Class Room of the Colored Orphan Asylum. Collection New-York Historical Society.

Teacher Open Houses and Workshops

Teachers and administrators are invited to attend open house events that include tours through the galleries, content workshops, and historian lectures.  These events allow participants to visit the exhibition in advance of a classroom trip. Open Houses for New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War will be offered November 16, 2006, November 27, 2006, November 30, 2006, December 4, 2006, and January 17, 2007.  

Teacher Workshops on topics related to New York Divided include:

  • African Free School Website Workshop, December 5, 2006 and February 6, 2007.
  • Freedom Narratives: Literacy and Identity in Frederick Douglass and Hip-Hop, January 30, 2007.

Open houses and workshops are free for N-YHS members, $5 for non-members.  Participants receive a complete set of classroom materials free of charge.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required.  The open houses and workshops run from 4:30-6:30 PM.


The New-York Historical Society is proud to present performances from the American Place Theatre's Literature to Life program exclusively for student groups.  These shows are curriculum-relevant educational entertainment created and performed by artists of the highest caliber.  Each play is one hour long and takes place in the N-YHS auditorium.  All attending teachers receive study guides and other supporting educational materials.  Student tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance.
Performances of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" are scheduled through November and December 2006.  Based on the memoirs of former slave Harriet Jacobs, this play dramatizes the seven years Jacobs spent hiding in a crawl space in her grandmother's attic. 

Student Workshops

Working in groups, students make full use of the museum's permanent collections when they take on the roles of historians in these inquiry-based programs relevant to the two-exhibition study of New York City's history with slavery:

Life in New Amsterdam.  Objects from the touch collection help elementary and middle-school students understand how life among the Dutch settlers was shaped by interaction with Native peoples and with Africans brought as enslaved laborers.

Slavery in New York.  Using our permanent collection, elementary, middle- and high-school students learn the largely unknown story of the vital roles that enslaved labor and the slave trade played in making New York one of the world's wealthiest cities.

Seneca Village.  By making a trip to Central Park and analyzing nineteenth century primary source documents, middle- and high-school students learn about this unique integrated community, which was razed to make way for Central Park.

Registration for all events and scheduling for museum visits for all groups can be made through Ed-Net at