Third graders experienced Ellis Island immigration

Fisher Elementary third graders experienced what it would be like to immigrate to Ellis Island during a classroom workshop Tuesday.

More than 60 students dressed in costume and were assigned different profiles and circumstances for the year 1892. The journey took them through a three-classroom simulation with Ellis Island as their destination.

But first they would experience a boat ride, undergo a medical inspection, take questions from Homeland Security and finally arrive at the Statue of Liberty.

“It was awesome,” said Elder Tejada, a third grade student. “We got to go on the ship and we got to sleep, we didn’t have to go under the desks, we had fun. I’m going to California.”

Garrett McKibbin, another student didn’t enjoy the ride, but had fun anyway.

“It was very gross,” McKibbin said. “I had to sit in the third class. It was worth it to come to America.”

This is the first time the teachers tried this exercise. It went along with their course, “Our Country’s People.”

“We created it brand new this year to make it an actual experience for our kids,” said Julie Trickett, a third grade teacher at Fisher. “I think they love it.”

The workshop idea was that of Courtney Lenz, a third grade teacher at Fisher.

“There’s an online tour through Scholastic that goes through Ellis Island,” Lenz said. “We just kind of took all of the different stops and condensed it and turned it into a three-room thing.”

Trickett said it was a lot of work to put the different stations together, but it was worth it for the students.

“We’d like to thank the support staff who helped us pull it off,” Trickett said. “There are three third grade teachers and we couldn’t have done it without all of their help. We would also like to thank the kids’ parents for helping them get dressed and bring things from home.”

She said they will do the activity again next year.