a result of using one of the most powerful virtual fieldtrips
that the Net has to offer, my grade six students experienced
firsthand what it was like to be an immigrant entering Ellis
Island at the turn of the century. My online project, And
the Streets Are Paved With Gold, challenged these students
to rethink their mental models about immigration, attributes
of racism and prejudice, the myths that beckoned immigrants
to this country and the range of human experience represented
by this symbol of the "American Dream", Ellis Island.
Making a Plan
Armed with my goal of connecting the far-off experiences of
American immigrants with modern day grade six students, I
created And the Streets Are Paved With Gold! by using
an online tool called "Filamentality"
and the exemplary online History
Channel Ellis Island web site. Over the course of
a week, this project immersed my students in an Ellis Island
immigrant experience aimed at helping learners form emotional
connections with the eclectic group of people who landed at
Ellis Island on their way to start a new life in America.
were challenged to take what they learned and ultimately produce
writing that would demonstrate the depth of that experience.
Students were required to answer questions from various levels
of Bloom's taxonomy, as well as produce a short piece of writing
that demonstrated their depth of understanding of the immigrant