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Brightspark Blog

February 2, 2016 | 9:00 AM

Know Before You Go: New York City Classroom Resources

Written by Brightspark Travel

New York City Student Tours

If you have an upcoming New York City student tour, prepare your class with a couple relevant lesson plans. Don’t know where to start? The city’s world-famous museums provide plenty of resources on the history, art, culture and nature of their hometown. We’ve gathered up some of our favorites for you.

Whether or not you’re planning on visiting the Museum of the City of New York, be sure to check out this institution’s resources on the spectacular city it celebrates. The museum’s in-depth educator guides on topics such as life in New Amsterdam include multiple lesson plans filled with historical summaries, document based questions, contemporary questions and relevant activities. You’ll also find pre- and post-visit materials, as well as a series of worksheets that display the museum’s primary resources and ask follow-up questions.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers lesson plans. Each plan is based on a series of pieces from one of the museum’s collections. They include essays, questions and activities that relate to the highlighted pieces. As a result of the museum’s extensive collections, you’ll find lesson plans whose subjects span centuries and continents.

To learn more about contemporary art, check out the Guggenheim’s exhibition resources. Though they apply to modern art in general, these resources showcase pieces from museum exhibitions. With each one, you’ll find essential information, questions and links to further reading on the exhibition’s central themes.

Focusing on the immigrant experience in New York City, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum offers lesson plans for elementary school, middle school and high school groups. These plans include educational information and creative activities based on objects, primary sources and oral histories from the museum.

For science classes, the American Museum of Natural History has an incredible amount of resources for every grade level. You’ll find activities on unique subjects such as pressing and preserving plants and field sketching. If you have a couple class periods, look into Ecology Disrupted, a collection of classroom units that showcase how human activities disrupt ecological function and challenge students to analyze real scientific data.

Topics: Student Travel Tips, New York City

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