Immigration and Cultural Diversity WebQuest
An Internet WebQuest on U.S. Immigration and Cultural Diversity

created by Ms. Slava Sidorov / Modified by Mr. Briski - - -

Introduction | The Task | The Process & Resources | Conclusion | HyperText Dictionary


Welcome. You have come through the door to begin a new life in America. It has been a difficult journey. Your life in the United States will be different from the life you left behind. As an immigrant, you came to the United States of America for a reason. It could have been to escape persecution, to improve your life, or to live in freedom.
Castle Garden, Ellis Island and Angel Island became gateways to a new life for many people from all over the world.

The Quest – Due Date for project ______

As the immigrant, you will research your nationality's ancestral roots, you should look into why your ethnicity came to America, also cultural aspects unique to their ethnicity. One partner will bring in a food and one cultural aspect from the list, while one partner will create a children's book or photo album telling about their life in the Old World, their life in the New World, their journey to the New World, and their dreams for their NEW LIFE.

Remember, you should be able to answer questions about your ethnicity, both of you should be able to address the why’s above.

The Process and Resources

Follow the instructions in Phase 1 & Phase 2.

Phase 1 - Background: Something for Everyone – SOME OF THE LINKS NO LONGER WORK, SORRY

Use the Internet information linked below to accomplish your tasks. Be creative in exploring the information so that you complete your assignments as fully and insightfully as you can.

·  Internet Modern History Sourcebook: US Immigration - This site is an excellent resource for those trying to learn more about the history of immigration to the United States.

·  Family Search - Use this site to locate records that may contain information about your ancestors. It can also help you find a family history center near you.

· and Family History Records - The site claims to be the largest collection of family history records on the Web. Explore your family tree!

·  Ellis Island - This online exhibit allows you to experience Ellis Island as one of the over 12 million people who landed here. The site contains audio and video clips.

·  The National Park Service - Everything you ever wanted to know about Ellis Island.

·  Living Conditions for Immigrants - This site contains photos depicting living conditions of many immigrants who settled in New York City.

·  The American Immigration Homepage - A wonderful page full of useful information on immigration (e.g. reasons for immigrantion, ports of arrival, reception by other Americans, etc.)

·  Reasons for Immigration - Visit this site to find out the reasons why immigrants from around the world have come to the United States.

·  Ancestors in America - This site can help visitors extend and enrich their perception of the experiences of Asian immigrants to the United States. Areas of particular interest include Ancestors , which contains video clips from the series; Documents, which contains digital versions of important documents throughout our history that impacted directly on immigrants trying to establish themselves in this country; Tell Us Your Stories, a section that encourages visitors to tell their stories; and Discover Your Ancestors, resources for conducting genealogy work.

·  New York, NY, Ellis Island -- Immigration: 1900-1920 - This web site presents stereoscopic (3D) photographs of Ellis Island from the early 1900s.

·  From One Life to Another - Immigration has come to shape the very world we live in today, especially in Europe and America. Even so, it is oftentimes easy for people to forget their pasts, no matter how relevant it is to their current situation. From One Life to Another seeks to rectify this problem by combining the stories of the past with the technical innovations of today. This site follows immigrants from their home countries, across the Atlantic, and eventually to their new lives in America. The site explores varying aspects of this world-wide cultural change and allows visitors to test their knowledge of the subjects covered. In addition, users can add their own articles and stories to the site, thereby creating a true account of the immigrants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

·  Letters from an Immigrant - Bertha Starke Geerdts came to Milwaukee from Germany 100 years ago. Although she was happy in her new land, she never forgot her ties to her family, and she wrote letters faithfully. This collection of her correspondence in both German and English covers a span of time from 1890 through 1911 and offers striking glimpses into the ties that bind. The site also provides links to her family.

·  Ellis Island (official site) - The official site of Ellis Island gives a brief introduction to the museum near the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Many students can probably trace their ancestors to this center, where 12 million immigrants passed on their way to new lives between 1892 and 1954. This is a site of information for prospective visitors to Ellis Island, but it also contains an activity that will engage online visitors to take part in the history of the island. The American Immigrant Wall of Honor allows visitors to search for immigrants' names and to add names as appropriate. Simply have first and last name and country of origin handy to conduct your search of all the immigrants processed here!

·  Coming to America - Areas of interest: In our own voices--Stories of Immigration, Taste of Home--Family Recipes, and Immigration Paperwork.

