Learning From Home

The Museum may be closed, but we still have lots to share. From easily adaptable lesson plans to writing prompts and art activities, LEARNING FROM HOME is your go-to when you need a dose of history and culture (and fun) to add richness to your family’s experience at home. It’s always a great time to learn together, no matter where we are!



Calling all budding builders! This month we are celebrating our building’s amazing architectural features – Eldridge Street is home to some incredible arches! This activity will help learners think about arches, how they are built, and what makes them strong enough to hold up buildings. They’ll even get to build their own! Get started by learning about how arches are built and then learn how to build your own in the Amazing Arches video!  You can find ideas for patterns to decorate your arch here.
We wish to thank our partners at the Center for Architecture for contributing materials to our Amazing Arches! activity. For the emerging architects and engineers in your life, be sure to check out their K-12 offerings including their upcoming virtual after school programs!


Presented in partnership with Archtober


The Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in a 19th-century synagogue that was built in an eclectic style, featuring elements of Gothic, Romanesque and Moorish design. That means it’s the perfect building to examine in order to learn a ton about architecture and develop an eye for style!

Here’s how: First, check out the architectural guide to our building’s exterior. We’ve listed 24 of its distinguishing features, and your assignment is to look for them on the illustration of the building. (Don’t worry. We’ve labeled some that may be harder to find.) 

Next step? Now that you’re an architecture aficionado, it’s time to play Building Bingo! Print out the Building Bingo board – use one if you’re going to do it together as a family, or more if you want to make it a competition! Then, take to the streets to spot some of those same architectural features you learned about in Building Basics – but this time on buildings in your neighborhood. Once you find something, check it off on the Building Bingo board. Complete any five squares across, down, or diagonal and you’ve got Building Bingo! (Show us your new architectural expertise by snapping a picture of your completed Building Bingo grid and tagging us on Instagram – @museumateldridgestreet & #buildingbingo)




We have partnered with everyone’s favorite photo app to create virtual story walks around our neighborhood. In a city with a million stories, Urban Archive’s interactive map has documented thousands – and counting – using stunning historic photos. Check out our latest walk, entitled Following Their Footprints, about the lives of our early congregants. It’s designed especially for students in Grades 4 through 8. The app also has a section just for Educators containing lesson plans, stories and training tutorials.








Where do immigrants go for help? Where do people find community? This special tour, for learners aged 4th to 8th grade, joins educators at the Eldridge Street Synagogue and the Henry Street Settlement – two places where immigrants 100 years ago found support to live happy and healthy lives. Watch the video >

Dear Editor: Letters from a Bintel Brief







This comprehensive lesson guide uses the real letters that new immigrants wrote to the Jewish Daily Forward to explore themes of adaptation, education and family. Build-your-own learning with this packet, which includes writing prompts, suggestions for art activities, and more.

My New York: Changing Everyday







What makes a city a city? Is it the buildings? The people? The hustle and bustle? And what makes cities change? This learning guide builds off The Little House storytime and encourages kids to consider their home city or town, using photo research & activities to discover how things changes over time as well as what stays the same.









Use this video lesson & arts projects to talk about colors, shapes and patterns. We’ll talk about identifying them in the real world and where you can find shapes and patterns in the stained glass and paint of our beautiful historic sanctuary!









When the Eldridge Street Synagogue opened its doors in 1887 its vibrant stained glass brought light into a dark world (literally!). But stained glass does so much more than light up a room. Learn about the fun history of stained glass with museum educator Scott Brevda as he shares highlights from our sanctuary’s 67 stained glass windows and gets you inspired to do some stained glass art projects at home. Print these patterns to do the activity along with Scott.







Use these printable coloring pages to discover the beauty on view at the Museum – and to glimpse the Lower East Side as it was more than 100 years ago. Add your own colors and stories to turn these special places into your places.








Historians rely on primary sources, including photographs, to learn about the past. Each week, we’ll share a historic photo that you can examine. What will you discover about the past just by looking at it? Click here to find out.








These emails offer a history-based learning prompt paired with an activity to help further explore the topic. New installments are on hiatus for the summer, so peruse the archive for now and sign up to receive the series in your inbox when it resumes!