USF's WebQuest 

WebQuest Title:  Welcome to the United States of America
Author:     Christina Durkee

Student's Assignment


You are about to enter Ellis island and begin your new life in the land of opportunity. You will face many hardships but with the situations that you left behind in mind, you will persevere.

 in these hallowed halls you will find many people who share the same experience, that are from different lands. Many you will just pass, Some you may become friends with.

 We ask that you keep a journal of your first several days in your new country so that we may better understand what it means to be a "new immigrant"


The year is 1891.You have just disembarked from a ship that has left you at Ellis Island. You are entering the United States in the hopes that you can make a better life for yourself and your family. Your task as you complete the processing stage of your experience is to find three other people from different countries and to compare your stories. To do this you will need to keep a journal recording all of your thoughts, feelings and first impressions of this New World.

Your Roles:

  1. journey

  2. Ellis island

  3. History

  4. housing


  1. journey

  2. Ellis island

  3. history

  4. housing


  1. journey

  2. Ellis island

  3. history

  4. Housing


  1. journey

  2. Ellis island

  3. History

  4. housing

You will need to include the following information in your journal:

  1. What was your journey to the u.s. like?
  2. what was your experience on Ellis island?
  3. what kind of job will you have?
  4. where will you live?
  5. what is your social class?
  6. do you speak English and if not how will you learn the language?

Once everyone has assumed a role continue on to the process section.


Now, Keeping the task questions in mind, you will compose a journal representing your first week in the United States. Once you have fully researched your role and have completed your journals you will come together as a group to compare your experiences. After discussing your journals you will then create a skit.


Your skit will be based on the idea that the four of you have met on Ellis Island during processing. You have agreed that at the end of your first week you will meet at a major new York Landmark (of the time) to discuss your initial impressions of your new country.


Students will be given a rubric that outlines the expectations for their projects. They will evaluate their individual contribution and the contributions of their classmates.

Download rubric HERE.

additional Resources:

The American Immigration Homepage

On the Trail of the Immigrant


This webquest was designed to give students a better understanding of the immigrant experience. By researching their reasons for immigrating and the journey of becoming a US citizen they should have a new perspective on how this country was formed. the students should also have a new understanding of the contributions that the New Immigrant gave to this country.