Grade: other

#1450. Island of Hope, Island of Tears

Social Studies, level: other
Posted Mon Dec 13 16:07:29 PST 1999 by Deborah Turner (
Ethel McKnight School, East Windsor, NJ
Materials Required: Journal paper, pencil, construction paper, and any art supplies to make their journal
Activity Time: 1-2 weeks (can be modified)
Concepts Taught: Students will be able to express understanding of immigation unit

You are an immigrant who has come to America for a better life. You are going to keep a diary, beginning on the day you decide to come to America, to two weeks after you have arrived. You will have no less then 5 entries. You may have up to but no more then 10. Each entry must begin with the date. You are telling the story of an immigrant who came to America and sharing their feelings as if it were you. You need to remember to let your audience know where you came from, why you are leaving, when you arrive, your experience at Ellis Island, who was with you, if anyone, how your life is different from when you were in your other country, and what you do once you get to America. In your journal entries, I am looking to see details. Make me feel what you would be feeling if the entries were true. Each entry needs to be at least a half of a page in length, and no more then a page. You are welcome to type each entry, or hand write it. I am looking to see if you truly understand what the immigrants who came to our country went through. This will be a graded assessment. Spelling and grammar will be taken into account, so please make sure that you read over, and have someone else proofread, each entry. How you will be graded will be determined by the rubric down below. Make sure you follow ALL directions. Have fun!

Grading Rubric


5 - No more then one misspelled word OR grammar error

4 - One or two misspelled words and/or grammar errors

3 - Three or four misspelled words or grammar errors

2 - Four to six misspelled words and/or grammar errors

1- Six or more misspelled words and/or grammar errors


5 - Neat and creative cover which includes: a title, name, date, accurate writing and spacing (use of rulers evident), pictures and symbols representing the theme of the project, and appropriate coloring

4 - Neat cover with a title that shows thought and includes pictures that are appropriate for the project

3 - Nice cover that has color, but missing a few elements

2 - Cover has few of the given elements

1 - Cover has few to none of the given elements

Writing Content

5 - Between five and ten entries that have detailed descriptions of what is occurring. Student shows superior grasp of what it might have been like to be an immigrant, and integrates actual historical events into their writings so the account could be believable.

4 - All components of the entries are present. Student tried to make the experience realistic and believable.

3 - Most of the components are present. Student attempted to incorporate some feeling, and shows some understanding of the material

2 - Some of the components are present, but missing a great deal of information. A small amount of understanding is shown

1 - Very little understanding and effort shown. Student is off topic, and has no real understanding of the project.