Your homework this week is to write a letter to the editor of The National Magazine telling him or her why you agree or disagree with Joanna R. Nicholls’ article about Ellis Island. Your letter should be written on Google Drive. Directions are on Edmodo for Google Drive.
Remember to use the recipe for persuasive writing that is in your homework folder. If you’ve lost it, you can find it at the bottom of this blog post.
You might want to create a list or outline of ideas before you start your writing like we did today in class. A little bit of prewriting will make the letter that much easier to write once you get started. We promise! Don’t forget – teachers are sympathetic, patient, tender and courteous!
Finally, we discussed many of the challenging words in class but feel free to look them up or ask a grown-up for help on understanding any of them.
“The Landing of the Emigrants on Ellis Island”(1897)
THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE Vol.. VI. JULY, 1897. No. 4
BY JOANNA R. NICHOLLS
The finest immigration station in the United States is located on Ellis Island, in New York harbor. A joyous excitement is said to seize the steerage passengers at the first sight of the Statue of Liberty. As the steamship approaches the island, there is no confusion among the immigrants because of the perfect order and discipline maintained at this splendidly equipped station. The main entrance hall is ablaze with electric lights, and the arrival process is conducted in as considerate manner as possible.
The immigrants file one by one through a narrow corridor to the the registration desks, where inspectors sit with the ship’s manifests spread before them. They ask the same questions which have already been answered on the other side of the ocean, comparing each response with the written testimony and noting all discrepancies. From this examination an open space is crossed to the physical examination where a hospital surgeon inspects for any possible disease.
The inspectors at Ellis Island have a reputation for their sympathy, patience, tenderness and courtesy. They are experts at their business and the whole process is accomplished efficiently in a humane and considerate fashion. If a man appears honest and straightforward, the kind inspectors are happy to make the way easy for him. Hesitation from nervousness or timidity is understood and treated with patience.
Applicants who do not pass the inspections must stay in the detention compartment, which is a very comfortable waiting room; until inspectors can investigate their cases. The detention compartment and hospital are large and clean, and managed just as well as all the buildings on the island.
Once having passed his ordeal, the newly admitted immigrant finds a warm welcome ready as he emerges from the examinations into a large wide hall. Helpful advice is abundant. There are counters where foreign coins are converted into American currency at the most reasonable rates, where telegrams may easily be sent to friends or relatives, and the railway companies operate a ticket office which presents every facility for travel.
What a splendid experience! Ellis Island is yet another fine example of the United States of America’s characteristic generosity and benevolence.
Original Article: The Landing of the Emigrant
Nicholls in 1897 after writing her letter.
The Fake News Story We Used to Practice Writing a Letter to the Editor
The Awesomeness of Homework (2013)
THE SCHOOLTEACHER’S MAGAZINE Vol.. VI. JANUARY, 2013. No. 4
BY JOANNA R. NICHOLLS
The finest schools in the world are located in almost every neighborhood in the country in the United States. A joyous excitement is said to seize all students at the first sight of receiving the night’s homework. As the teacher approaches a student’s desk with the night’s work, there is no confusion among the students because of the perfect order and discipline maintained because of the glorious homework given. The classroom is ablaze with cheers, and the copying of the night’s homework is conducted in as quiet a manner as possible given the excited voices.
The students file one by one through a narrow staircase to exit to the street to head home for the day, where parents stand with that night’s planner held in front of them. They review the assignments which have already been explained in the classroom, and note any discrepancies. From this examination an open space is crossed to the pizza place or hot chocolate cafe where a worker provides much needed mid-afternoon sustenance.
The teachers at school have a reputation for their sympathy, patience, tenderness and courtesy. They are experts at their business and the homework process is accomplished efficiently in a humane and considerate fashion. If a student appears honest and straightforward, the kind teachers are happy to make the way easy for him or her by offering extensions or maybe even letting students turn in their work late. Teachers are so kind! Calling out by students is understood and treated with patience and no student ever receives a time-out because of it.
What a splendid experience! School is glorious! All schools, big or little, blue or red, are yet another fine example of the United States of America’s characteristic generosity and benevolence.
Our Incomplete Letter to the Editor
To the Editor of Schoolteacher’s Magazine:
We are writing to you about how much we disagree with the article “The Awesomeness of Homework” in your January 2013 edition of your magazine, Schoolteacher’s Magazine. It is true that some of the students in the class do agree with the article but most of us have some big bad problems with Joanna R. Nicholls’ incredibly humiliatingly bad article. There are three big reasons why we disagree with the article so much. The first big reason we disagree with the article is that most students we know do not actually like homework. The second reason we strongly dislike this article is that teachers aren’t nearly as nice as the article says that they are. The final reason that this article is wrong is that no one actually does the things that Joanna R. Nicholls writes about at dismissal.
First of all, the first reason we disagree with the article is that students do not actually like getting homework. la la la la.
Secondly, teachers are not very nice. Teachers DO give timeouts. There are at least two children in our class who get regular timeouts for calling out and their names are Joe and Bob (names have been changed to protect the guilty.) Whenever someone calls out, our teachers take a marker or even make another student do their mean work for them, and write names on the board. This is NOT NICE BEHAVIOR. If they do more than one thing wrong, they get a timeout at recess. Another example of how teachers are not nice is that they don’t actually give extensions easily. To be honest, they aren’t very nice if you don’t turn in your homework on time. This morning in fact, our teacher told us we’d get a timeout if we didn’t turn in our homework on time. Also, our teachers make us feel guilty if we don’t do our work on time and sometimes make us do work at recess or on the weekend. Finally, there are so many other examples of teachers being mean. Whenever someone rocks in their chair or makes “a haunted house sound” they have to get out of the chair and sometimes have to sit on the hard, cold floor or even get a timeout. Sometimes if you don’t write your name on your paper, you have to write a paragraph at recess about the importance of writing your name on your paper. It doesn’t even matter if your fingers are cold, you have to do it. Don’t even get us started on what the Learning Specialist does to our papers if we forget to write our names. It is not a pretty sight and we do not want to scare young readers.
The final reason why your article is wrong is tra la la ….
In conclusion, we think it is clear how wrong your article is. Again our three reasons are kids don’t like homework, teachers are not really that nice, and the whole dismissal part of the article makes no sense. We are left to wonder if Joanna R. Nicholls has ever met a student before. If she had, she would realize that the only thing that makes sense here at all is that kids like pizza and hot chocolate. Due to all of the problems in this article, we can not believe her points and overall can not disagree with her more. We think that most of the country’s students (whether in a school big or little, blue or red) would agree with us.
Recipe for Writing a Persuasive Letter to the Editor
Say whether you agree or disagree with the author’s main idea.
State three reasons you agree or not. (You don’t have to go into too much detail.)
Write several sentences explaining your first reason in detail.
Write several sentences explaining your second reason in detail.
Write several sentences explaining your third reason in detail.
Restate your opinion.
Restate the three reasons why you feel that way.
Write a final sentence that will make people keep thinking about your argument.