Getting out into the field is a wonderful way to introduce students to research. On field trips, students have the opportunity to investigate primary sources and historical artifacts first hand, and speak to librarians, archivists and subject matter experts first hand. Keep reading for four wonderful field trips to help you teach nonfiction writing and research. If you want to find the perfect trip check out our searchable database of field trips here.
The National Archive is home to some of the most important historical documents in the nation's history. In the 'Introduction to the National Archive' field trip students have the opportunity to discover the purpose of an archive and handle historic documents. After a tour of the archive, students are given the opportunity to analyze documents on the topic of your choice!
Level: Grades K-12
Duration: 2 hours
Your local public library is a wonderful resource for teaching nonfiction writing and research. If you're planning a research unit, reach out to a nearby librarian! Librarians are happy to facilitate research workshops, or teach students how to use the library systems. If you'd rather bring the library to you, a NYPL Educator Card will allow you to borrow up to 100 books at a time for your classroom.
Level: Grades preK-12
Duration: 1 hour
The New York Historical Society offers a number of great primary source field trips for all grade levels. The 'Objects Tell Stories' field trip gives students the opportunity to understand how artifacts can be primary sources. In this field trip, "students analyze historical artifacts to discover what they tell us about life long ago."
Level: Grades 3-5
Duration: 1.5 hours
The Paley Center is home an archive of nearly 160,000 television shows, commercials and radio programs dating from the 1920s to present. Media educators there use television as a primary source to lean more about the past. The 'Get Up! Stand Up!' field trip gives students the opportunity to use news coverage of the civil rights movement to better understand the time.
Level: Grades 9-12
Duration: 1.5 hours
If you have a favorite NYC research spot, leave it in the comments below!