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Ages of learners

The materials here can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration.


Tenement Museum Lesson Plans
Free for use.


Eric Hammer

English and History/Social Studies teacher at New York City public schools, Yeshiva Tifereth Yisroel, Yeshiva of Queens

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Try explaining to your students what life was like for recent immigrants at the turn of the 20th century and it's almost like you're speaking a foreign language. Even today's immigrant children cannot understand the extreme deprivation that it entailed to live in one of New York's tenements. However, when you use the material from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, much of it comes to life (though I also recommend taking your kids on a school trip to the museum if you are geographically able and it fits into your schedule -- there is only so much that handouts and lesson plans can do for you).

One thing I found particularly helpful was the teaching with objects lesson because you could use simple, everyday objects to offer a whole new perspective to your students about how they were used and what life was like. Though again, nothing beats taking the kids to the museum and letting them see actual period pieces. Not to mention talking to the actors there who play the role of various residents of the museum.

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