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    I Was Dreaming to Come to America
    By Rosemary

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    I created a unit when I was a student teacher in fifth grade. I used the book I Was Dreaming to Come to America which is the story of children who came through Ellis Island and was created as part of the Ellis Island oral history project. Then I had the kids interview their families about their own immigration history. Some of my students went on the Ellis Island website where you can look up the manifests from the ships that came through Ellis Island and actually found entries for their ancestors. Then I created a fake diary entry form on the computer, printed it out, burned the edges to make it look old and had the kids imagine they had traveled to the United States with the relatives who had immigrated to the US. They created a diary entry that answered these questions: What country are you leaving? Why are you leaving your homeland? Who are you travelling with on your journey? Who did you leave behind? What did you bring with you? What do you think your life will be like in America? I took a giant world map and put it up on the board and gave each child a length of string and a labeling tag and they traced the routes their relatives took to get to America and the date that they arrived. It was a really fun unit.

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