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Lesson Plan June 24, 2021

Brick by Brick: Exploring and Archiving the History of the City of Newark

Author:
SECTIONS


This unit was created by Jazmin Puicon, a high school teacher in Newark, NJ, as part of the spring 2021 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program on Stories of Migration. It is designed for facilitation across approximately eleven 60-minute in-person or virtual class periods.

For more units created by Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellows in this cohort, click here.

Unit Objectives:

Students will be able to… 

  • Explore the history of Newark—including problems, solutions, individuals, and community groups past and present
  • Understand the relationship between previous social categories and systems of governance and present unequal relationships among different cultural, racial, and gender groups
  • Research and craft a visual record of their history as migrants and citizens of the city of Newark

Unit Overview:

This unit focuses on underreported stories of migration and the local history of everyday people of the City of Newark. From the global stories of women migrants on the move to the wards of the City of Newark, we will examine the experiences of the people who live and inhabit these places and spaces, and who also make history.

Far too often we solely focus on major reported stories related to migration from the point of view of the elite, those in power, or the victors who wrote down their version of history for posterity. This unit seeks to reclaim history for those who resisted, suffered, lost yet triumphed. Anchored by Pulitzer Center migration resources, this unit explores the intersection of the history of the City of Newark (aka Brick City) and global migration using a variety of historical documents, texts, and visuals in which everyday people and the disenfranchised occupy an important space of representation.

Performance Task:

The unit culminates with the creation of primary source documents (oral histories, captioned maps, or photo/mural essays) that document the history of students’ families and their migration to the city of Newark.

In spring 2021, the students of Bard HS Early College (Newark, NJ) built a digital archive for other students throughout the world to access and explore as we celebrate the rich history of the City of Newark through the lens of migration. Therefore, consider this unit as the students’ history of migration to the City of Newark, as well as a guide for other educators who would like to develop similar projects in their own communities.  

Unit Guiding Questions:

  • How does the past impact our current history?
  • What does Newark history mean to you?
  • What has changed and what remains the same in our city?
  • As a city of migrants, how does our shared history of migration impact our present?

Unit Goals:

  • Identify and examine important factors, figures, and populations in Newark history. 
  • Make connections between the past and current events. 
  • Understand the issues surrounding migration - both on a global and local scale. 
  • Document and create a student-led archive of material that celebrates each individual student’s family history in Newark. 
  • Understand the relationship between previous social categories and systems of governance and present unequal relationships among different cultural, racial, and gender groups.
  • Constantly reflect upon and be engaged with material presented in class by collaborating and communicating with class members through shared assignments.

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