Walking the Walk: The Ninth Street Market

Walking the Walk: The Ninth Street Market

In this lesson, students will learn about the Ninth Street Market's cultural diversity and its sociological impact.

Essential Questions

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


Students will be able to:

  •  Analyze the cultural make up and sociological impact of the Ninth Street Market by walking around the physical landscape and taking guided notes on a map.
  • Compare and contrast various food vendors and their implied cultures by selecting two specific vendors that seem very different than one another on the guided notes sheet.
  • Interact with the diverse population in the Ninth Street Market through the use of a “Treasure hunt” worksheet.

Suggested Instructional Procedures

1. Introduction
-Teacher will hand out materials to groups (including Map, Treasure Hunt sheet, and guided notes for specific vendors).
-Teacher will inform students that groups of 4 or less can be made and can give similar/same answers, but no more than that number.
-Teacher will briefly describe how the market works, what kind of vendors it contains, and will connect ideas like ethnicity, diversity, and human interaction with cultural landscapes that were discussed the day before.
-Teacher will instruct students to have all worksheet completed by the end of the walking experience for collection upon exiting the market
-Teacher will designate a specific spot inside or outside of the market to meet upon the activity’s completion.
2. Experience
-Students will walk through the market, taking down notes as they deem necessary.
-Teacher will walk around the market, tracking student progress.
-Note-this experience will work, logistically, if: A. More supervision is brought along, or B. Class moves at a slower pace but stays completely together.
-Upon completion, students will go to the designated zone to sit and discuss their findings with each other.
-Teacher will collect all papers and use those as aids in ensuring perfect attendance.
3. Recollection
-Teacher will ask each group who walked around what their favorite vendor was and why.
-Teacher will ask students to provide substantive reasoning as to how so many cultural shops could be so successful, and if this is a reflection of Philadelphia as a whole.


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.