. Overview

Students explore the hurdles to freedom that the immigrants, who entered America in the early 1900’s, were required to overcome in order to gain entry.  Students pass through a series of checkpoints, receive passbook stamps, and analyze primary sources. Each student develops a virtual immigrant, while using a first person voice, to reveal the depth of knowledge and understanding acquired about early American immigration.

3. Goal

Students will gain an understanding of the hardships and sacrifices that early immigrants made in exchange for the opportunity to live in America.

4. Objectives

Students will view, listen to, and read primary sources and analyze these materials using graphic organizers. They will document their checkpoint progress by receiving stamps in passbooks. Each checkpoint completion will also require a reflection statement. They will then use the knowledge they have gathered to generate a virtual immigrant who will express the students’ opinions about being an immigrant in the early 1900’s and post it on a class Weebly page.

5.  Investigative Question (s) – Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to answer this question(s):

What were some of the challenges facing the immigrants who came to America in the early 1900’s?

Were early American immigrants treated like guests or like criminals?

After passing through Ellis Island, do you think people would recommend that friends or family members follow them to America?

6. Time Required 

Three 60-minute class periods

(day 1)  Anticipatory Lesson, Instruction, two checkpoint rotations–  suggested rotation every 15 minutes  

(day 2)  Two checkpoint rotations–  suggested rotation every 15 minutes 

Virtual Immigrant building – Using Voki Website

(day 3)  Complete Virtual Immigrant building using Voki 30 minutes

Presentations – Using Weebly Website / Shared Reflections- 30 minutes

7. Recommended Grade Range 

3rd -5th grade

8. Subject / Sub-Subject

Social Studies

9. Standards

Common Core

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.7 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.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information


10. Credits

Sandy Graziano, Carol Meyer, Janet Austiff, Laura Lubben


11. Materials Used

Welcome Home doormat, pencils, one die, Die Result Poster, immigrant face cards, 4 checkpoint task cards, 4 iPads or computers (2 for listening station – Use Glogster page and 2 for text station), magnifying glasses (two per station), Voki example, student guide (How to Build a Voki and how to post a Voki on Weebly), student laptops for day 2 & day 3, Four different stamps for station completion proof (site to purchase link), Passbooks – including 4 station stamp box, Written Document Analysis, Sound Record Analysis, Put Yourself in the Picture Photo Analysis(copied back to back),. Primary Source links to photos and audio listed below.

Medical checkpoint Materials:

 Immigrants at Ellis Island

 U.S. inspectors examiningeyes of immigrants, Ellis Island

two magnifying glasses

medical checkpoint task card(attached below)

medical checkpoint passbooks (attached below)

Put Yourself in the Picture Analysis Tool (attached below)

Language Checkpoint Materials:

 1.The Americanese wall   

 2. Free classes in English!Learn to speak, read, & write the language of your children. [...] Specialclasses for educated foreign born.

two magnifying glasses

language checkpoint task card (attached below)

language checkpoint passbooks (attached below)

Put Yourself in the Picture Analysis Tool (attached below)

Text Examination Checkpoint:

Manual Turn the pages to explore the “rules”

Written Document Analysis Tool (attached below)

text examination task card (attached below)

wo iPads or computers to view text (attached below)

text examination checkpoint passbooks (attached below)

2 iPads or computers

Music Checkpoint:

Song Title: Don’tbite the hand that’s feeding you

lyrics will be provided for analysis (attached below)

Sound Recording Analysis (attached below)

music checkpoint passbooks (attached below)

music checkpoint task card (attached below)

12. Resources Used

Library of Congress,








 four checkpoint monitors (older students / or support staff volunteers to serve as checkpoint completion monitors)

 clker.com (copyright free face card images)


13. Description of Procedure

1. (Prior to student arrival the teacher will place a "Welcome Home" doormat at the entrance of the classroom.)

The teacher will introduce the “Welcome Home?” title using the Glogster poster and inquire about the different places where students have seen the words “Welcome Home”. (Connect) Possible student response may include a doormat, store sign.

2. The teacher will present the guiding question, “What were some of the challenges facing the immigrants who came to America in the early 1900’s?“ in order to access prior knowledge and inspire curiosity. (wonder)

3. The teacher will ask the students why they think there is a question mark after the words: “Welcome Home” in the title of the Glogster poster. (wonder)

4. After the teacher presents to the “Emigrants in Pens” photo, on the Glogster poster, the teacher will ask the guiding question “Were early American immigrants treated like guests or like criminals?” Students will respond orally and possible questions might include: “Why are they in pens?” Teachers will not answer student inquiries. Instead the teacher will challenge students to seek their own answers through exploration in the upcoming activity. (wonder)

5. The teacher will explain that the students are going to travel back in time and pretend to become an immigrant who is coming to America. The teacher will explain the partnering process, where each virtual immigrant face card option is in duplicate. The partners will scaffold each other as they pass through the checkpoint stations together.

