Rea's big school project last month was "Ellis Island". Her class learned about the US, our government levels and immigrating to this country. She had to create a timeline of her family history dating all the way back to ancestors immigrating to the United States.
I have to admit, this task was overwhelming, but at the same time I became mildly obsessed with the research. I don't know how 2nd graders were really supposed to know or find this information. A few of our family lines don't go back that far... my dad is first generation American, so that tree branch was easy. Others traced back to the 1500s. It was so cool.
With the help of ancestry.com, we were able to find out that my husband is not German at all, like he has always claimed. He is in fact Canadian, with a tiny touch of Swedish. Hahaha. It reminded me of their commercial:
Anyway, back to us. Rea wanted to make her timeline look like a family tree we found on Pinterest (how did I survive before Pinterest?). I thought this was a great idea. We gathered all of the supplies and information. Then it was time to hunker down and create the tree.
I somehow managed to not take a single photo of the finished product. Ugh. Oh well, when it comes home from school, I plan to frame it.
The most exciting day for the kids was Ellis Island day. They created personas of immigrants, Rea's was a combo of two of her great-grandparents. The students had to dress the part. Then, in the Media Center at school, they had to "come through Ellis Island". Complete with a health check from the doctor and nurse, some students were isolated for germs they may have contracted in transit. The kids had to answer questions about their homeland, their reasons for leaving, their intentions for life in the US. Then they had to have new photo IDs taken. Finally they were sworn in by the justice on duty.
It was really an incredible thing to witness. I am so glad I was able to be there in person helping.