Family Story


The Wong Family Story

Learn about the Wongs, a Chinese American family who lived in 103 Orchard Street in the 1970s.

Explore their Family Story and visit their recreated apartment on our 1970s Wong Family virtual field trip!


Overview

This article shares the story of the Wong family in the 1970s. Students learn about Mrs. Wong’s work in garment factories and her membership in the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, and explore the kids’ lives as Chinese Americans growing up near a blossoming Chinatown. Primary sources include oral histories with two of the children, and a video of a garment factory in the 1980s. The teacher’s guide includes student-facing questions and writing activities.


Time Period

1970s – 1980s


Related Topics

  • 20th Century Chinese Immigration
  • Garment Industry


Primary Sources

  • Oral History: Alison talks about Watching TV – Hear Alison Wong, who came to the United States from China as a baby, talk about watching American TV in the 1970’s with her mother. (See below)
  • Video: 1980’s Garment Factory Footage – See what it was like to work in a Chinatown Garment shop in the 1980’s and hear the thoughts of one of the works, Mrs. Wong. (See below)
  • Oral History: Kevin discusses his name – Hear the story of how a 5th grade student went from Yat Chung Wong to Kevin Wong. (See below)



Associated Lessons

Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Respond to an Oral History

Students chart parts of their identity before listening to an oral history from the child of a Chinese immigrant.

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Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

View 1980’s Garment Factory Footage

Teach about community action through a 1980’s video of a Chinatown garment factory.

Read More

Associated Virtual Field Trip

1970s Wong Family  | The Wong family story features a Chinese American family and their 1970’s tenement home. Students learn about the push and pull factors of Chinese immigration and the long history of laws that restricted Asian immigration.

  • Themes: Complicating Stereotypes, Culture and Identity, Industrialization and Labor, Push and Pull Factors
  • Topics: Asian Immigration

Questions on lessons and activities?

The materials on this page can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us.

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