What is Ellis Island?

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What is Ellis Island?
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Immigration Lesson Plans

History of Immigration Teacher Guide

by Joanne Mallozzi and Lauren Ayube

There are many reasons why people immigrate to a new country. Some move for new opportunities, better jobs, and a better life in general. Some move to escape wars, dictatorship, disease, and other horrible things that are happening in their country. In this unit, students will learn about the history of immigration to the United States, and how our country came to be one of many unique people and traditions.


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  • What is Ellis Island?Ellis Island was the largest immigration station in the United States from 1892-1924. Over 14 million immigrants from all over came through Ellis Island looking for a better life in America. Ellis Island made it possible for officials to check immigrants for disease and make sure they were able to support themselves. They also had to prove that they had money and that they were able to read.
  • Ellis Island: 1892-1954
  • Ellis Island
  • Annie
  • Ellis Island TodayEllis Island is now part of the National Park Service and the main building is an immigration museum.
  • Fun FactsThe island was a fort during the War of 1812 and served as an ammunition supply depot during the Civil War.April 17, 1907 was the busiest day, processing over 11,500 immigrants.It had its own hospital, laundry facilities, and cafeteria.Sometimes after hours of inspection, people wouldn't pass through. The island was nicknamed "The Island of Tears" due to the times children were separated from their parents.The island is owned by the federal government and is considered part of New York and New Jersey.
  • Who Was Annie Moore?Annie Moore was an Irish immigrant who was the first immigrant to go through federal inspection at Ellis Island. She was only 15 years old.
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