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Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative: English/Language Arts Standards
 

Black Panther and Black Superheroes

Wakanda Learning Lab is this? 

This Learning Lab explores the importance of representation in popular media. How are people portrayed? Why are they portrayed? What does this say about a people in a society and the society itself? How do these messages affect and inform us about others and ourselves?

First, how are African Americans represented in popular media. Second, how African, the African Diaspora, and African American culture are represented in Black Panther (both as a comic book character and as part of the modern Marvel cinematic universe) and through other superhero lore. 

The National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates the museum's acquirement of the movie costume of the iconic and groundbreaking Marvel comic book character Black Panther. The character of Black Panther (King T'Challa of Wakanda), and his iconic suit, debuted in the Marvel cinematic universe in the 2015 film Captain America: Civil War, and featured in his self-titled movie Black Panther in 2018. Since the debut of Black Panther (King T'Challa of Wakanda) in the Fantastic Four #52 in July 1966, Black Panther has been a trailblazer for the black superheroes that have followed him in print and on screen. 

Students can explore this Learning Lab independently. Learning exercises and worksheets have been provided to help enhance the exploration of the content. 

Keyword: nmaahc, African, American, Black, Panther, Marvel, T'Challa, Wakanda, suit, comic, superhero, super, hero, civil war, Falcon, Bumblebee, Vixen, Storm, Nick Fury, Luke Cage, DC, universe, Green Lantern, Misty

National Museum of African American History and Culture
26
 

National Youth Summit 2019 | Woman Suffrage: The Ballot and Beyond

Suffrage marked an important moment in the progression of women's participation in American democracy and civic life. Yet it was an imperfect victory, and one that stands neither as a beginning nor an end, but as an important milestone in the fight for equality, justice and representation. The 2019 National Youth Summit will look at woman suffrage as an example of how groups with limited political power have shaped and continue to shape our democracy using tactics and tools, like public protest and the vote, to give voice to issues and galvanize fellow Americans into communal movements for change. Use this collection to examine the legacy of the woman suffrage movement and explore the guiding question: What can we learn from the tactics of the suffragists?

Download the conversation kit and learn about the 2019 National Youth Summit webcast here.

National Museum of American History
24
 

President and Mrs. Obama Portrait Unveiling

On February 12, 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. President Obama's portrait was created by artist Kehinde Wiley, who is known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans posing as famous figures from the history of Western art. This portrait does not include an underlying art historical reference, but some of the flowers in the background carry special meaning for Obama. Mrs. Obama's portrait was created by artist Amy Sherald, who considers the former first lady to be someone “women can relate to—no matter what shape, size, race, or color. . . . We see our best selves in her.” 

This collection includes the two portraits, in high resolution, so that learners can zoom in and out to carefully observe details. It also includes videos and articles about the portraits and their official unveilings. Additional supports include other works by the two artists and strategies for reading portraits. Portraits of the two sitters and other presidential portraits can be used for compare and contrast activities. 

Ashley Naranjo
36
 

Do symbols mean the same thing in every culture?

Plains Native people have always depicted star images on their clothing, tipis, and containers.

Formative Task: In a class discussion list three ways Western cultures think about stars. Use this collection to discover what stars mean to the Lakota and other Native people.

Summative Performance Task: Use the star quilt pattern to create a symbolic quilt that represents your school.


National Museum of the American Indian Education Office
15
 

Paleolithic Art/paintings on stone

The students learn about paleolithic art and the symbolism of the drawings.  We will read about They end up painting their own on large rocks, to represent painting on cave walls. 



References

Avery, S. (2014). Christina Rossetti: Religious poetry. Retrieved from https://www.bl.uk/romantics-an...

https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/communication-with-the-spiritual-in-ancient-to-modern-art/P8U33Rpfau57XCbT/edit#




Curtis, G. B. (2006). The cave painters: Probing the mysteries of the world's first artists. (2006). New York: Knopf.



Moorman, E., M. (2011). Divine interiors: Mural paintings in Greek and Roman sanctuaries. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.


#AHMC2019

Kim Torgerson
10
 

Analysis of an Artwork by Maya Lin

Chinese American designer and artist Maya Lin (b. 1959) achieved national recognition as a Yale University undergraduate student when her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial won a national competition. 

In this activity, students will analyze a unique artwork-filled room designed by Maya Lin, first using only a still visual with little context, then a hyperlapse video of the artwork's installation,  then the artist herself discussing  her process, materials used, and vision. Students will make predictions based on visuals, gradually learn about the context of the artwork, and reflect on how their perception of the artwork changed with the addition of new information. 

