Theme: Push and Pull Factors | Grades 3 – 5

Push and Pull Factors      Students learn about the economic, social, and political conditions that both motivate families to leave their own countries and attract them to settle in a new country.

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 the 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, Push and Pull Factors, Culture and Identity

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:

 


1930s Baldizzi Family

The Baldizzi Family story features an Italian-American family and their 1935 tenement home. Students will learn about the push and pull factors and immigration regulations impacting their immigration journey to the United States. Through guided exploration of the recreated apartment, oral histories, and historic documents and photographs, students will consider how the family created a home in a time of crisis: the Great Depression. Students will learn about the places in the neighborhood, city, and government where the Baldizzi’s could turn for help. Students will make past to present connections to consider where people go for support today.

Themes: Complicating Stereotypes, Push and Pull Factors

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 about the history of Puerto Rico, how Puerto Ricans came to be US citizens, and how the Saez Velez’ migrated to New York City. Through exploration of the recreated apartment, video interviews, family and neighborhood photos, and other primary source documents, students will examine the ways the Saez Velez family established themselves in a culturally and racially diverse Lower East Side and met challenges by building community at home, school, work, and in the neighborhood. Students will discuss how the family’s efforts made a difference on a larger scale and reflect on the contributions they themselves make to their communities.

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

Topics: Puerto Rican Migration

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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