Lesson Plan

Examine a 1910 Census

Teach students about labor movements with the 1910 census and a 16-year old immigrant’s story.


Students are introduced to the Rogarshevsky family by investigating the 1910 census.  By reading the family article, “The Rogarshevsky Family Story,” they evaluate how 16-year-old Bessie Rogarshevsky may have participated in the labor movements of the early 20th century and made a difference for workers’ and immigrants’ rights.


Making A Difference

Important Information

What will students understand through this lesson?

  • Im/migrants bring everyday objects and traditions with them when they come to a new place to continue their cultural practices and find connection and comfort.
  • Cities like New York, and neighborhoods like the Lower East Side, have many jobs for newcomers and immigrants. Many of these jobs are difficult, but work can be a place where people find community to continue their cultural or religious practices, and also where they influence and impact American society, culture(s), and economy.
  • It takes many different people, sometimes with different interests, to create change. Immigrants work to make individual and community changes that benefit their lives but also others’ lives.


How do we do history detective work with a document to learn about a family?


1-3 Class Periods

Primary Sources

  • 1910 Census – See the type of work an immigrant family from the early 20th century, The Rogarshevkys, are doing based on this census. (See below)
  • Rogarshevsky Family Story article (See below)

1910 Census

See the type of work an immigrant family from the early 20th century, The Rogarshevksys, are doing based on this census.

Associated Family Story

Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

The Rogarshevsky Family Story

Learn about the Rogarshevsky’s, a Jewish American family who lived in 97 Orchard Street in the 1910s.

Read More

Associated Virtual Field Trip

1910s Rogarshevsky Family  | The Rogarshevsky Family story features a Jewish American family and their 1911 tenement home. Students learn about the push and pull factors of Eastern European immigration, their journey through Ellis Island, and their work in the garment industry on the Lower East Side.

  • Themes: Culture and Identity, Industrialization and Labor, Push and Pull Factors
  • Topic: European immigration, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Questions on lessons and activities?

The materials on this page can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us.

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