This activity can be used as an entry point into studying Maya Lin's artwork and other artworks inspired by experiences with the natural environment. This activity opens with a Project Zero See-Think-Wonder routine and asks learners to look closely, prior to revealing additional contextual information. To learn more about other Asian Pacific American Artists, visit this collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/asian-pacific-american-artists/bW68eE1p6kHVzsC7#r

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Keywords: Chesapeake Bay, Maya Lin, Asian American, marbles, Renwick Gallery, waterways

#APA2018 #BecauseOfHerStory

Ashley Naranjo
13
 

Wounded Knee, Past and Present

Wounded Knee is often portrayed as the closing point of the wars between Native Americans and the United States government in the late 19th century. However, the place also marks a moment of historic protest. This collection can be used to explore the importance of place in protest movements as well as the history of violence and resistance for indigenous people in the United States.

  • How should the site of Wounded Knee be remembered?
  • Why did the activists choose to occupy Wounded Knee? What is the significance of that place?
  • How were the actions of the American Indian Movement activists similar or different to their ancestors? Consider motives, strategies, and successes, and partnerships.
tags: Sitting Bull, Oglala, Sioux, Lakota, occupation, massacre, DAPL, Dakota Access, Red Cloud, Kicking Bear, Ghost Dance, cavalry
Kate Harris
9
 

Black Panther and Black Superhereos

Wakanda Learning Lab is this? 

This Learning Lab explores the importance of representation in popular media. How are people portrayed? Why are they portrayed? What does this say about a people in a society and the society itself? How do these messages affect and inform us about others and ourselves?

First, how are African Americans are represented in popular media. Second, how African, the African Diaspora, and African American culture are represented in Black Panther (both as a comic book character and as part of the modern Marvel cinematic universe) and through other superhero lore. 

The National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates the museum's acquirement of the movie costume of the iconic and groundbreaking Marvel comic book character Black Panther. The character of Black Panther (King T'Challa of Wakanda), and his iconic suit, debuted in the Marvel cinematic universe in the 2015 film Captain America: Civil War, and featured in his self-titled movie Black Panther in 2018. Since the debut of Black Panther (King T'Challa of Wakanda) in the Fantastic Four #52 in July 1966, Black Panther has been a trailblazer for the black superheroes that have followed him in print and on screen. 

Students can explore this Learning Lab independently. Learning exercises and worksheets have been provided to help enhance the exploration of the content. 

Keyword: nmaahc, African, American, Black, Panther, Marvel, T'Challa, Wakanda, suit, comic, superhero, super, hero, civil war, wakanda


Tabbetha Harrison
19
 

Harlem Renaissance: Style and Subject

This collection is meant to be used as an introductory activity to the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Specifically, it focuses on the different styles employed by artist Aaron Douglas, most notably in his Scottsboro Boys portrait and in his 1925 self-portrait. In doing so, it asks students to consider when and why an artist who is more than capable of creating within the boundaries of classically beautiful art or writing might chose to create in this style at some times and at other times to create in more radical or avante-garde styles. It uses a Compare and Contrast looking technique before revealing to students that all four distinct pieces are created by the same artist. 

Ideally, teachers can end the unit by facilitating discussion of the social change Douglas aims for with his Scottsboro portrait and of the bridge that Hurston creates with her prose narrator before launching into the dialect of her characters that earned her such scorn from the African American community of her era.

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

#NPGteach

Lindsay Van Loon
11
 

Storytelling through Dance

This collection explores the unique forms of storytelling found in choreography and portraiture. It demonstrates examples of artists that communicate universal narratives and express diverse perspectives without words. Photographs of war veterans by Louie Palu and the veterans’ experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) inspired the featured dance. Students can watch a video interview with the choreographer, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, and answer guided questions from Project Zero's "Claim, Support, Question" thinking routine.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

#APA2018

Tags: dance, dancing, choreography, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), narrative, interpretation, analysis

Ashley Naranjo
11
 

Three Branches of U.S. Government

This collection was designed to be used in a third grade classroom to supplement the teaching of the three branches of U.S. government.  The collection would be utilized over the course of a week-long unit.

Objective: Students will be able to identify and explain the purpose of the three branches of the U.S. government.

#PZPGH

Monique Wertz
23
 

Comparing and Contrasting Across Similar Texts-Fairy Tales

In this collection, students will be able to explore the skill of comparing and contrasting across similar texts with a focus on fairy tales using the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine. This collection would be used best after first reading several different fairy tales with students.

