Dig deep into the history of Brooklyn with our free digital curricula and lesson plans. Here you will find classroom ready resources on a wide variety of local history topics. Explore curriculum kits designed to give educators everything they need to plan units on history topics, from innovative lesson plans that draw on primary sources to a comprehensive teacher’s guide and more.
Brooklyn Resists Curriculum
This curriculum is an adaptation of the Brooklyn Resists (2020) exhibition. The featured case studies, contextual videos are derived from the exhibition and the Brooklyn Public Library, ranging from the 1600s to the 2020s. It is divided into six separate sections corresponding to the exhibition. This curriculum is meant to expand the history of Black Brooklynites with the objective of tailoring the exhibition content to social studies Scope & Sequence framework. Please explore here.
(Re)connecting Brooklyn's History: Event Booklets & Recordings
(Re)connecting Brooklyn's History is CBH Education's history series where introduce middle and high school students and educators to historians and scholars whose work looking at Brooklyn’s past relates to issues taught in the classroom. After each historian talk, we make a recording of the event as well as companion booklets rich with resources and lesson plans available. All can be used in the classroom. Explore them here.
Bats, Balls, Nets & Hoops: Stories of Sports in Brooklyn
The history of sports in Brooklyn provides an intriguing window on enduring issues in American history, from civil rights to urbanization. Using case studies examining baseball legend Jackie Robinson, 1940s African-American track star Mary DeSaussure Sobers, Prospect Park as a locus of play and basketball’s roots in Brooklyn long before the Nets, these lessons will build upon children’s fascination with sports to explore the way athletics have always been more than simple games.
Find the curriculum here.
Books by the Young Scholars
From the amusements of Coney Island to the sewers beneath our feet, explore the wide range of books written by the students of the Young Scholars program. These books are the result of students in 4th-12th grade researching archival sources; learning from acclaimed scholars, authors, and public figures; and collaborating to compose original volumes. The books here represent six years of the program. Access the books here.
The Brooklyn Bridge
Designed for grades 2-4. Explore the history, construction, and importance of one of New York's most prominent landmarks: the Brooklyn Bridge. We offer a Curriculum Kit, Image Cards, and worksheets.
The archive will come alive for your students when they read our Brooklynology blog! Archivists tell incredible Brooklyn stories using material from our archive and model how historic newspapers, photographs, and ephemera can tell us so much about where we live. Brooklyn Connections educators are regularly featured on the blog with posts that demonstrate how they teach with archival material. Access the blog here.
The Civil War: Voices from Brooklyn
This curriculum was developed in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and highlights collections from Brooklyn Historical Society and Green-Wood Cemetery. These letters, cartes de visite, wartime illustrations, and broadsides document visual and print communication made by and for Brooklynites during the American Civil War. They have been paired with adaptable handouts and strategies for critical thinking across the humanities and social sciences, designed for grades 4 – 12. Explore here.
Digitized Archival Resources
Looking for a historic primary source to compliment a lesson plan? Look no further! Access over 200,000 digitized photographs, maps, ephemera, oral history recordings, and more from our archive's Digital Collections. Search by keyword or navigate through the featured collections. You never know what you might find! Start your search here.
Dutch Breukelen: Where Brooklyn Began
This curriculum, designed for grades 2–8, transforms your classroom into a learning lab about seventeenth-century Brooklyn. With primary sources including maps, diaries, cookbooks, account ledgers, and drawings, Dutch Breukelen: Where Brooklyn Began contains resources and prompts that will spark and engage the curiosity of students about the origins of New York’s most populous borough. Explore here.
Exploring Pre-Revolutionary New York: the Ratzer Map
Explore CBH’s rare 1770 map of colonial New York with this content-rich curriculum. This map, The Plan of the City of New York in North America, was made by British military officer Bernard Ratzer in 1766–1767 and printed in 1770. One of only four still in existence, it is one of the finest and most detailed depictions of a commercial New York City in the years before the American Revolution. here.
In Pursuit of Freedom
A comprehensive website of educator resources centered on the development of the abolition movement in Brooklyn from the end of the American Revolution to the early days of Reconstruction. The site features lesson plans, games, walking tours, and more. Find it here.
Lesson Plans for Teaching with Primary Sources
Our team supports K-12 educators to deliver skill-based instruction through a local history lens. Download free, curriculum and standards-aligned lesson plans written by educators that can be differentiated for elementary, middle or high school students. Find them here.
Mapping Freedom and Enslavement
Using primary sources, Mapping Freedom and Slavery helps students study the history of slavery and abolition in Brooklyn and to learn about Black-led institutions and organizations of the late-18th and early-19th century. Find it here.
Muslims in Brooklyn
All grades/ages. Explore the long history of Muslim communities in Brooklyn and use oral histories to hear how the experiences of individuals within these communities illustrate historical and cultural themes over time. Our Teacher Toolbox features lesson plans and classroom materials. Access the Toolbox here.
Primary Source Packets
Access approximately 100 archives educator-curated primary source packets on an array of local history topics from the Civil Rights Movement to Neighborhood History and Gentrification in Brooklyn. Each packet includes thoughtful document-based questions to help students analyze and synthesis primary sources about Brooklyn's people, places and events. View and download here.
Voices of Mixed Heritage: Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations
Voices of Mixed Heritage: Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations invites students and educators to engage with the topic of mixed heritage and identity in the United States from the mid-19th century to the present. Students will investigate the voices and representation of those who identify as mixed-heritage individuals through oral histories, archival primary sources, popular culture references, and contextualizing secondary sources. These resources will allow students to unpack complex political concepts such as race, racism, identity, equity, and self-determination.
Access the website here.
Access the curriculum here.
CBH Education is generously supported by The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, Nissan Foundation, The Pine Tree Foundation, and National Grid.