March 6, 2021 - May 22, 2021 | 11:30 am - 12:30 pm | Annual Special Events

Students grades 3-5 are invited to register and attend virtual classes designed to introduce them to the history and contemporary issues of working people and immigrants through the visual and performing arts.  Students are provided with the opportunity to virtually tour the Museum and view historic artifacts and photographs by which they are encouraged to develop their understanding and appreciation of an immigrant worker's home, lifestyle and workplace as a means of comparison to the same issues today.  The virtual classes are conducted via ZOOM on Saturdays 11:30AM - 12:30PM.  Upon registration and each week, a ZOOM link will be emailed to the registrant.  It is not necessary to attend every class.  Virtual classes begin on March 6th and end on May 22nd, 2021. Student artists will be expected to bring a pencil, eraser, paper and crayons or markers to each virtual class.

The Saturday Labor Arts Classes are funded, in part, by a generous grant from the Puffin Foundation.

To register, complete the form.  For further information, please call the Museum at (973) 595-7953 or email   

Spring 2021 Labor Art Class Lessons:

March 6th.  "Immigrants and the American Dream"  Tour the Botto family's house of 1908 and learn about their everyday lives.  Create a "now and then" picture.  Click here for the "How Houses Change" worksheet.  View a video tour of the Museum's period rooms as inspiration for your orginal picture.

March 13th.  "Paterson, the Silk City"  Explore Paterson's textile factories of a hundred years ago through historic photographs and artifacts.  Make a bookmark.  View the video lesson.  Learn more about Paterson's silk mills and workers.

March 20th.  "Tools of the Trade"  Look at a collection of "mystery" tools that were used by workers in Paterson's silk mills.  Draw a tool and the kind of work that you think was performed with it.

March 27th.  "Mill Owners & Mill Workers:  The Paterson Silk Strike of 1913"  Learn about mill owners and mill workers involved in this historic event through role-playing cards.  Write an "historic biography" poem.  Learn more about the strike.

April 3rd.  "When I Grow Up, I'm Going to be..."  Explore the kinds of jobs done by working people in New Jersey and, think about the job that you would like to have as a grown-up.  Make a picture of yourself in your future workplace.

April 10th.  "The Newsies Strike"  Listen to the story of these working boys and how they fought for fair pay.  Take on the role of a "newsie."  Write and recite a short speech.  Read more information about the "newsies" provided by the Library of Congress.

April 17th "Cesar Chavez & Delores Huerta:  Labor Leaders"  Learn about the lives and achievements of thse founders of the United Farm Workers Union and civil rights activists.  Learn about Cesar Chavez by clicking here and, then listen to a rap about him.    Learn about Delores Huerta by clicking here and, then listen to a rap about her.  View how to draw a portrait and make one of Mr. Chavez or Ms. Huerta.

April 24th. "A Doer, a Dreamer, & a Reformer"  Learn about Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, the March of the Mill Children, and their effort to end child labor.  Make a banner or sign using bubble letters.

May 1st.  "My Everyday Working Hero"  There are heroes in every workplace.  They are working in hospitals, schools, offices, homes and other places.  Write about & draw a picture of your everyday working hero.

May 8th "When Everybody Wore a Hat" by William Steig.  Listen to this memoir of an eight-year-old boy in 1916.  How does your daily life compare to his life?  Draw a hat.

May 15th.  "Ralph Fasanella:  The People's Painter"  Coney Island amusement rides, May Day celebrations & union halls fill Mr. Fasanella's colorful paintings.  Learn about his art & create a "people's picture."

May 22nd.  "Si, Se Puede!  Yes, We Can"  Listen to the story of a Mexican-American family in which mom works as a janitor and, her son does something positive for the workers.  Make a small poster.