#PZPGH


Sara Greco
7
 

World War II on the Home Front: Civic Responsibility

Lesson based on posters that encouraged American citizens to contribute to the war effort. Students consider the importance of volunteerism in a free society.
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
4
 

Introduction to the Nature Journal

Lesson plan in which students practice writing and observation skills by keeping nature journals. They observe animals on the National Zoo’s webcam and write about the behaviors they see, making hypotheses based on these observations.
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
13
 

How Things Fly

A lesson plan introduces students to the four elements of flight - drag, lift, thrust, and weight - through fun-filled experiments. Students "fly" for short periods and then evaluate factors that might either increase or decrease their "flight" duration.

Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
12
 

Native American Dolls

In this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, students examine handcrafted dolls from the National Museum of the American Indian. They draw connections between these objects and Native cultures, communities, and environments.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
13
 

The Universe: An Introduction

This issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom includes a lesson plan in which the class arranges pictures of heavenly bodies according to the students' best ideas of size, distance, and age. This active introduction to the cosmos can be a pre-assessment for a unit on space science. In a follow-up modeling exercise, relationships in space are brought down to a scale of two inches.

Click on the PDF icons to download the issue and ancillary materials.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
7
 

Playing Historical Detective: Great-Grandmother's Dress and Other Clues to the Life and Times of Annie Steel


In this 1981 issue of Art to Zoo, students become detectives piecing together the
life of a nineteenth century woman by examining primary source documents and
artifacts. Click the PDF icon to download.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
3
 

The Music in Poetry

Lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to the rhythms of poetry. The focus is on two poetic forms that originated as forms of song: the ballad stanza, found throughout British and American literature, and the blues stanzas of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. Poetry is put into terms of movement, physical space, and, finally, music.

Click the PDF icon to download the issue. Click on the boxes (then click again on "View original") for audio samples of ballads and blues from the Smithsonian Folkways archives.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
6
 

Botany and Art and Their Roles in Conservation

Lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to the work of botanists and botanical illustrators, specifically their race to make records of endangered plant species around the world. The students try their own hands at botanical illustration, following the methods of a Smithsonian artist. Also included here are additional resources on the topic: a one-hour webinar and a website.

Click the PDF icons to download the issue and lesson materials.


Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
11
 

The Seventies: A Crisis of Confidence

This is a teaching collection designed to support an inquiry into why the public lost confidence in the government in the 1970s (70s). Topics covered include the economic recession, the Nixon presidency and Watergate, the Ford presidency, the Carter presidency, the Iran hostage crisis, the oil embargo, the Kent State massacre and the Pentagon Papers.



Guiding questions:

-Why did the U.S. public lose confidence in the presidency in the 1970s?

-What impact did economic crises have on American lives?

Renea Reichenbach
14
 

PZ Perspectives Conference

While they may be little, young children are capable of deep thinking, perspective taking, sharing ideas and taking action; all skills necessary to be an active participant in society. Not only should young children be included and respected as citizens of both the local and global community, fostering these skills encourages the next generation to be invested in the betterment of society. Art is an effective and engaging catalyst to build these civic skills with young children. In this collection, educators from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center and the Quaker Valley School District share their use of artwork and thinking routines in their practice with young children. Through hearing stories, seeing examples, and engaging in model lessons, participants will experience relevant thinking routines, have opportunities to reflect on techniques presented and work cooperatively with peers as they create lessons inspired by provided artworks modeled techniques. Participants will leave the session feeling inspired and confident to incorporate art into their practice to build civic skills using demonstrated techniques.


Andrea Croft
49
 

Using Close Investigation of Artworks to Tell Stories and Take Perspectives

This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover the deeper meaning of and build an understanding behind an artist’s work, reveal an artist’s personal values, as well as begin developing empathy and sparking curiosity through close observation, perspective-taking and questioning. This deeper look into artwork can be used as a catalyst for students to share their own works, and act as an agent for action in their larger community.

#PZPGH

Andrea Croft
28
 

Deciphering the Code: Understanding Messages Through Symbol Exploration

This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover the complexity behind symbols found in art and artifacts.  Curiosity and wonderment are sparked as students use close looking strategies to precisely describe what they see.  Students can then apply these findings to reveal a deeper meaning behind the symbols and the identities of the designer and users.  Students will be inspired to create their own stamps as they explore how symbols share messages and bridge connections to people and diverse cultures.

Andrea Croft
31
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