Education

Discover dynamic education programs and curriculum resources about the history of our city, state, and nation.

Education Mission

The New-York Historical Society Education Division provides dynamic programming and curriculum resources for students and teachers in New York and beyond. Historical study sparks curiosity and creativity, promotes cultural understanding, and fosters an empowered citizenry to strengthen our democracy. Our staff of passionate professionals draws on our world-renowned collections to engage learners of all ages in the study of our collective past.

 

Education programs made possible through endowments established by:
National Endowment for the Humanities
The Hearst Foundations
The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation

Public funding provided by:
Institute for Museum and Library Services
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council
New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

Important support provided by:
Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Ford Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Altman Foundation
Deutsche Bank
The Pinkerton Foundation
Barker Welfare Foundation
The Keith Haring Foundation
The Bay and Paul Foundations
The Alice Lawrence Foundation
The Henry Nias Foundation
Fred and Joan Pittman
Anonymous

 

Support the New-York Historical Society

Help us present groundbreaking exhibitions and develop educational programs about our nation's history for more than 200,000 schoolchildren annually.

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FIELD TRIPS

Bring your students on a trip to the oldest museum in New York! Whether they are visiting a special exhibition or our beautifully redesigned permanent collection galleries, students will be actively engaged with the stuff of history—the artifacts, works of art, and documents that provide a window onto our collective past.

A talented Museum Educator leads every inquiry-driven 90-minute experience. Programs are carefully scaffolded to meet students’ needs across all ages and learning styles. Each of the topics below supports the Common Core State Standards and the New York State Learning Standards for Social Studies and the Arts.

Field trips cost $90/class for schools within New York City and $150/class for non-NYC schools. A class can have up to 30 students and must have one chaperone for every ten students.

Complete our Field Trips booking form to start the scheduling process. A member of the Education Team will contact you to confirm your trip details, date, and time.

Questions? Contact us at 212-485-9293 or schoolprograms@nyhistory.org.

Jump to:
Special Exhibition Programs | Content Programs | Skill-Building Programs | Research Skill Programs | MEGA Scavenger Hunt

SPECIAL EXHIBITION PROGRAMS

History on Our Feet
April 20, 2018 - October 08, 2018
Walk this Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes Explore designer Stuart Weitzman’s collection of historical shoes to learn howthis staple of the human wardrobe can reveal important information about thecultures and lifestyles of people long ago.
Recommended ages: 7 and up

Keepin' it Clean: The Art of Betye Saar (grades 4-12)  
November 2, 2018-March 17, 2019  
Betye Saar, a key figure in the Black Arts Movement and the feminist art movement of the 1960-70s, is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished figures in American contemporary art. In this interactive tour of her most iconic works, students will consider how art can be used as a tool for political discourse.  

Hudson Rising (grades 4-12)  
February 22 -August 4, 2019 
Consider how the political, economic, cultural and ecological debates over the use of the Hudson River have shaped the history of New York City's most important waterway since the 19th century. Through social and environmental history, learn about the challenges facing the Hudson River today and in the future. 

Stonewall 50: A Queer Rights Milestone (grades 4-12)  
May 25 - September 22, 2019     
Join us in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village. Examine images, artifacts and documents to learn about the history of LGBTQ culture and activism from the turn of the 20th century through present day.

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow (grades 6-12) 
September 7, 2018-March 3, 2019 
Explore the struggle for full citizenship and racial equality that unfolded in the 50 years from the end of the Civil War through the end of World War I. Students will learn about the central role African Americans played in advocating for their rights, and the depth and breadth of opposition to black advancement in the United States.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (grades 2-12) 
October 5, 2018-January 27, 2019 (Mondays Only) 
Twenty years ago, the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ushered in a new age of cultural fascination with magic, a tradition that humans have been following for millennia. Students will follow the Hogwarts course of subjects as they explore original manuscripts and illustrations of the Harry Potter books, mysterious medieval manuscripts, ancient cauldrons, and spells from all over the world to learn how people long ago used magic to make sense of the world around them and why it continues to capture our imaginations today.

Complete our Field Trips booking form to start the scheduling process.

CONTENT PROGRAMS IN PERMANENT COLLECTION
Available year-round

Life in New Amsterdam (grades 2 – 12)
Why did the Dutch West India Company start a settlement in New York Harbor? What was it like to live in a tiny town at the edge of the known world? Learn about the founding settlement that became New York.

Slavery in New York (grades 2 – 12)
Uncover the central role enslaved people played in the history of New York City, and how historians have uncovered this lost story.

British New York (grades 2 – 12) New!
Explore life under British colonial rule in the years prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution.

The American Revolution in New York (grades 4 – 12)
Experience New York’s role in the war for our nation’s independence from the perspective of the soldiers who fought in it.

New York, New Nation (grades 4 – 12)
Consider the challenges that faced the Early Republic, and the central role New York played in defining the new nation.  

New York and the Civil War (grades 4 – 12)
Examine the experiences of Civil War soldiers and the events of the Draft Riots to learn about New York City’s complicated relationship with the Union cause.

Industrialization (grades 2 – 12)
Investigate how life in New York City was transformed by the innovations of the Industrial Age—for better or for worse.

Women in Industry and Art (grades 2 – 12)
Consider art, gender politics, labor movements, and industrialization through the lens of the Tiffany Design Studio’s iconic 1920s stained glass.

Immigrant City (grades 2 – 12) New!
Since 1609, waves of immigrants have arrived in New York Harbor. Encounter newcomers from different cultures around the globe, and learn how each wave helped shape the city we know today.

