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Coming to a New Land
Teacher Page

A WebQuest for 4th Grade (Reading/Social Studies)

Designed by
Priscilla J. Boersma


Introduction | Learners | Standards | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Student Page


This lesson was developed during a Goals2000 class presented by the Institute for Transformational Synergism.  The web site for this group is

The objective of the lesson is that students will develop a rudimentary understanding of the experience of immigrants who came to the United States during the early twentieth century.


This lesson was designed to provide background information for a reading cluster that contains stories about immigrants from several countries.  The test for the cluster assumes some familiarity with Ellis Island.

Curriculum Standards

Illinois Learning Standards that are addressed by this project include:

Language Arts Standards Addressed

  •   2.B.  Read and interpret a variety of literary works.
  •   5.A.  Locate, organize, and use information from various      sources to answer questions, solve problems and communicate ideas.
  • 5.C.  Apply acquired information, concepts and ideas to communicate in a variety of formats.
  • Social Studies Standards Addressed.
    • 14.D.  Understand the roles and influences of individuals and interest groups in the political systems of Illinois, the United States and other nations.
    • 14.E.  Understand United States foreign policy as it relates to other nations and international issues.
    • 16.A.  Apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation.
    During the process of working on this project students will also use the following thinking skills:  making inferences, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and creative production.


    1.  I would suggest heterogeneous groups selected by the teacher.  I think this assignment will work best if the groups are mixed as far as ability, gender, and computer facility.

    2.  I asked everyone to start with Ellis Island since this would be common to all four roles in the group, and students need some familiarity with it on the test.  Also, this is a fun interactive site.

    3.  I didn't want to spend more than 5 days on this since the purpose is background knowledge rather than in-depth research.

    4.  I found the most background information on why people left the old country with Ireland.  Information on other countries may be rather sketchy.


    I think that teachers could use one or two classroom computers during the sections where group members do their individual research.  Students could do their research during free time over several days.


      In using the rubric for evaluation, shades of satisfying the criteria may result in a score between the benchmark scores on the top.

    Last updated on July 10, 2000.  Based on a template from The WebQuest Page