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Altoona students experience Ellis Island through simulation

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Ellis Island Passport

Fifth grade students at Altoona Alternative Middle School got to participate in an Ellis Island simulation.

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Students at Altoona Intermediate Middle School participated in the early Ellis Island simulation Wednesday. 

Around 140 fifth graders got to relive what immigrants experienced during their visit to Ellis Island 100 years ago.

The simulation worked by having students move from station to station completing activities.

If a student didn't follow directions at their station, they risked being denied entry or deported. If they missed their opportunity, they would need to start all over.

While chaotic, it was clear students enjoyed the activity.

"It was really fun and like some parts got me a little nervous was like when we had to take a test, but it was in like Spanish or something and you had to ask, 'can I please have an English copy?'" 5th-grader Kennedy Nicholas said. "If you didn't say please they would not give you a copy and you would just have to figure it out by trying to do the words and everything."

Staff members say students have been spending the last month in the classroom learning and researching Ellis Island. They say all the work translates well to the activity.

"We feel like since they've done all of this research regarding what it was like going through Ellis Island during the late 1800s, early 1900s that it's an accurate representation of what we've talked about in the classroom," 5th grade teacher Serena Misch said.

Ellis Island was an immigration processing station during the early twentieth century. During it's 62-year operation, the island processed more than 12-million immigrants.

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