As part of our unit on immigration, we sought to help simulate what the immigrant experience was like for our students. After setting the tone with an immigration timeline the day before, we wanted to start off our class with an engaging activity to help our students see what it was like for many immigrants coming to America. To do this, we created the following questionnaire as an entrance ticket, and simulated being immigration officers as the students walked into class. We informed the students that if they missed one question, they would not pass the activity, just as the immigrants at Angel Island would be deported if they missed on of the prompts. Some of the questions that we used were straight from the primary source of an Angel Island interrogation, while others were our own, but equally unfair and absurd. After the students had completed the questionnaire, we cross checked the answers and simulated the difficult and intense process that the immigrants would go through. Although most of our students saw through our simulating harsh tones, many of them were nervous about the questionnaire and then immediately relieved when we returned to our easygoing demeanors and informed them that it was a simulation. This activity was an engaging way to connect the students, many of whom were recent immigrants themselves, with the Angel Island immigrants before them.
Some of the questions include:
7. Who lives in the third house in the second row of houses in your town?
8. What is the name and address of the hospital you were born at?
9. What town is Ms. Patton from?
10. What is Principal Yoon’s favorite color?
11. What is your plumber’s first name?
12. What is the address of your school?
To view the entire question base, please select the following link: AngelIslandInterrogation.docx