Curriculum Unit Plan, Lesson Plan


Upper Elementary Im/migration Unit Plan

The Tenement Museum is thrilled to offer these resources for studying immigration and migration in your classroom.

The resources are built on the stories of real people who lived in the Tenement Museum’s buildings in the Lower East Side of New York City, and we’ve designed lessons and activities to support you as a teacher in fostering empathy, connecting past to present, and humanizing immigration experiences, all while strengthening your students’ historical thinking skills.

This resource set can be used as a whole, or you can select lessons and resources for topic, theme, and timeframe.

In this resource set, you’ll find:

  • 13 lessons about real families who lived in 97 and 103 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, covering immigration from the 1870s-1980s.
  • Primary sources with accompanying activity suggestions for Upper Elementary students.
  • Non-fiction texts about the Tenement Museum families, with accompanying comprehension questions and writing activities.
  • Video stories with the Tenement Museum’s costumed interpreters, bringing history to life in the recreated apartments of 97 Orchard Street.

Lessons

13 lessons about real families who lived in 97 and 103 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, covering immigration from the 1870s-1980s.

Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Defining Immigration and Migration

Explore students’ prior knowledge of im/migration with a contemporary photograph.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Explore Push and Pull Factors

Chart and discuss push and pull factors for im/migration.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Developing a Timeline

Construct a timeline for the study of im/migration in your classroom.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Introduction to Primary Sources

Define “primary sources” and analyze one contemporary and one historic source.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Investigate a 1914 Report Card

Students learn about Victoria Confino through her 2nd grade report card from 1913.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Examine a Factory Inspection Report

Explore how im/migrants get started through an actual factory inspection report from 1892.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Listen Closely to an Oral History

Teach using an oral history from the child of Italian immigrants in the 1930s.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

View 1980’s Garment Factory Footage

Teach about community action through a 1980’s video of a Chinatown garment factory.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Respond to an Oral History

Students chart parts of their identity before listening to an oral history from the child of a Chinese immigrant.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Inspect an 1870’s Charity Ledger

Students learn about a German community that worked together through an 1870’s Charity ledger.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Analyze A Video Interview

Students consider what it means to be American through media seen by a 1950’s refugee family.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Examine a 1910 Census

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

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Think Deeply About Family Interviews

Teach students about how a Puerto Rican family made a difference with their oral histories.

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Family Stories

9 non-fiction texts about the Tenement Museum families, with accompanying comprehension questions and writing activities.

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

The Baldizzi Family Story

Learn about the Baldizzi family, who came from Italy in the 1930s.

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

The Confino Family Story

Learn about the Confino family, Greek Jewish immigrants who lived in 97 Orchard Street in the 1910s.

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

The Epstein Family Story

Learn about the Epstein family, Jewish refugees who lived in 103 Orchard Street in the 1950s.

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

The Gumpertz Family Story

Learn about the Gumpertzes, a German American family who lived in 97 Orchard Street in the 1870s.

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

The Levine Family Story

Learn about the Levine family, a Jewish American family who lived in 97 Orchard Street in the 1890s.

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

The Moore Family Story

Learn about the Moore’s, an Irish American family who lived in 97 Orchard Street in the 1860s.

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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.

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

The Saez Velez Family Story

Learn about the Saez Velez family, who lived in 103 Orchard Street in the 1960s-1970s.

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

The Wong Family Story

Learn about the Wong’s, a Chinese American family who lived in 103 Orchard Street in the 1970s.

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Primary Sources

Explore and download documents, photographs, oral histories, and videos with accompanying activity suggestions for Upper Elementary students.

Documents

High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Map of the Moore Family’s Homes in 1860’s New York

Track the different neighborhoods an Irish immigrant family lived in and consider why they moved.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1870 Census

Students find 8-10 facts about the people in this building 150 years ago. Who is the oldest? Who is the youngest? Where were people born?

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

United Hebrew Charity Ledger

Investigate how an immigrant family in the 1870’s got help in a time of need.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1880 Census

See how an immigrant from Germany, Natalie Gumpertz, is supporting her family in 1880.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1892 Factory Inspection Report

Learn the ins and outs of the garment factory the Levine family ran out of their own home.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1910 Census

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

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1913 SS Argentina Ship Passenger List (Manifest)

Find the Confino family on the passenger list of a ship that brought immigrants to the United States in 1913.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1914 Report Card

Look at a report card from 1914 and see how a 12-year-old immigrant girl, Victoria Confino, did in school.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1923 Ship Passenger Manifest

Find Adolfo Baldizzi, an immigrant from Italy, on this 1923 Ship Manifest.

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Photographs

High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1874 Drawing of St. Patrick’s Day Parade

See an artist’s depiction of one of the most important days of the year for Irish families in New York City in the 1870’s.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1898 Photograph of Orchard Street

Imagine the sights, smells, and sounds of the lower east side in 1898.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Kastoria Postcard c. 1900

Postcard of the city of Kastoria, Greece in 1900.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Confino Family Photograph, 1913

See portrait of the Confino family shortly after they were reunited in New York City after immigrating from Greece in 1913.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

International Ladies Garment Workers Union 1910 Photograph

View a garment factory that employed many young immigrant women in the early 20th century.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Photograph of Picketing Women on Strike, 1911

Look at two women fighting for better working conditions in the garment industry in 1911.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

José Velez’s 3rd Grade Class Portrait, 1959

Check out who was in José Velez’s 3rd grade class in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1959.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Wong, Epstein, and Saez Velez Families

A photo of present-day immigrants, migrants, and their families taken in July 2016.

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Oral Histories

High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Alison Talks About Watching TV

Hear Alison Wong, who came to the United States from China as a baby, talk about watching American TV.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Josephine Baldizzi Discusses Her Bedroom

Listen to Josephine Baldizzi, the child of Italian immigrants, remember her home and childhood in a tenement in the 1930’s.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Bella Discusses Paul Anka

Listen to Bella Epstein, a child of refugees, discuss the music heard in her 1950’s childhood home.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Kevin Wong Discusses His Name

Hear the story of how a 5th grade student went from Yat Chung Wong to Kevin Wong.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Memory from José About Helping His Mom

Listen to a migrant from Puerto Rico, José Velez, remember an important rule he had to follow as a child.

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Videos

High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

1980’s Garment Factory Footage

View 1980’s Garment Factory Footage.

Read More
High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

José discusses Spanish channels On TV

Watch a migrant from Puerto Rico, José Velez, tell us how he maintained his Spanish in New York City.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Halo Shampoo Ad

Watch a TV shampoo advertisement from the 1950’s and consider the messages.

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Bella Discusses Halo Shampoo

Watch a child of refugees, Bella Epstein, discuss how she wanted to “look American” in the 1950’s. 

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High School: 9-12th Grade, Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Bella Returning to 103 Orchard Street

A child of refugees, Bella Epstein, discusses returning to her childhood home.

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Video Stories

New!

Learn with a Tenement Museum’s costumed interpreters, bringing history to life in the recreated apartments of 97 Orchard Street.

Lower Elementary: 1-3rd Grade, Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

NEW Bridget Moore Video

Watch a Tenement Museum costumed interpreter plays Bridget Moore in 1868. 

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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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This Program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.