6. The teacher will explain that the students will move through four checkpoints (managed by older student volunteers / or support staff volunteers), just as the immigrants of the past were required to do. 

7. The teacher will show an example of the passbook and explain that each station will require students to complete a challenge presented on a task card. When they complete each task, with their partners, they will get a stamp in their passbooks for that checkpoint before they can travel to the next checkpoint station.

8. The teacher will explain that the students can check for completion by noting the four different stamps in each of the four sections of their passbooks.

9. The teacher will describe that the culminating project will be done independently. After their checkpoint completion, students will be required to use the Voki website to create a visual and audio representation of the persona they have on their face card. The Voki’s spoken message is required to be a message of encouragement, or discouragement to future travelers to America, based on the students’ opinions after completing the four checkpoints. The teacher will show an example, give a tutorial on how to build a Voki, and demonstrate how to post it to a website called Weebly.

10. Center activity will begin. The teacher will direct the students to the virtual immigrant selection table.

11. Students will approach the virtual immigrant selection station. Each student will roll one die. After they roll the one die, they refer to the Die Result Poster and read their virtual immigrant assignment. They then pick up the virtual immigrant face card that provides some background information on the immigrant they will become during the immigrant experience.  Each virtual immigrant has a twin. These matches will create partners who will work together. The students will also be issued their first passbook at this station. (connect) *Note stagger the starting points to disperse the students around the room and avoid bottlenecks.

12. Students will move randomly among the checkpoints. There will be a two-team limit at each station. (For large groups make duplicate or triplicate stations to illuminate crowding) The students will approach the checkpoints, read the task cards, preform the tasks by analyzing, audio, photographic, or textual materials and record their reflections and interpretations on the corresponding pages in their passbooks. Magnifying glasses will be made available at appropriate checkpoints for closer examination. (investigate)

13. Students will be required to get their completed passbooks approved by the teacher, before they can begin to build their virtual immigrant using the Voki website.

14. Students log on to the Voki website and select the gender, and other identifying features of their virtual immigrant. They will also select an appropriate background setting to the time period of the early 1900’s.  A scaffolding tool is provided. (See How to Build a Voki handout) (construct)

15. Each student will type in message for his/her virtual immigrant to express using the textbox option. This message should encourage or discourage future travelers, to come or not come, to America, siting specific reasons why or why they think their experience, as an immigrant was positive or negative. (reflect)

16. Students will post their completed Voki onto the website Weebly using the Student How to Guide provided by the teacher. This will allow all of the students to hear each other’s opinions and see the creative expressions of their peers. (express/reflect)

17. The teacher will move about the room, monitoring partnership exchanges, student progress through the stations, and general behavior management to facilitate optimum learning conditions.

13a.  The Inquiry Cycle:

Connect - Students connect new insights to self or previous knowledge; gain background and context; observe, experience

Wonder - Students develop questions and create hypotheses or predictions

Investigate - Find and evaluate information to answer questions; test hypotheses; think about information to illuminate new questions and hypotheses

Construct - Construct new understandings connected to previous knowledge; draw conclusions about questions and hypotheses

Express - Apply understandings to a new context, new situation; express new ideas to share learning with others

Reflect - Reflect on own learning; ask new questions

13b. Management of Students

Students will move among four stations with a “doppelganger”/ twin virtual immigrant partner.

Students roll dice at onset to randomly select virtual immigrant and partner with twin.

Students create culminating project independently.

Students present Voki using (Weebly website) and share personal reflections with the whole group.


14. Evaluation

The teacher will use a checklist process to access completion of four checkpoint stations. The completion of each of the four stations, analysis tool completion, and reflection record will be required to attain completion stamp.

The culminating activity will be the creation of a virtual immigrant Voki that will express advice to future, or incoming immigrants (persona is selected at onset using dice roll) and post it on the website Weebly.

15. Extensions-

1. GoSocialStudiesGo – Immigrant experience using History Hunters

Students read about the experiences of an immigrant family and make decisions as they travel through the adventure of becoming an American. Students’ choices affect the overall outcome. Each experience is unique and reflective of choices made along the journey.

2. Trade Book exploration: Grandfather’s Journey

Students read Grandfather’s journey.

They will write a letter from the perspective of the main character to a friend or family member back in Japan describing two of the experiences he had as he traveled through America.

3. WebQuest – WelcomeHome?

Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 11:43 AM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 26, 2013, 10:54 AM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 26, 2013, 10:40 AM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 26, 2013, 11:00 AM
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Feb 16, 2013, 1:09 PM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 11:44 AM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 1:10 PM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 1:09 PM
Passbook Language Checkpoint.pub
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 12:21 PM
Passbook Medical Checkpoint.pub
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 12:21 PM
Passbook Music Checkpoint.pub
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 12:21 PM
Passbook Text Examination Checkpoint.pub
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 12:21 PM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 11:43 AM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 11:44 AM
Sandy Graziano,
Mar 15, 2013, 12:42 PM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 1:09 PM
Sandy Graziano,
Feb 16, 2013, 12:51 PM