2R Immigration Showcase – A Journey with Immigrants
To showcase the important work 2R has undertaken throughout its immigration study this year the boys prepared narratives, a blended piece of fiction and non-fiction, to present to parents with the help of their teacher Ginny Rowe and Technical Director Stacy Donovan. Learning what classifies something as a showcase, as well as developing their presentation skills, was a key part of this process. This is the first time a showcase has ever been performed in Second Grade.
Preparation began with research. The boys spoke to their parents about both sides of their family’s history to learn about their immigration story. They had to find out why particular family members left their home country to come to America and where they arrived. Some families could trace their roots back to Ellis Island others were from families of immigrants who had arrived more recently. From there, each boy chose one of the countries from which his family had come to research further.
The boys worked with Lower School Librarian Bonnie Tucker to gather pertinent information. There were a variety of resources available, from picture storybooks, other books on immigration experiences, website and online tools, such as BrainPop and a tour of Ellis Island by Scholastic, as well as teacher created materials.
Taking on the voice of a child or an adult, either arriving in America through Ellis Island, Angel Island (Ellis Island of the west) or elsewhere, the boys’ narratives described many interesting aspects of their journey, including what they saw on the way, who they traveled with, how long the journey took, what they brought with them, and what happened upon arrival. They finished each narrative by describing what their dreams were for their future life in America.
“I hope to have a good and peaceful life with my family,” said one person, while another said, “New York City is where magical things happen.”
With Ms. Rowe on the guitar, the class closed out their showcase by singing a song to honor Annie Moore, the first Ellis Island immigrant, titled "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears," by Celtic Thunder. Click here for the lyrics.
A huge thank you also goes to Art Teacher Alex Exposito and visiting artist Susan Luss, who worked with the boys in Art in the Class to create the wonderfully artistic suitcase and passport backdrop.