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Museums have always asked visitors to imagine the lives of objects in their historic collections. Now students can share their own stories in Your Story, Our Story, a new online digital storytelling exhibit.

Your Story, Our Story highlights immigration and migration stories of the past and the present. Each story reveals one student's family experience. Collectively, the stories tell America's story and highlight the patterns that bind us together, no matter where we came from or how long we've been there.

  • Boys at Tenement Museum
  • Woman at Tenement Museum
  • Girl at Tenement Museum

MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

This interdisciplinary project connects to Middle School and High School English Language Arts, Social Studies, American and Global History, and Technology classes. Use the site to explore immigration and migration stories, have students publish their own stories, and/or create a classroom exhibit. Your Story, Our Story gives students the opportunity to:

  • Select an object that tells a family story and photograph it.
  • Interview family to better understand their family's cultural identity.
  • Write a personal essay.
  • Learn about other cultures in their classroom community.
  • See their work preserved in a digital museum exhibit.
  • Explore the ways their personal history connects to larger historical trends.

    CURRICULUM MATERIALS — MIDDLE SCHOOL

  1. Project Overview for Teachers
  2. Exploring the Exhibit worksheet
  3. Brainstorming Your Story organizer
  4. Sample Object Story with story arc
  5. Preparing your Story worksheet
  6. Writing Your Story checklist
  7. Instructions for Uploading guide

    CURRICULUM MATERIALS — HIGH SCHOOL

  1. Project Overview for Teachers
  2. Exploring the Exhibit worksheet
  3. Brainstorming Your Story organizer
  4. Sample Object Story with story arc
  5. Preparing your Story worksheet
  6. Writing Your Story checklist
  7. Instructions for Uploading guide

COLLEGE STUDENTS

Your Story, Our Story has been incorporated into undergraduate courses, including Asian-American History, American Studies, English Literature, Modern Jewish Literature, Political Science, and History through Objects. Use the site as a resource or assign students to contribute their own stories to this living exhibit.

CURRICULUM MATERIALS — COLLEGE

  1. Project Overview for Instructors

QUESTIONS?

For more information about Your Story, Our Story, please contact Victoria Marin at vmarin@tenement.org.

Visit our groups page for more information on group tours of the Tenement Museum.

YOUR STORY, OUR STORY

Girl Holding Dress at Tenement Museum

WHAT EDUCATORS
ARE SAYING:


"Going to the Tenement Museum has helped students understand their background. They are recipients of their own stories, and now they are holding history in their hands." Chandrika Menon, PS130 in Brooklyn


"Our students felt they were truly able to make a difference through their stories. Students used their photo essays to give voice to the many immigrants in our communities who reside in New York City and this could not have been possible without the Museum's generous support." Shahzia Pirani-Mellstrom, Brooklyn International High School


"The Your Story Our Story project was possibly the best assignment. The students also wrote longer papers to accompany their object and text uploads. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to connect personal stories to broader historical events." Mae Ngai, Columbia University


"Visiting the Tenement Museum with my students from St. John's University made the history of labor, immigration, and urban neighborhoods come alive. They loved visiting the apartments, seeing how the families lived and worked, and hearing their stories... this process deepened as they selected an object related to their own family's migration as the subject of a short paper. By sharing their stories, students got to know each other much better, and patterns of global migration took on a much more personal meaning. At the end of the semester, my students agreed that their visit to the museum, and their work on the family object stories had been the best part of the class." Lara Vapnek, St. John's University

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