Student Visits

New York City Student Visits

We offer free curriculum-based, student field trips for schools, home-schoolers, camps, and other learning communities to learn about the National Archives and the rich primary sources it holds that tell our American story. Contact us for registration information and program details.

We Rule: Civics for All of US

We Rule: Civics for All of US is a new education initiative from the National Archives that promotes civic literacy and engagement. Our civics programs empower young people to make a positive difference and improve the world they are inheriting. These programs draw upon the vast archival holdings of the National Archives housed in our nation’s capital, the presidential libraries, and at National Archives facilities nationwide to promote the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need for civic engagement in the 21st century.

The Constitution Rules! for Grades K-2
In this 30-minute program, students will explore the idea of different responsibilities in their community and analyze images that highlight the jobs of the three branches of government as outlined in the Constitution.

The Constitution and Our Community for Grades 3-5
In this 45-minute program, students will explore the idea of community, hone their primary source analysis skills by examining government records, and connect the Constitution to their own lives.

Exploring America's Diversity

Students will learn about the diverse history of the United States through passenger arrival, Census, and naturalization records of real Americans. They will serve as detectives looking for clues about individuals through the documents that tell their story. The lives of everyday Americans such as Florence Campbell—a 13-year-old student from Panama, and Max Garber—a butter and eggs merchant from Russia, highlight the ways of life for millions of New York City residents. Students will gain important historical analysis tools and learn about the types of documents available for their own family history research. Participants will also receive a tour and overview of other important historical documents held by the National Archives.

  • Grades 4–8
  • 1.5–2 hours
  • Can be customized to explore a diverse variety of ethnicities in the New York City area

Pre-visit Activities & Requirements

  • Familiarize students with immigration and archives vocabulary words.
  • Discussing immigration in general and ask your class if any students immigrated themselves. If willing, ask them to share their experience. Questions could include: Why did their family decide to leave their native country? What did their family bring with them? (This could include both physical and intangibles.) Then (or if no students have experienced immigration), ask the entire class to list what they would bring if they were going to live in another country. Tell them that they could only bring what they can physically carry to help them prioritize. Afterward, discuss their lists and reasoning behind their choices. Follow-up with questions such as: Do you think it was hard to limit the items you brought? Why or why not? If you could only bring one item to the new country, what would it be? Why?

Complete and return the registration form.

Getting Ready for National History Day

During the year-long National History Day program thousands of students, grades 6-12, choose a topic related to an annual theme; research at libraries, archives, museums and historic sites; and share their knowledge about the topic through exhibits, essays, documentaries, websites, or performances. Hundreds from New York and New Jersey visit the National Archives at New York City to find out how to best prepare for the local, state and national competitions. We encourage students to choose a topic for research from our original records. You can find more resource for National History Day on our main National History Day page.

In this workshop, students will discover how to locate and utilize primary sources, analyze documents to increase critical thinking and research skills, understand the research process and the importance of citing records properly, review significance to determine the relevance of primary sources to the research topic, discuss strategies for incorporating primary sources into their projects, and research original records at our facility. Participants will also receive a tour and overview of other important historical documents held by the National Archives.

  • Grades 6–12
  • 1.5 to 3 hours
  • Can be customized to explore specific topics

Complete and return the registration form.

Introduction to the National Archives

Students will learn about the National Archives through hands-on analysis of our materials. They will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of our facility and get to view original records of the National Archives. Students will serve as historians, analyzing and interpreting a variety of primary sources related to a topic of your choice.

In preparation for your visit, familiarize your students with certain vocabulary words related to archives.

  • Grades K–12
  • 1.5–2 hours
  • Can be customized to fit a variety of grade levels, student abilities, and topic areas

Complete and return the registration form.

Introduction to Archival Research

Participants will learn about the National Archives, the variety of records it maintains, and strategies for conducting research here. They will also go on a behind-the-scenes tour of our facility, view original records from our holdings, and work with facsimile copies of documents in our learning center. Note: The Introduction to Archival Research workshop can be customized to explore a diverse variety of primary source documents from the National Archives. Contact us to find out more details

  • Grades 9–12, Undergraduate, Graduate
  • Appropriate for History, Civics, Education, and other courses
  • 1.5–3 hours
  • On or off-site
  • Can be customized to explore a diverse variety of primary source documents from the National Archives

Complete and return the registration form.

Top