Theme: Culture and Identity | Grades 3 – 5

Culture and Identity     Students learn about how families and groups express culture and that individuals have identities, or understandings of themselves, that are influenced by language, religion, geography, and other personal factors.

1860’s Meet Bridget 

On the Meet Bridget program, students will go back in time to 1869 to learn from an actor playing Bridget Moore. Bridget Moore was a real woman who immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1863.  A Tenement Museum educator will teach students about push and pull factors impacting 19th century Irish immigrants, with a focus on the Potato Famine. By analyzing historical newspaper images, maps, and photographs students will hypothesize about Bridget Moore’s life in New York City. They then have will watch a video of Bridget presenting her 1869 home.  Through the objects in Bridget’s home, students will learn about daily tasks, how her family connects to their Irish culture, and how she finds comfort in her new home.  Finally, students will reflect on personal objects that represent culture, connection, and comfort for them.

Themes: Complicating Stereotypes, Culture and Identity, Push and Pull Factors

Topics: European Immigration

Duration: 60 minutes

Connections to Our Curriculum:

 


1910’s 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. Through exploration of the objects in the family’s recreated apartment, historical photographs, and the 1900 census, students will evaluate the family’s ability to make financial gain while preserving their culture and traditions. Students will analyze workers’ efforts to improve working conditions through labor unions including the actual experiences of Bessie Rogarshevsky, one of the teenage daughters in the family.

Themes: Culture and Identity, Industrialization and Labor, Push and Pull Factors

Topics: European Immigration

Duration: 60 minutes

Connections to our Curriculum:

 


1916 Meet Victoria

Meet Victoria is a costumed interpretation program.  Students will be transported back in time to 1916 to interact with an actor playing Victoria Confino, an actual 14-year-old girl who immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island in 1913.  Victoria will show students her home and daily life, tell stories about her life experiences, and share how her family keeps their culture alive through food, language, holiday celebrations, and more.  Students will explore the differences and similarities between life in and today while exploring how people cope when they move to a new place and are uncertain about the future—an experience as relevant today as it was in 1916.  Throughout the program, students will engage with Victoria through questions and connection making.

Themes: Complicating Stereotypes, Culture and Identity

Topics: European Immigration

Duration: 60 minutes

Connections to our Curriculum:

 


1960s Saez Velez

The Saez Velez Family story features a Puerto Rican family and their 1968 tenement home. Students learn their migration story and explore the objects in their recreated apartment to learn about the family’s culture and consider what’s needed to create a home. Through video interviews and family and neighborhood photographs, students will examine how the family builds community within their home, in the neighborhood, and even between Puerto Rico and New York City. Students will reflect on how they themselves belong to many different communities.

Themes: Community, Culture and Identity, Jobs and Industry

Topics: Puerto Rican Migration

Duration: 60 minutes

Connections to our Curriculum:

 


1950’s Epstein Family  

The Epstein Family story features a Jewish American family and their 1950’s tenement home. Rivka and Kalman Epstein were Holocaust survivors and students will learn about their journey from Europe to find protection and safety in the United States. By exploring their recreated home and the objects in it, students uncover how the family revived traditions from their home and also started new ones. Through oral histories and videos with the daughter in the family, Bella Epstein, students learn how she found support, friendship, and discovery in an increasingly diverse Lower East Side neighborhood. Students will consider how they themselves form their own senses of identity and belonging.

Themes: Complicating Stereotypes, Culture and Identity, Push and Pull Factors

Topics: European Immigration

Duration: 60 minutes 

Connections to our Curriculum: 

 


1970’s Wong Family   

The Wong family story features a Chinese American family and their 1970’s tenement home. Students learn about the push and pull factors of Chinese immigration and the long history of laws that restricted Asian immigration. Through exploration of a recreated apartment and garment shop, students will examine how the Wongs made a home in a growing Chinatown. Video interviews and family and neighborhood photographs will allow students to consider how different generations of the family navigate language, schooling, media, and work leading students to consider how they themselves form their own senses of identity and belonging.

 Themes: Complicating Stereotypes, Culture and Identity, Industrialization and Labor, Push and Pull Factors

Topics: Asian Immigration    

Duration: 60 minutes 

Connections to our Curriculum: 

 

Teaching Resources

We offer teacher-designed, teacher-tested lesson plans where students learn to interpret objects, oral histories, and primary sources while making modern connections. Find unit plans, lesson plans, primary sources, and non-fiction family stories, made for flexible use in your classroom.

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