FDR’s Presidency and Legacy (grades 4 – 12)
Use the long political career of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to learn about the Progressive Era, the Great Depression and the New Deal, and WWII.

Then and Now Series (PK – grade 5)
Examine objects and images from our permanent collections to discover how life over the past 400 years compares with our 21st Century expectations and technologies. Choose to book one or more of these topics. Your class can come again and again to examine the past from every angle!

  • Homes & Families Then and Now
  • Toys Then and Now
  • New York City Then and Now

Complete our Field Trips booking form to start the scheduling process.

SKILL-BUILDING PROGRAMS IN THE PERMANENT COLLECTION
Available year-round

Learning History with Paintings (PK – grade 12)
Learn to “read” a painting for clues about the past, analyzing and interpreting symbols and themes in different works of art from our world-renowned collection.

Meet the Beekmans (PK – grade 2)
Introduce your students to the basics of historical study through an investigation of the Beekman children, eight siblings who lived in colonial New York.

Objects Tell Stories (grades 3 – 12)
Learn how to read seemingly simple, everyday objects to make inferences about life and people long ago, just like a historian.

Being a Historian (grades 3 – 12)
Learn what it takes to be a historian during this highlights tour of our collection.

A Day at the Museum (PK – grade 2)
Take a highlights tour around the museum to learn what a museum is, why museums exist, and how the people who work in them keep them running.   

History Detectives in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum (grades 2 – 6)
Play and learn in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum to learn how historians study the past and achieve the rank of history detective.

Complete our Field Trips booking form to start the scheduling process.

RESEARCH SKILLS PROGRAMS

The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library Partnership (grades 7 – 12)
Available year-round
Learn how historians piece together a complete understanding of the past by getting up close and personal with the primary sources of the New-York Historical Society’s unparalleled library and museum collections. In this special two-hour program, students have the opportunity to interact with original primary source documents, facilitated by a Reference Librarian, and analyze objects in the museum galleries with a Museum Educator to draw connections among documents, images, and artifacts. Library Partnership programs are $160/class.

Choose one topic per two-hour visit:

  • Deconstructing the Civil War
    This program gives students the opportunity to study the events and the impact of the deadliest war in American history from the perspective of those who lived it.
  • The Wonder City
    Students discover how New York became the city it is today by studying ephemera from exciting chapters in the city's history.

Tech Commons Programs
In conjunction with the opening of the new Tech Commons @ New-York Historical, we will offer a menu of exciting field trip opportunities to empower the next generation of historians, writers, scholars, and history-lovers. Cutting-edge technological tools will promote learning, scholarly research, and creative thinking in guided, age-appropriate activities. 

  • Research in the Digital Age (grades 4 – 12)
    In the age of “alternative facts” how is a student to know who to trust? In this 90-minute workshop students learn how to effectively conduct online historical research and identify valid sources of information.
  • Science of History New!
    In today's modern world, historians use a variety of technologies to learn about the past.  In these programs students learn from the museum collection in the galleries before moving to the Tech Commons to learn how to use digital tools and STEM skills to expand  their learning. Science of History programs are two hours and cost $160 per class.
    • Bird Conservation from Audubon to Today (grades 2-12)     
      Students learn about the history of avian conservation by studying the artwork of John James Audubon and then practice the techniques scientists use to track and protect bird populations today.
    • Measuring the Impacts of Industrialization (grades 3-12)
      After examining artifacts and paintings to learn how the industrial revolution changed the city of New York, students will learn how to use technology to research the climate and geological impacts of the period.
    • HTML Fundamentals (grade 4-12)
      In this two-hour hands-on workshop, students learn the basics of HTML coding and experiment with modifying historically-themed website designs. 

PLEASE CALL TO BOOK, 212-485-9293

MEGA SCAVENGER HUNT (GRADES 4 – 12)
Available year-round
In this fast-paced scavenger hunt, teams of students compete to discover the secrets of the New-York Historical Society’s treasure trove of objects and artwork before time runs out. When time is up the entire class will attend a viewing of our film New York Story while they wait to find out who won the prize!

The MEGA Scavenger Hunt can serve any group size, from two to 200, and the program lasts 90 minutes total. Booking times vary, and can be tailored to your specific needs.

PLEASE CALL TO BOOK, 212-485-9293

GALLERY + STUDIO ART PROGRAMS 
Available year-round
These special field trip programs combine a 60-minute gallery visit with a 60-minute art-making experience in our museum classrooms. Students have the opportunity to learn about one of the topics listed below and then explore artistic mediums to create art inspired by the past. Gallery + Studio Art programs cost $145 per class for NYC schools and $200 per class for schools outside of the five boroughs.

  • Commemorating Freedom (grades 4-8)     
    Students examine sculpture in the Museum collection to learn how artists throughout American history have been able to depict what freedom means to them and their country in the form of monuments and memorials. In the classroom, students use clay to create their own monuments to freedom.
  • Life in Dutch New Amsterdam (grades K-2)
    Students analyze artifacts and paintings in the museum collection to discover what life was like for residents of New Amsterdam. Then, in the classroom, they use Dutch delft tiles as inspiration to create their own printed tiles depicting how life has changed over time.
  • Hudson Rising (grades 1-8)
    March 1- August 4, 2019     
    In this special exhibition, students will discover the importance of the Hudson River in our city and state's history and view magnificent landscape paintings by Hudson River School artists. Students then have the opportunity to create their own artistic rendering of the Hudson River using paper and fabric collage.
     
Creative: Tronvig Group