Click here for an annotated selection of resources which explore how to address recent anti-Asian violence and racism in your classrooms.
In-Person Walking Tours
MOCA’s Chinatown walking tours take students through one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods, introducing them to its long history as an ethnically diverse community. Educators will stop at 8 to 10 different sites, landmarks, and historic streets, and will use photographs and illustrations to show the ways the neighborhood has evolved–as well as remained unchanged–over the years. All walking tours are 75 minutes. Click here to book a neighborhood walking tour!
- Neighborhood walking tours are available Tuesdays through Fridays at 10am, 11:30am, and 1pm.
- Tours are 75 minutes long and meet in the lobby of the museum at 215 Centre Street.
- Walking tours are currently capped at 10 people per tour. Groups larger than 10 people will be split into two groups, each with their own educator. Groups will do the tour simultaneously, but may complete stops in a different order and will not necessarily be within eyesight of each other. Please plan accordingly and bring sufficient chaperones if your school requires a teacher to be with students at all times.
- All programs require 1 teacher or chaperone per 10 students.
- Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.
- Title 1 schools in Chinatown, Two Bridges, and the Lower East Side may qualify for reduced rates. Please ask for details when you make a reservation.
Exploring Chinatown's Community | Grades K-2
Offered April – December
Bring students to the Museum of Chinese in America for an in-person exploration of New York City’s vibrant Chinatown. Students will learn about the landmarks, businesses, and people that make up the Chinatown community, and connect them to places and people in their own home neighborhoods.
Mapping Chinatown | Grades 2-3
Offered April – December
Bring students to New York City’s historic Chinatown for a fun and interactive map-themed trip! Students will explore the landmarks and businesses of Chinatown in person, then create their own maps to record their visits and what they’ve learned about this community.
Chinatown: A Walk through History | Grades 6 and up
Offered April – December
Uncover the history of one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods! This walking tour focuses on how everyday buildings and places of historical significance reflect and shape a community–from its origins as the Native American Lenape village of Werpoes Hill in 1600 to its present status as one of NYC’s most active and vibrant Chinatowns one of the fastest-growing immigrant communities in New York City. Highlighted sites include the oldest streets in Chinatown, a bustling neighborhood park with a layered history a Catholic church, Chinatown’s oldest general store, and a Chinese eatery that catered to the needs of Chinatown’s turn-of-the-century “bachelor society.”
In-Person Gallery Tours
MOCA’s gallery tours offer students a wide range of experiences in our permanent exhibit With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America. All gallery tours are 75 minutes. Click here to book a gallery tour!
Customs and Traditions | Grades K-3
What are the origins of some of the major Chinese holidays? What are the meanings behind popular Chinese symbols and designs? What role does language play in Chinese culture? Through a guided gallery hunt, students will explore Lunar New Year, Cantonese opera, popular folktales, and other customs and traditions that permeate Chinese American culture.
Family Journeys: The Chinese American Experience | Grades 4-7
Through an examination of personal artifacts, photographs, and documents from the Museum’s collection, students will explore the Chinese American experience from past to present. Students will learn about successive waves of Chinese immigrants, their motivations for coming, where they settled, how they were treated, how they adapted to their new life, and how they shaped American society. Hands-on activities with primary sources will encourage students to delve deeper into pertinent themes and to make connections with their personal experience.
Where Do Stereotypes Come From? | Grades 8-12
Students examine and analyze representations of the Chinese in America in political cartoons, advertisements, and pop culture ranging from the 19th century through the present day. Through a series of document-based exercises that strengthen critical thinking and visual literacy and analysis, students learn the origins of stereotypes and social fears, such as xenophobia and racism, in US society. Students make connections between representations of race and labor relations, immigration and naturalization policies, and international affairs.
Core Exhibit Gallery Highlights Tour | Grades 6-Adult
Learn about MOCA’s core exhibit, With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America, in this educator-led gallery tour that provides an overview of the Chinese in America from the 19th century through the present day. Items in the Museum’s collection are used to highlight the major themes of the exhibit. (60 minute option available)
Explore the museum at your own pace! Self-guided groups are welcome to visit our core exhibit, With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America, as well as our special exhibits and the Our Chinatown Learning Center. K-8 self-guided groups must bring at least 1 chaperone for every 8 students. Age-appropriate worksheets are available upon request.
Virtual School Programs
MOCA is excited to offer virtual, educator-led programs for school groups from grades K-12, as well as college groups. Virtual programs engage students with primary sources from the museum’s collection through close looking exercises, guided discussions, and interactive activities. Click here to book a virtual program!
