School-based programs: BHS in the Classroom

90-minute In-class Workshops

Two-Part Extended Programs

In-school Residencies

90 Minute In-class Workshops

These 90-minute interactive workshops held in your classroom and led by a museum educator bring to life each lesson's themes with facilitated student exploration of related primary sources. Workshops start at $150 for groups of up to 30 students. These programs are offered on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 8 am to 12 pm. To book, please call our Senior Educator at 347-381-3700.

Bats, Balls, Nets and Hoops: Stories of Sports in Brooklyn
Grades: 4–12
The history of sports in Brooklyn provides an intriguing window to issues in American history, from immigration and civil rights, to urbanization and changing gender roles. Students will explore these themes using case studies such as 1940s African American track star Mary DeSaussure Sobers, play in Prospect Park, and basketball’s roots in Brooklyn (long before the arrival of the Nets).  Learn more about 
Bats, Balls, Nets, and Hoops: Stories of Sports in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn at Work
Grades 2–6
Students investigate primary source images and make discoveries about work and workers in Brooklyn in 1900 and today. Students will consider how new immigrants changed work in New York and explore the continuing evolution of labor, wages, and working conditions.

Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present, Future
Grades: 6 – 12
From shipbuilding to sustainable industry, the Brooklyn Navy Yard's evolution offers insight into larger narratives in American history. In this workshop, students will use primary source documents and images to connect the Brooklyn Navy Yard with themes such as industrialization, civil rights, gender equity, and environmentalism.

Brooklyn on the Move
Grades 2–6
In this lesson, students will draw on documents and photographs to learn about the history of transportation in Brooklyn and how changes in transportation, buildings, and streets played a role in the transformation of Brooklyn from a village to a metropolis.

History Speaks: Using Oral History in the Classroom
Grades 4-12
Oral histories are recorded interviews that document personal memories, spoken recollections of events, and reflections on experiences.  BHS’s oral history collections began in 1973, feature narrators born as early as 1890, and now contain over 840 interviews conducted in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin.  In this workshop, students will use excerpts from BHS archives to practice careful listening and will learn that studying history is about so much more than presidents and dates.
Available Spring, 2015.

In Pursuit of Freedom

Grades: 4–12
In Pursuit of Freedom outlines the development of the abolition movement in Brooklyn, a city on the rise, from the end of the American Revolution to the early days of Reconstruction. Students will explore the gradual unfolding of Brooklyn’s role in the anti-slavery movement through census records, contemporary anti-slavery and local newspapers, maps, illustrations, city directories, pamphlets, account books, letters, and print propaganda. In Pursuit of Freedom is offered through a partnership with three of Brooklyn’s leading cultural and educational institutions—Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center, and Irondale Ensemble Project.  Learn more about
In Pursuit of Freedom.


Two-Part Workshops

These two-session programs allow for a deeper exploration of a historical period or theme. One part takes place in your classroom, and the second is a field trip that brings students out of the classroom to observe historic spaces firsthand. These programs cost $300 for up to thirty students. The in-class session is offered Monday or Tuesday, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. The walking tour portions are offered at 10:00 am on Tuesday-Friday.

The Brooklyn Bridge from Classroom to Caisson: A Walk Back in Time
Grades: 2–5
Duration: 90 minutes in class and two hour walking tour
Site: Field trip meets at Brooklyn Historical Society

Session One: A BHS educator visits your classroom to lead a hands-on study of primary source images documenting Brooklyn before the Bridge, the Bridge’s engineering and construction, and its impact on New York City. These content-rich activities will form a springboard for continued learning during session two: a walk onto the Bridge.

Session Two: During a multi-sensory walking tour through historic Brooklyn Heights and onto the Brooklyn Bridge, students will examine the built environment and learn the stories of John, Washington, and Emily Roebling along with the workers who built the Bridge. 

Students and Educator on Brooklyn Bridge


Greenpoint From Sugar to Shipyards: A Walk Back in Time
Grades 5–11
Duration: 90 minutes in class and two hour walking tour
Site: Field trip meets in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Session One: A BHS educator visits your classroom to lead an exploration of the history of Greenpoint and how it was shaped by trends in urbanization and industrialization. Students will investigate historic maps, photos, and other archival evidence to craft a narrative about specific sites and their connections to national history.

Session Two: A BHS educator will hit the streets of Greenpoint with your class, but the students will become the tour guides, sharing their findings about industrialization, manufacturing, and immigration at each historic site.


In-School Residencies

For a longer-term collaboration, Brooklyn Historical Society offers in-school residencies in which a BHS educator, over the course of several in-class workshops, leads hands-on activities in support of social studies curriculum and historical thinking skills. We will tailor the focus and scope of the partnership to your school's goals and needs. All programs include an emphasis on guided discussion, group activities, and experiential learning.

To plan a workshop and discuss pricing, please contact the Manager of Teaching and Learning at 347-381-3707.