Introduction: The Ninth Street Market

Introduction: The Ninth Street Market

In this section, students will learn about the role of the Ninth Street Market in American culture.

Essential Questions

How does continuity and change within the United States history influence your community today?
What role does analysis have in historical construction?


Students will be able to:

  • Identify a of cultural and geographic places in Philadelphia
  • Analyze the cultural factors that differentiate one place from another by discussing attributes that make places in Philadelphia different than one another.
  • Analyze different aspects of the 9th Street Market by completing paired readings in a jigsaw activity.
  • Assess understanding of vocabulary words and concepts by taking an auditory formative assessment.

Other Materials

Clip of Rocky Balboa
Readings on various aspects of the 9th Street Market:
Pictures of the 9th Street Market
Half slip of paper for attendance/formative assessment

Suggested Instructional Procedures

1. Springboard (5 minutes):
  -Begin by asking students to raise their hands and call out a distinctive place in Philadelphia.  Ask if a student wants to come up to the board to write the answers (behavioral adjustment opportunity).
  -As students supply answers, interact with other students, asking if anyone else knows something about that particular place, and have student writer add a bullet of information per item in that way.
  -When list is complete, ask students to sit back down as teacher hands out half-slips of paper.  Teacher will indicate the use of these slips as a central part to the next activity, and as an attendance device, so instruct students to not write anything on them yet.

2. Focus (5 minutes):
  -Instruct students to look at the computer projection screen and ask them if they’ve ever heard of Rocky.  Outline the scope of the video (Rocky running throughout the city) and ask students to write down, once the movie is completed, why they think he was filmed doing such a run.  Additionally, have students jot down places they recognize that Rocky runs near.
  -Once students have written answers, take no more than 2 minutes discussing what everyone wrote, at which point, send all half-slips down to the right and begin to pass out the jigsawed reading materials for the central activity.
  -Ensure all students received reading materials, and ask that students raise their hands if they received copies with the numbers 1, 2, and 3 on them.  The number of student should be about equal between the groups.

3. Main Activity (25 minutes):
  -Ask students to get up and move to different sides of the room depending on numbers (1’s in one corner, 2’s in another, 3’s in another).
  -Provide directions BEFORE movement.  Ask that each group reads their material and fill out guided note sheets provided using their resources.  Tell them they have 13 minutes to read and fill out their sheets. Set them loose (so to speak)!
-Provide around-the-room aid to ensure attention on work.  Remind students when they have 5 minutes left, 3 minutes, and 1 minute.  Finally, tell them to stay put but to pay attention to the front
  -Ask student groups to share with the class the answers they filled out, so that the class en masse can take notes.  Inform students that they are responsible for all parts of the material, not just their own.
  -Ensure students use vocabulary words listed above.
  -Once students have shared, direct their attention to the front of the room, where the teacher will have the black and white slide show up for viewing approx. 10-15 pictures quickly, stopping to note vast changes over time.
  -Teacher will then pass back the half slips and ask the students to write on the back of their sheets for the next activity.

4. Formative Assessment (10 minutes):

  -Ask students to reply to the following prompt which should also be posed on the board during the activity.  “If Rocky had been running through the different sections of the Ninth Street Market that you’ve researched today, he would have seen quite a few interesting sites and learned a great deal about Philadelphia.  Pretend that you are Rocky, and you ran through the Ninth Street Market.  Assuming that Rocky wrote in a tough-guy diary, what kinds of things would he have written about?  Remember to write it from his perspective, and use specific examples from your readings and guided notes to help make your answer come alive.

5. Conclusion (5 minutes):

  -Ask students for questions/comments/concerns.
  -Afterwards, remind students that the field trip is tomorrow and that they will need a pen or pencil to complete the activity.


Immigrant: A person who migrates from one country to another, usually seeking permanent residence.
9th Street Market: A collection of cultural food stores and shops at the corner of Market Street and 9th Street that, over time, expanded to reflect the cultural and social patterns of the inhabitants of Philadelphia.
Vendor: A person or agency that sells a good or product.
Cultural Hearth: The point or area of origin from which the cultural attributes of a group diffused
Ethnicity: The state of belonging to a specific kind of cultural group based on social, geographic, or religious categories.