- Virtual school programs are available Mondays through Fridays at 10am, 11:30am, and 1pm.
- Programs are 60 minutes long, are offered live online, and take place using Zoom. We will do our best to accommodate requests for programs using other digital platforms.
- Programs are designed for one class at a time, allowing museum educators to tailor the program according to your students’ needs. Each virtual program is limited to 30 participants per session.
- All programs require at least 1 teacher or chaperone present online for the duration of the program.
- Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.
- Title 1 schools in Chinatown, Two Bridges, and the Lower East Side may qualify for reduced rates or waivers. Please ask for details when you make a reservation.
Customs & Traditions: Arts | Grades: 2-4
Students will gain an appreciation of performing arts by learning about Chinese opera styles and lion dancing. Students will practice deep looking and critical reasoning skills through activities including comparing and contrasting lions and dragons, discussing the symbolism of costumes and gestures, and thinking about how the arts impact people’s lives both during celebrations and as part of their everyday activities.
Customs & Traditions: Dimsum, Dumplings & Duck | Grades: 2-4
Through an exploration of a selection of popular Chinese and Chinese American foods, students will learn about the diversity and adaptability of Chinese food culture and make connections to their own food customs and traditions. Students will investigate how differences in geography and climate in China have created diverse, regional cuisines. Students will also explore the food customs and traditions Chinese immigrants brought with them and how these customs and traditions have been preserved, changed, or adapted to new circumstances.
Family Journeys: Meet Kenneth | Grades: 3-5
Through an examination of personal artifacts, photographs, and documents from the Museum’s collection and others, students will explore the Chinese American experience through the lens of Kenneth, a young Chinese boy who emigrated to the United States via Angel Island. Students will consider what the journey was like, learn about the specific challenges Chinese immigrants faced, investigate the conditions on Angel Island, and reflect on immigration laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act. Interactive activities coupled with close looking will encourage students to make connections between past and present experiences of immigrants to the U.S., and even their own.
Family Journeys: Finding a Way | Grades 6-8
Through an exploration of a selection of primary and secondary sources about two Chinese Americans — Kenneth Ang and Hazel Ying Lee — students will learn about the impact of race and gender discrimination in the past and be guided to make contemporary connections. In particular, students will look closely at how the Chinese Exclusion Act affected would-be immigrants and Chinese Americans.
“I am Not a Virus”: Revisiting the Perpetual Foreigner Stereotype in the Time of COVID-19 | Grades: 8-12
Using primary and secondary sources from MOCA’s collections and others, students will analyze the history and impact of the perpetual foreigner stereotype, with an emphasis on how that stereotype has affected, and continues to affect, people of Chinese heritage (or perceived as being Chinese or of Chinese heritage) in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Program Fees (per class)
$75/ DOE Title 1 School*
$100/NYC Public School/CUNY/SUNY
$125/Independent and Out of State Schools (K-12)
$150/College and University Students, Adults
*Title 1 schools in Chinatown, Two Bridges, and the Lower East Side may qualify for reduced rates or waivers. Please ask for details when you make a reservation.
How do I book a field trip?
Visit our page on Explorable Places, browse our trip offerings, and select a trip on our calendar. We will get in touch to confirm the reservation or to ask further questions about your group.
Which trip is the best fit for my students’ grade level?
You can find suggested grade levels for each field trip listed in the trip description. If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do I need to submit a payment slip? Will you charge me before the visit?
The payment slip is used to hold your reservation. Because our educators are signing on especially for your program, we use the payment slip as a protection against last-minute cancellations. We do not charge you anything before the day of the visit. However, if your group cancels fewer than three business days before the visit, we will charge a $30 cancellation fee per scheduled tour to the credit card on the payment slip, or request another form of payment for the $30 fee.
It’s been a few days since I submitted a request and I haven’t received a confirmation for my field trip. What should I do?
We are a small team, and it can take us a little while to respond to each trip request, especially during busy times of year. Please allow up to two weeks to receive a confirmation for your trip (though we will try to get back to you sooner!). If you have not heard from us after one week, you may follow up on the status of your request by emailing email@example.com or calling 212-619-4785.
Election Day Educator Workshop – Resisting Exclusion: Rewriting Narratives of the Chinese American Experience
November 8, 2022, 8:45 am – 3:30 pm
Community & Identity: Exploring Chinese American Experiences in Literature
Professional Learning Workshop