On Friday, 25 January, our 8th-grade students enjoyed “part two” of their New York City trip. Students in Dr. Eckers and Ms. Clarke’s classes arrived at the memorial pools of the World Trade Center before ascending 102 flights to the observation decks of One World Observatory. On the way up, students experienced interactive walls showing the transformation of Manhattan Island from prehistoric times through today, including the Dutch and English colonial eras, Federalist Era, Industrial Revolution, New Deal, and construction of the original towers. At the top, students viewed important historic and cultural sites of New York City, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, Empire State Building, Broadway, City Hall, and Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan, George Washington, and Verrazzano Bridges,. The sunny day truly enabled students to “see forever” atop the building. We were treated to some spectacular views of New York Harbor, the Hudson and East Rivers, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and New Jersey. Students were impressed with the aircraft flying lower than the building! After lunch, we walked to and across the Brooklyn Bridge, learning about Roebling, suspension bridges, and the effects of linking two of the world’s great cities in the late 19th century.
Students in Mr. Haig’s and Mrs. Topping’s classes visited the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where they worked with educators and docents to understand what life was like in immigrant neighborhoods of New York City. By studying artifacts and walking through the cramped living and working spaces, students could see firsthand the difficulties of “making it” in America. Perhaps the streets weren’t all “paved with gold,” as the old anecdote goes. Outside the tenements, our own Mr. Patrick Clarke took groups of students on walking tours of the neighborhood, pointing out famous and significant sites such as the Jarmulowsky Bank, Forward Building, Seward Park, Loew’s Theatre, historic schools, eateries, and streets that were once jam-packed with pushcarts.
All eighth-grade students recently completed units in immigration and city life at the “Turn of the Century,” focusing on the Progressive Era and the growth of New York City. These trips were excellent opportunities for students to explore the people and places in their textbooks and classroom lessons. Students in all classes have now taken both trips and are ready to move on to units featuring the United States as a world power.
Thank you to Dr. Eckers for the write-up of this trip! Thank you as well to Dr. Eckers and Mr. Gadamowitz for the photos below!