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Professional Development Opportunities

Professional Development

Discover innovative ways to introduce students to the complexities of immigration throughout U.S. history. Walk the city streets, eat your way to cultural understanding, and investigate where the past meets the present as you gain content knowledge and strategies to enrich your classroom. All participants receive curricular materials.

Professional development workshops can include tours of 97 Orchard Street and of our gateway Lower East Side neighborhood. Each workshop is paired with a session exploring ways to incorporate primary sources, multiple perspectives, and narrative in the curriculum, as well as methods to use history to explore contemporary issues. As is true of all the Museum's educational programs, these workshops were developed in keeping with the goals of national and New York State learning standards.

The Museum offers full- and half-day professional development workshops for K-12 teachers. Individuals can register for full-day workshops held throughout the year. The Museum also offers workshops for private groups. Dates and times are flexible. A minimum of 10 educators and a maximum of 30 educators are allowed per workshop. Registration costs $100 for a full-day workshop and $50 for a half-day workshop. Scholarships are available. To apply for a scholarship, visit this webpage: Tenement Teacher Scholarship.To register for a workshop, please contact Colin Kennedy at 646.795.4748 or at

The Tenement Museum's professional development workshops for teachers are made possible, in part, through a generous grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Hearst Foundation.

Workshop Menu

How does commerce shape an immigrant's vision of the American Dream? In this workshop teachers learn about the past and present of shopping on the Lower East Side, from the street peddlers and kosher butcher shops of the 1900s to the discount underwear stores of the 1960s to the variety of stores dotting the neighborhood today. Along the way, teachers discover how the everyday act of buying and selling things is an integral part of the immigrant experience and a key stepping stone to attaining the American Dream.

Cultural Adaptation
What does it mean to be American? Participate in living history and "meet" Victoria Confino, a 14- year-old girl who lived in 97 Orchard Street and negotiated her cultural heritage in a foreign land. Explore the ways that immigrants preserve and adapt their traditions, as well as how they transform American culture and what it means to be American.

Explore the connections between immigration, discrimination, and popular culture. Teachers examine the stories of families that encountered ethnic and racial prejudice and consider the history and impact of discrimination on individuals, communities, and the United States. Music and political cartoons highlight the role that popular culture plays in advancing and negating stereotypes.

Learn about industrialization and its impact on immigrant communities. Teachers examine the jobs immigrants often do and consider how the Industrial Revolution impacted employment opportunities and empowered workers to take some control over their livelihood. Investigate the role of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and explore multiple perspectives of this tragedy through primary sources.

Saturday, October 24th

Join WNET Education, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the National Park Service on October 24th, 2015, for a full-day, free workshop on immigration at Ellis Island! Learn more about the WNET award-winning MISSION US “City of Immigrants” game and best practices for using primary sources with your students. You will also get to tour Ellis Island. Space is limited and we encourage you to register early for this very special event! Register here.


 Tuesday, November 3rd

Join us on November 3 for a full-day workshop on immigration at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum! Learn to use the game MISSION US “City of Immigrants” and primary sources with your students. You will also get to tour the Tenement Museum. Register here.


Discover new ways to teach immigration to your students. During this all-day workshop, you will access two great resources: Mission US, a video game that immerses students in the dynamic world of New York City in the early 20th century, and the Tenement Museum, which features the recreated apartments of two real families who faced the same struggles depicted in the game. A primary resource workshop will also highlight tools to use when teaching about issues such as unsafe work conditions, overcrowded housing, and the challenges of becoming American. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.