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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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This 1855 newspaper account of election day in lower Manhattan is filled with the reporter's assumptions about the Five Points immigrant neighborhood and its residents. Irish immigrants had by this time garnered a reputation for disorderliness and…

A.W. Auner of Philadelphia was among the most prolific printers of "broadside ballads," cheaply-produced topical songs and poems that were widely available throughout the nineteenth century. "Poor Pat Must Emigrate," published by Auner sometime in…

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary Five Points: New York's Irish Working Class in the 1850s. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the documentary as…

In this activity students research roles as either Irish immigrants or African-American residents in the midst of the New York City Draft Riots that took place in July 1863. Students gather evidence from primary sources to develop their characters,…

In this activity students gather and analyze data from the 1855 census of the Five Points neighborhood. Students compare stereotypes of Irish immigrants with evidence from the census. Then students compare their census research with other primary…

This activity helps students navigate and make sense of the information available in the Five Points census database. In the activity, students use the database to test hypotheses about life and residents in the Five Points. For this activity,…

In this activity students learn about the religious, class, and ethnic tensions between reformers and residents in the working-class Irish immigrant neighborhood of Five Points. Students research roles of a Protestant reformer and two Irish women…

In this lesson students read poems and letters that describe the work and lives of nineteenth-century Irish immigrants to the United States. As students read the documents, they choose words and phrases to create found poems that reflect their…

Five Pointers were destitute when they arrived and settled in New York’s poorest and most run-down neighborhood. On top of this, Irish Five Pointers worked for some of the lowest wages in the most dangerous and unstable jobs in the city. Statistics…

In this activity, students look at census records from antebellum Five Points and compare them to depictions of the neighborhood and its residents. Students will evaluate whether observers described Five Points as a neighborhood or slum. The activity…
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