S2 Explores Communities in NYC

S2 Explores Communities in NYC
Posted on 03/20/2017
Russ and Daughters Group Picture

In social studies students have been learning about different communities in New York City, specifically the Lower East Side, Harlem, and Chinatown. They've considered how and why these communities originated, as well as how they’ve contributed to the overall cultural landscape. After learning about each community, students chose which community they wanted to focus on and created presentations about significant people from those areas. The project culminated in a trip to the various neighborhoods, where students took notes and snapped some pictures in order to create a travel guide focusing on the history and culture of their chosen community.

Students who visited the Lower East Side started at Russ and Daughters, an iconic restaurant that serves food typically served in Eastern Europe, as well as traditional Jewish food. Students sampled chopped liver, smoked salmon, halva, and more. Next they had a walking tour and visited many places they’d learned about in class, including tenements and old storefronts. It was clear to see how cultural fusion and gentrification combine to make an ever-changing urban landscape. The favorite stop for most students was the candy shop at the end of the day.

Other students visited Chinatown, where they dined on dumplings and tried Boba tea. These students also went to the Museum of Chinese in America where they saw many interesting exhibits portraying Chinese culture, history and traditions.

The last group of students spent the day in Harlem. These students learned to scatt, and some were brave enough to do it in front of the group! The museum tour provided a walk through the Harlem Renaissance and included a brief lesson on how to do the Lindy Hop. After working up an appetite at the museum, this group dined at Sylvia’s, a soul food restaurant around the corner. They really enjoyed the food!

The students really enjoyed their trips and were excited to share their field guide presentations with their classmates. The trips were a great way to show our students neighborhoods in their home city that are completely different from their own. That's the true beauty of NYC!

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