Using the 1890 book How the Other Half Lives as a supplement to student study of the second wave of immigration to the U.S. from 1890-1920, students travel back in time to see, hear, and feel what it was like to arrive in the U.S. from Ellis Island.
Not all of the Riis chapters are appropriate for all age groups, teachers should preview for any insensitive depictions. Or assign excerpts and/or more fitting chapters for your class' use.
This is an unforgettable and must-know part of American History for students. I accentuate this activity with students documenting about their family histories and sharing those with the class.