Exhibit Pathfinder


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Pathfinder developed for the Museum of Chinese in America to lead students through its permanent exhibit

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Exhibit Pathfinder

  1. 1. Towards a More Perfect Union 8 7 5 6 Red Timeline Years 4 Start End _____ _____ 1 2 3 Look on the left of the big wall map for the boards with personal stories of immigrants who traveled from their original homelands to the U.S. Pick one board and find the beginning and ending journey points on the wall map. Mark the points below and connect them with a line. Do you know your own family’s story? Try to find where your family started its journey to the U.S. and where it is now. Mark the points on the map and connect them. The museum is collecting stories from visitors like you about family journeys to the U.S. Write something about your own family history. It can be a story, a poem, a letter, a description of a special object — anything about your family’s coming to or living in U.S. If your background is Chinese, you can fill out an official “journey card” too! Journey Card WITH A SINGLE STEP: STORIES IN THE MAKING OF AMERICA Activity Guide Grades 7 and 8
  2. 2. With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America Allies and Enemies 8 7 6 5 Red Timeline Years 4 Start End Welcome to the museum! The story of the United States is the story of _____ _____ many people coming from many different lands, and learning the stories 1 2 3 of each group of people is one way to learn American history. Use this guide to explore the story of Chinese people in America, and as you walk through the museum, think about your own family’s history and how it Find the group of three items about Tung Pok Chin — his identification certificate, the relates to the history of the United States. photo of him joining the U.S. Navy, and the letter from his dean at New York University. Look around the room and find evidence of events in the U.S. or around the Below is a map of the exhibit rooms. Look for the red timeline markers world which are reflected in the items in Tung Pok Chin’s display. The events might be on the red timeline or might be talked about in the labels for other objects. Write to help you see where you are in time and what was happening around newspaper headlines for at least three of these events. the world. Write down the first and last years for each room where you see the “Red Timeline Years” box. Look also for the large square signs that point out major historical events and issues in each room. 8 7 6 5 4 START HERE 1 2 3 Arlene Yu, LIS 697-06, Fall 2009
  3. 3. Welcome to Chinatown 8 7 5 6 Go East! Go West! 8 7 5 6 Red Timeline Years The Rising Spirit 4 4 Start End _____ _____ 1 2 3 1 2 3 The Chinatown Shop These next three rooms explore what it means to be “Chinese,” both for Chinese Find the china plate in the room and notice how decorations like the pagoda make you immigrants and for others. There are no red timeline markers in these rooms. think of China. Look around the room and find other images or symbols that are used to make people think of China. Sketch them on the plates below. In the first room, think about why people thought the fake Chinese magician was more authentic than the real one. How did makeup artists try to make non-Chinese actors look as “Chinese” as the real Chinese actresses Anna May Wong or Nancy Kwan in the movies? Look at the restaurant menus and the story about the La Choy food brand. Think about how these menus made their food sound “Chinese.” Design your own “Chinese” dish, and name it and describe it below as it would appear on a menu. Name of dish: ________________________________________________________ Description: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ In the second and third rooms, look for and list three of the many things from their “real” Chinese heritage that Chinese immigrants preserved in their communities. 1: _________________________________________________________________ 2: _________________________________________________________________ 3: _________________________________________________________________ What’s one of the services that the traditional Chinatown shop provided to its community besides selling goods?
  4. 4. Down with Monopolies! 8 7 6 5 The Chinese Must Go! Red Timeline Years 4 Start End _____ _____ 1 2 3 Imagined and Intimate Red Timeline Years Start End _____ _____ Pick one of the Chinese American men featured on the wall on the left in the glowing rectangles. Using the opposite wall and the next room for information on Chinese immigrant life, write a letter from your immigrant to his family in China about his life in the U.S. Include his experiences with either immigration or work, and what he did to deal with the problems he encountered.