Great Cities of the World: New York City

Great Cities of the World: New York City
Elizabeth Monroe: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Skill: Middle School
Time Required: Three to four class periods.

Required Documents
Vistual History of NYC


Elizabeth Kortright Monroe was born in New York in 1768. She married future president James Monroe on February 16, 1786 in New York City and the couple honeymooned on Long Island. They spent their married lives living in Virginia, Paris, and London but Elizabeth Monroe always had ties to New York City. Her youngest daughter Maria Hester Monroe-Gouverneur and her husband lived in New York. After Elizabeth’s death, James Monroe went to live with his daughter Maria and her husband in there. He died soon after and was buried in New York at the Gouverneur family's vault in the New York City Marble Cemetery. Although he was later re-interred to the President's Circle at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, there can be no doubt that The city of New York, one of the great cities of the world, was very important to the Monroe family.


1.  Students will be able to accurately identify at least five attractions of the city of New York.

2.  Students will create a classroom map that will display the locations of attractions in New York City.

3.  Students will successfully conduct research using the Internet.

4.  Students will create an advertisement or a PowerPoint that will demonstrate the knowledge gained during their research.

Materials Required:

A map of New York City; a computer with Internet access, a desktop publishing program such as Microsoft Publisher, and Microsoft PowerPoint.


1.  The teacher will begin the lesson by asking the class what they think of when they hear the words “New York City.” The class will write down a list of responses on the blackboard, poster, or other convenient form of media.

2.  The teacher will present the PowerPoint “A Visual History of New York” as an introduction to the lesson. This will be used as a visual discovery lesson in which the class will discuss what they see in each picture. Teacher will spiral the questions from simple to complex. The idea is to give the students an appreciation of the history and attractions of the city.

3.  Show the students a map of New York. Enlarge it on a smart board of a screen with a projector if possible. If not create a transparency and use an overhead projector. Pay specific attention to the five boroughs. Then look at the map of Manhattan and show that each borough is split into smaller neighborhoods.

4.  Have the students browse the NYC Tourist site (see below) and select an attraction to investigate. The students should search for the following aspects of each attraction: Some history of the attraction, one or two items that are important and/or interesting about the attraction, what the attraction currently has to offer visitors, why the attraction should be one of the “top ten” attractions.

5.  The students can either create an advertisement, or a PowerPoint to present the results of their research. If they choose the advertisement they should use a desktop publishing program such at Microsoft Publisher to create it.

If the teacher is able to enlarge either the borough or the neighborhood map and put it on a bulletin board, it would be interesting for the students to place a push pin into the map to show the location of their assigned attraction.

Extending the Lesson:

Having the students investigate other major cities using the same process could extend this lesson. Major cities all have tourism sites that will aid in these investigations.

Sources & Resources:


Wired New York in Black and White

New York Skyscrapers

Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center, 2001

Map of the Boroughs of New York

Map of the Neighborhoods of New York

New York City Attractions



This lesson was developed by Robert McClelland, Cleveland Metropolitan School District.