The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 20: Toward an Urban America

Web Lesson Plans

In this chapter students have read about the changing face of America's cities. Immigrants from "new" countries moved to the United States to escape persecution and economic hardships. Other immigrants were drawn to America by the promise of wealth and opportunity. Many of these new Americans, however, found poverty, hardship, and discrimination. In this activity students will take a closer look at the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay.

Lesson Description
Students will visit the Web site of Angel Island, the immigration processing facility located in San Francisco Bay. From 1910 to 1940 many immigrants, mainly Asian, came to the United States through this facility. Students will read about the operation of the facility and the immigrants who came through it. After answering several questions, students will pretend that they are immigrants on Angel Island and will compose a poem about their experience.

Instructional Objectives
  1. The learner will be able to explain the operation of the Angel Island facility.
  2. The learner will be able to discuss the treatment of Chinese immigrants.
  3. The learner will be able to describe the feelings of immigrants by creating a poem.
Student Web Activity Answers
  1. Angel Island was built to be a receiving station for the large number of European immigrants who were expected to begin arriving in California upon the completion of the Panama Canal. It opened in 1910.
  2. On Ellis Island immigrants were processed within hours or days. On Angel Island immigrants had to wait weeks or months.
  3. In some cases immigrants were not allowed to enter the United States unless they had a father who was a United States citizen. Those who did not have a father in the United States bought papers that identified them as children of American citizens.
  4. They brushed or carved poetry onto the walls of the detention center.
  5. Students' poems will vary.
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