·  Voyages: Stories of America and the Sea - Coming to America: Immigrant passages. Do you know how your ancestors came to America? Unless they were Native Americans, the answer is most likely 'on a ship' (Click on the 'Immigration' link on the main page).

·  Angel Island - History of Chinese immigrants at Angel Island

·  Immigration: The Changing Face of America - This presentation will introduce you to the history of immigrants who came to America from all over the world. An area of particular interest: The Great American Potluck.

·  The Many Faces of America: Immigration - Immigrants come to the United States from many countries. This site lists some of the countries immigrants came from in 1998.

·  The City - This bilingual site sponsored by PBS presents stories of Latin American immigrants in the United States, as well as an overview of U.S. immigration history and issues. Areas of interest: The Stories, The Film, and Comming to America (U.S. Immigration Timeline, Immigration Quiz, and Glossary).

·  The New Americans: Immigration, America's Story - Immigration Timeline

·  The New Americans: Immigration, America's Story - Immigrants' personal stories

·  Myths and Realities - The site discusses myths and realities related to immigration issues.

·  Discover Your Ancestors: Asian American genealogy resources - A very informative page that provides resources for conducting genealogy work.

·  Lower East Side Tenement Museum - The purpose of the museum is to to preserve and interpret the history of the immigrant experience on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

·  Immigration Station - Another informative site about the history of Angel Island.

·  Angel Island: A Hell for Some Who Sought the Gold Mountain - One more site about Angel Island.

·  Some Were Destined For Fame - This sites lists a number of famous immigrants.

·  Angel Island: Immigrant Journeys of Chinese-Americans - An oral history of Chinese detainees.

·  Angel Island: California's Immigration Station - This site describes the processing of Asian immigrants through Angel Island in San Francisco Bay - the 'Ellis Island' of the west.

·  Famous & Notable Immigrants - A site about immigrants who made significant contributions to their adopted country.

·  The Immigration Today WebQuest - An informative WebQuest

·  US Citizenship and Immigration Services - Former INS homepage. Here you will find out everything you need to know pertaining to current U.S. immigration rules and regulations.

·  Multi-Cultural Calendar - Every country and culture has its own holidays and celebrations. You can click on a country where your ancestors came from and find the information on a holiday celebrated there.

·  Fast Facts on Today’s Newcomers - A quick overview of facts related to current U.S. immigration issues.

·  Ellis Island Cookbook - Every country has its own traditions around food and eating. Favorite foods and recipes are a big part of the 'culture' immigrants to the U.S. brought with them. If you follow the link to the Featured Recipe, you will find out what this month’s recipe is, where it came from and if it is a food prepared for a particular holiday or time of year.

·  History Channel Exhibits: Ellis Island - These immigrants passed through Ellis Island and went on to illustrious careers.

·  The Immigration Experience - Immigrants didn't always enter New York through Ellis Island. This page presents the history of Castle Garden (also known as Castle Clinton).

·  Castle Clinton National Monument - A brief history of Castle Garden (today, it is known as Castle Clinton National Monument).

Phase 2 - Looking Deeper from Different Perspectives

1. You and your partner will have multiple tasks to complete, one person will be making the children’s book or photo album, the other will be making the food, and the cultural connection
2. Please use the next two days wisely, you should accomplish a lot of research if you stay focused

3. Please see the individual instructions below about what your requirements are

4. Help each other do the research so this way when you present each of you will be better prepared

Immigrant – for the Children’s book or photo album – both 10 to 12 pages

As the immigrant, you will provide your information for your book on the following topics:
Your nationality and ethnicity
Your family's names, ages, and occupations
An explanation of your culture such as the customs, language, and food of your homeland
Your reason/reasons for leaving
Your experiences on the ship (include the length of the journey and conditions aboard the ship)

Should be between 10 and 12 pages – remember what a children’s book looks like / but also remember this is a Honors class

You will need a works cited for all aspects – MLA format

Immigrant – for the food

Must have a recipe that explains how to make the food and have all ingredients listed

Must have a cultural connection, how is this food connected to your ethnicity, most importantly to your family history or holiday

You can either print or type up the connection – but must be detailed and you have to be able to explain the personal connection

Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching Consensus

Share your findings with your partner. - - - this will be completed at a later date


From this WebQuest you will be given the opportunity to learn more about the difficulties an immigrant's family experiences in their journey to a new homeland. You will also become aware of the cultures and political situations around the world.
Assessment of your work will be evaluated using a rubric that will be distributed in class.