East Harlem

Discover East Harlem


You live in East Harlem; you just go to school here or both. But what do you know of the rich history of East Harlem? Who lived here before you? How has the neighborhood changed from 1942 to 2002? What makes it a unique place to live? What are the benefits of living here and how has it affected you personally? What would you like to see change about this neighborhood in the years to come? This webquest will ask you to look at your neighborhood and create a piece of work, that lets others see your world as you see it

Tasks & Process:

Pick one of the following tasks
  • Write a newspaper article on the many topics covered www. east-harlem.com, our main resource. Click on About and then the Contents section to guide you through this whole site. Remember to answer in your article the who, what, where and when of your chosen topic. For example your could write about East Harlem’s connection to Salsa music, or an article of one of the many celebrities whose roots are right here in East Harlem from Tito Puente to Marc Anthony. What is the history of African Americans and Asian Americans in this historically Hispanic area? It is your choice, read the website resources and choose a topic interesting to you. The article has a ten-paragraph minimum.

  • Debate-East Harlem or Spanish Harlem which title is fair to all its residents/ Read the article “East Harlem or Spanish Harlem, El Barrio what’s in a name?”and weigh in with your own opinion. How does what you call your neighborhood effect how other people see an area? Write a two-page paper or whether we should call the neighborhood East Harlem or Spanish Harlem? Be specific and list your reasons for or against each name.

  • Oral History- As much as you think you know about your neighborhood, there are many people who have lived here for decades who can act as historians and teachers about East Harlem’s past. Create an oral history paper. Interview three people of varying ages who have grown up in East Harlem. You may be surprised about what they have to say. How do their stories compare to your own experience. How are these three stories similar and how are they different? Review the websites listed below to gain a background on your subjects. To start create a list of ten questions and write or record the answers that your interviewees give. Take the answers and write a three-page paper that includes the responses and your own perspective.

  • Your cousin is visiting from Kansas. You want to send him/her a PowerPoint presentation that acts as a travel brochure for East Harlem. Use the websites listed as sources for information and pictures. Don’t forget to add your own personal viewpoint. This project must have a minimum of ten slides. Review a sample PowerPoint Presentation here.

The Resources:

Check out the websites below to gain a wider background of East Harlem
1.  www. east-harlem.com This is your main source for information with sections on art, politics, history, and institutions of this culturally rich neighborhood.

2.  www.east-harlem.com/tour_index.htm A great resource for pictures of the area. Use this page for all your picture needs.

3.  Harlem Tours Harlem and East Harlem have a rich history in African American culture. Find out why

4.  One man’s perspective on growing up African American in East Harlem during the early part of the last century.Refections on Black History by Thomas C. Fleming

5.  El Museo del Barrio The website for our own museum of Hispanic culture created over thirty years ago. The museum is located 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, NYC.

6.  El Barrio Website The Academy of Computer Technology's own website for El Barrio, check the work of the artist De La Vega and a nice article on the L&T Donut shop.

7.  St Ann School is located on East 110th street renamed Tito Puente Way. Who was this man? Tito Puente Find out why he did not believe in the calling his music “Salsa”. Great Interview with Tito Puente

8.  The International Salsa Museum The Museum is located at 2127 Third Avenue (between 116th & 117th Streets, read about how it was started.

9.  Marc Anthony is the most recent celebrity to have been born and raised in East Harlem, read about his rise to stardom. Marc Anthony

10.  Before there was Marc Anthony, there was Bobby Darin who was born in East Harlem, he was part of the generations of Italian Americans who called the neighborhood home. Find out how he attended the Bronx High School of Science, was nominated for an Oscar and had many number one hits in the 50’s and 60’s.

Learning Advice:

Remember no matter what project you choose, it important to review all the websites for possible information. You will have four computer class periods to complete this assignment.

Expectations & Evaluation:

How will you be graded? The mystery ends here. If you've ever wondered why you received the grade you did, or what is expected of you from project,then take a look at the


    Hopefully in addition to teaching others about your neighborhood, you have learned a few new facts yourself. In learning about your neighborhood, I hope that you found pride in your surroundings and how they came to be. Viva El Barrio!

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    © Gina Coletti 2002