The Orphan of Ellis Island

This The Orphan of Ellis Island activity & project also includes:

Everyone comes from somewhere. An interdisciplinary lesson on Elvira Woodruff's The Orphan of Ellis Island includes discussion starter and writing prompts for the novel, as well as a graphic organizer to help learners begin their own family tree.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use discussion starters as a way to check for understanding during the novel unit
  • For older students, bring in articles about current immigration debates to connect to the story
Classroom Considerations
  • Though the novel focuses on an orphaned child and adoptive families, the family tree only provides spaces for biological relatives
  • Does not include spaces for siblings in the graphic organizer
  • Provides students with an opportunity to talk to their families about extended family members
  • None