The New Jersey History Kids multimedia website is intended to instruct New Jersey students in grades K through 4 in New Jersey History and Social Studies in accordance with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in Social Studies, adopted by the New Jersey State Department of Education in October 2004.

The website consists of eleven units: (1) the Lenape, (2) Farming, (3) Industry, (4) Invention, (5) the Underground Railroad, (6) the American Revolution, (7) Immigrants, (8) the Statehouse, (9) Barnegat Bay, (10) Delaware Bay, and (11) the Pinelands.

Each unit is associated with one or more fields of study: (1) the Lenape with Archaeology, (2) Farming with Living History, (3)  Industry with Urbanization and Geography, (4) Invention with Material Culture, (5) the Underground Railroad with Family History and Folklore, (6) the American Revolution with Geography (7) Immigrants with Oral History, Local History, and Art History, (8) the Statehouse with Civics, (9) Barnegat Bay with Folk Art, Material Culture, and Regionalism, (10) Delaware Bay with Material Culture, Historic Restoration, and Regionalism, and (11) the Pinelands with Folklife and Regionalism.

Each unit also is associated with a historic site or place: (1) the Lenape with Waterloo Village, (2) Farming with Howell Living History Farm in Titusville, (3) Industry with Paterson and the American Labor Museum-Botto House National Historic Landmark in Haledon, (4) Invention with the Thomas A. Edison National Historic Site in West Orange, (5) the Underground Railroad with the historically black town of Lawnside, (6) the American Revolution with the Morristown National Historic Park and Jockey Hollow, (7) Immigrants with Roosevelt, N.J., (8) the Statehouse with Trenton, (9) Barnegat Bay with Waretown and Tuckerton, (10) Delaware Bay with Bivalve, and (11) the Pinelands with Forked River and Burlington County.

In each unit there are one or more video clips, questions, and activities for the students.  The video clips are from three co-productions of the New Jersey Historical Commission and NJN Public Television: Around and About New Jersey, a series of eight 15-minute programs for elementary school students; and three half-hour folklife films In the Barnegat Bay Tradition, about decoy carving; Schooners on the Bay, about New Jersey oyster boats; and Pinelands Sketches, about traditional activities in the New Jersey Pinelands, featuring a Pinelands fox chase.   The New Jersey State Council on the Arts was a co-producer of Schooners on the Bay and the Arts Council and the New Jersey State Museum co-produced Pinelands Sketches in connection with a major exhibit on the Pinelands at the State Museum in 1987 in collaboration with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.  David Steven Cohen of the Historical Commission and Lou Presti of NJN were co-producers on all of the above productions, Rita Moonsammy formerly of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts was also a co-producer on Schooners on the Bay and Pinelands Sketches.  Mary Hufford formerly of the American Folklife Center, now a professor of Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania, was project director of the Pinelands Folklife Project on which the Pinelands materials were based.

The activities include: interpreting display advertisements in the Lambertville Directory, analyzing an account of a “Mill Dolly,” tracing the routes of the Underground Railroad map based on a primary source, analyzing an account of the Still Family History, determining why George Washington chose Morristown as his winter headquarters twice during the Revolutionary War, comparing two accounts of the 1780 Morristown Mutiny, describing the steps in the invention process, interpreting the sayings of Thomas Edison, analyzing the mural painted by Ben Shahn in the Roosevelt Elementary School, analyzing a transcript of an oral history interview with Ben Shahn, analyzing who could vote and who couldn’t under New Jersey’s three state constitutions, using an interactive map of New Jersey legislative districts, comparing factory-made Barnegat Bay decoys to hand-made decoys, interpreting the significance of the historic restoration of wooden oyster schooners, and analyzing how Pinelands foxhunters follow the chase by listening to the “music” of their hounds.

There is also a “For the Teacher” section with suggestions for activities, questions and worksheets that can be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed to the students..  A separate section contains links to the related New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in Social Studies, revised in October 2004.

The New Jersey History Kids project director was David Steven Cohen, Senior Research Associate at the New Jersey Historical Commission.
The web site was designed and developed by Ralph Greene of
Arjay Multimedia/Photography.