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About This Project
Teachers: Julie Maurer(
Janet Sygar
School: P.S. 110 M
School Phone: 212-674-2690
Collaborating Institution: Henry Street Settlement
Borough: Manhattan
Appropriate for: Grade 5 through grade 6
Topics: Architecture , Real Estate
Time Frame: 20 sessions
Eldridge Street Synagogue -- Victor Rodgriguez, Class 5-501 (.jpg file)
Henry Street Settlement - Ruben Pacheco, Class 4-309 (.jpg file)

A Children's Walking Tour of the Lower East Side

Project Summary:
As a result of a partnership between P.S. 110M and the nearby Henry Street Settlement, both on the Lower East Side, 5th and 6th grade students designed and published A Children's Walking Tour Guide of the Lower East Side: The Neighborhood Surrounding Delancey Street. They researched, oberved, and sketched their school and the Henry Street Settlement's buildings that include four National Historic Landmarks. The students then explored other structures on the Lower East Side and finally planned the working tour and guidebook.

Learning Objectives:
Students will:
-- develop awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the social and architectural history of their school neighborhood;
-- develop awareness and understanding of the tradition of folklore, passing on local history to their families and neighbors;
-- develop skills in organizaion and collecting data, and problem-solving through sketching and writing;
-- increase observation skills while sketching buildings on-site;
-- develop writing skills by creating texts for the guide.

Research: pens, writing paper, folders (for each student), books and other resources on the history of the neighborhood and its buldings.

Sketching: For each on-site drawing session provide the following for each student:
sheets of white paper, clipboard (can be homemade -- paperclips and a piece of cardboard work fine), black flair pen or pencil, 2 to 4 paper clips.
Have the following extra supplies in a tote bag:
extra sheets of white paper, erasers, and pencil sharpeners.

Teacher Prep and Resources:
Gather books, articles and research on the history of the local school neighborhood and its architexture for students to use for research in the classroom. Collect maps and copies of maps of the neighborhood.

Project Procedure:
In the first part of the project the class sketches each building on-site and each child is assigned a specific building to research. In the second part of the project, students write text and choose sketches to include in the guide. Finally, the students design and produce the guidebook.

Session 1 - Introduction
Using local maps, students discuss the concept of neighborhood and then create a list of the types of buildings and structures that make up their neighborhood. Students choose which building they want to research. Students might choose buildings they feel are important to them: a church they attend, a building they live in, or a building they like. Once students make their choice, each building is marked on a map and a series of walking tours is designed so that the class can examine each building.

Session 2 - Classroom Introduction to Architecture
Review architecture vocabulary and how to look at buldings. This lesson will assist students in their walking tours as they observe and sketch buildings in the neighborhood.

Sessions, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 (more if needed) - Sketching Buildings
Referring to the map made in Session 1, students take a series of walking tours. Students sketch the buildings chosen, two to three per session. The class sketches each building for 15 to 30 minutes, two to three buildings per session. Each student sketches each building so there will be a variety to choose from when compiling the guidebook. Although students may use pencil first and then outline with black pen, encourage the use of pen on-site to get the first impressions of the building. Encourage students to draw what they see and not worry about mistakes.


Sessions 4, 6, 8, 10
Students choose a building to research; keep the information on it in a labeled folder. They collect information about each strucure including the architect, the styles, facts about the people who use or used the building, important events that took place inside, the building's function and how it changed over time.
For research on your neighborhood, visit the local library, historical society, Landmarks Preservation Commission, and bookstores. Students can interview local residents to gather additional information. Subjects to interview might include architects and historians, as well as people who live or work in the building or who knew it in the past.

Sessions 14, 16, 17
Students plan the walking tours giving each building a number for the guidebook. It is a good idea to walk through the tour to see if it works, to check it for accuracy, (e.g., building addresses), and to see if it is a reasonable length.
After the research, students write a draft for each building and edit it until they have a final text for the guidebook. Students can swap drafts and help edit the text.

Sessions 18-20
The class chooses the illustrations for each building. Use more than one drawing to illustrate each building so the guidebook represents more than one child's image of each structure. This encourages students to have their own style of drawing, like their handwriting.
Make photocopies and reduce them to an assortment of sizes to use when designing the book. Make a map with the numbers of each building, the title if needed, and the address.

Sessions 20 and beyond
New design the guidebook with illustrations and text. Also design the cover page, a credit and introduction page, and a list of the buildings (with numbers). Paste down each page, then photocopy.

Related Resources

Seneca Village Online - This site has a host of historical features that allow interaction with the history of the land and people that made up the pre-Civil War village of Seneca, previously on the upper West Side. It had been home to many free blacks and some Irish and was razed to build Central

Queens Historical Society - As the historical society for the largest borough in New York City, the Queens Historical Society (QHS) publishes a quarterly newsletter and offers a regular series of lectures, programs and slide presentations. In addition, the Society cooperates closely with and serves as

Medieval New York - This site has text and pictures about the examples of medieval architecture extant right in New York City. A fairly exhaustive survey of the city's churches with links to other non-NY medieval resources.

Related Events  

Architecture of New York - This three-hour walking tour traverses one of the world's greatest thoroughfares, 42nd Street, to discuss architecture in New York City. Stretching from the East River to the Hudson River and cutting through the heart of Manhattan, 42nd Street features major monuments of Ame

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