School bus at the group entrance to the museum
Education :: Course Descriptions


Program Duration: 45 minutes
Grade Level: 1st - 6th Grades
Availability: September to April

Birds and Mammals
Meet ducks, owls, squirrels, beavers, and more as your students explore the wonderful world of birds and mammals. Compare the teeth of a fox with the claws of an owl and learn their similar uses. Visit the bear or deer exhibit to see the special adaptations of large mammals in New York State. Discover differences and similarities between feathered and furry animals.
NYS Standards: MST 4

Ellis Island Experience
What was it like to be an immigrant in the early 1900's? Imagine a long ride on a storm-tossed ship not knowing what you will find when you arrive. At Ellis Island, you must pass a medical exam before being released into your new life. Do you speak the language? Where will you live? Students will visit a sweatshop on the Lower East Side of New York where even young children worked long hours, in terrible conditions for little pay. This program challenges students to compare the dreams and the hardships of immigrant families.
NYS Standards: SS 1, 2, 4; LA 1, 3

Fossils and “Fools Gold”: The Wonders of Rocks & Minerals
Why do certain rocks glow with phosphorescence under a black light? What do nail files, garnet and sandpaper have in common?  How did ancient sea creatures become entombed in rocks?  Gently handle a piece of mica that is so thin you can see through it and a piece of pumice so light it floats! Layers of history are uncovered in this introduction to geology.
NYS Standards: MST 1, 4

People of the Longhouse
Step into a full-size reconstruction of a section of a Mohawk longhouse and learn how this was not just a place to live, but also an important symbol of the Iroquois Confederacy.  Explore the varied responsibilities of the men, women and children who lived 500 years ago in an Iroquois village. What stereotypes about native cultures still linger? An object-based presentation will engage students in exploring the time-tested values of this vibrant, still-thriving culture.     
NYS Standards: SS 1, 3, 4

Seashore and Salt Marsh
New York's seashore and salt marsh environments are home to a diverse population of plants and animals. Touch the webbing of a seabird's foot and learn how adaptations help birds survive. Sit beneath the skeleton of an Atlantic Right Whale, count its ribs and hear the story of how this amazing creature has faced near-extinction.  Learn how and why plants and animals that live in these regions are struggling to survive. What can we do to help to protect the intricate web of life?
NYS Standards: MST 4, 5, 7; S 1, 3, 4, 5

Street Scenes: New York City in 1895
Take a stroll through the urban atmosphere of the Gilded Age. Stop on Hester Street and experience the crowded conditions in an immigrant neighborhood on the Lower East Side. Meanwhile, the wealthy of the Industrial Age would enjoy dinner at the famous Delmonico's restaurant before retiring to their lavish Fifth Avenue Mansion.  Compare the lives of the rich and the poor as they entered the 20th century.
NYS Standards: SS 1

Adirondack Peeks
Did you know that the Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Parks combined? How did this vast mountain range develop? How did logging, mining and the tourist industry affect the land and its inhabitants? Visit a fishing camp, get stuck in a log jam, and stare down one of New York’s largest land mammals.
NYS Standards: MST 4, 5; SS 1, 3, 4

How does a city grow from a small trading post to a thriving metropolis? How did people overcome early challenges in transportation, sanitation, housing and community relations? What issues do we still face today as the population continues to grow and technology evolves? Jump on the original A-Train and explore a variety of cultures in New York City, including an Asian storefront, a Hispanic barbershop and Harlem in the 1920’s. Take an unforgettable stroll in front of the original set from Sesame Street!
NYS Standards: SS 1, 3, 4, 5, 7

Native Peoples of New York
Take a journey into the past to meet the people who were the first inhabitants of New York. What kind of tools did they need to survive as hunters? What influence did the changing environment have on their way of life? Avoid an oncoming storm at the fishing village, then sit in a Mohawk Longhouse and listen while grandmother tells stories. Later you can examine the artwork of today's Native Peoples in the Governor's Collection of Contemporary Native American Crafts.
NYS Standards: SS 1, 3, 4

Museum Open Tuesday-Sunday: 9:30 am to 5 pm | Carousel Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm
Office of Cultural Education | New York State Education Department
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