Lesson Plan

View 1980’s Garment Factory Footage

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

This lesson is part of our Upper Elementary Unit Plan.


Students do the work of historians with 1980’s footage from Chinatown garment shops.  They are introduced to the Wong family who immigrated from China to the US in 1965 and study how Mrs. Wong used the union to advocate for her rights in the factory.  To deepen their knowledge about how the Wongs worked together as a family and with their community, students can read the Wong family article.


Working Together

Important Information

What will students understand through this lesson?

  • There are many common myths about immigrants and immigration. Among them are: that immigrants are taking jobs from American citizens, that certain immigrant groups have negative characteristics based on their cultural or religious identity.
  • Im/migrants bring everyday objects and traditions with them when they come to a new place to continue their cultural practices and find connection and comfort.
  • Im/migrants adapt to new living conditions and types of communities, often with creativity and resourcefulness. Communities help people meet their needs in a new place.
  • Neighborhoods with many immigrants and their children develop because they provide work, support, access to culture, less racism and discrimination, and friendship. While adult immigrants often spend time with people who speak their home language, children often make friends across difference.
  • Cities like New York, and neighborhoods like the Lower East Side, have many jobs for newcomers and immigrants. Many of these jobs are difficult, but work can be a place where people find community to continue their cultural or religious practices, and also where they influence and impact American society, culture(s), and economy.


How do we do history detective work with a video to learn about a family?


1-3 Class Periods

Related Museum Program

This tour feature the families highlighted in this resource. Click the link below to learn more.

Under One Roof

Primary Sources

  • Video: 1980’s Garment Factory Footage (see below)
  • Wong Family Story article (see below)

Middle School: 6-8th Grade, Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

The Wong Family Story

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

Read More

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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