Skip to Content

Collections

Standard
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards
 

Domingo Ulloa's

This teaching collection helps students to look closely and think critically by examining Domigo Ulloa's painting, Braceros, and historical documentation related to the bracero program, a series of short-term labor contracts from 1942-1964 in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the US to work on farms and roads. The collection prompts students to consider the program from a variety of perspectives, including individual, collective, social, economic, and political.  

Included here are the painting, a bilingual video with Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) curator E. Carmen Ramos, four suggested Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder," "Step In, Step Out, Step Back," "The 3 Y's," and "Think, Feel, Care" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, supporting digital content from the National Museum of American History, and a blogpost from SAAM of two DC student's written responses to the prompt, "What Domingo Ulloa's Braceros Means to Me." 

For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, and American History classes

#LatinoHAC #EthnicStudies

This collection supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.

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


Rubina Pantoja
10
 

Domingo Ulloa's "Bracero": and "Bittersweet Harvest": Using Art and Historical Documentation to Deepen Understanding

This teaching collection helps students to look closely and think critically by examining Domigo Ulloa's painting, Braceros, and historical documentation related to the bracero program, a series of short-term labor contracts from 1942-1964 in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the US to work on farms and roads. The collection prompts students to consider the program from a variety of perspectives, including individual, collective, social, economic, and political.  

Included here are the painting, a bilingual video with Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) curator E. Carmen Ramos, four suggested Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder," "Step In, Step Out, Step Back," "The 3 Y's," and "Think, Feel, Care" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, supporting digital content from the National Museum of American History, and a blogpost from SAAM of two DC student's written responses to the prompt, "What Domingo Ulloa's Braceros Means to Me." 

For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, and American History classes

#LatinoHAC #EthnicStudies

This collection supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.

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


Philippa Rappoport
10
 

Lactase Persistence and Human Migration

How can genetics help us to understand human migration? In this collection, students will use maps, articles, and videos to analyze genetics research about lactase persistence before building their own maps to understand the co-evolution of genes and culture. 

This collection can be used in a Biology classroom with units on enzymes, genetics and/or human evolution, in an interdisciplinary unit to link Math with Biology (students to use ratios, statistics, and data to build a map) or in a Geography course.

Students should be either given a color copy of the lactase persistence map or it could be projected. Once students have been given the time and opportunity to look at the map, the following questions should be asked.

  1. What do you notice about this map?
  2. What questions do you have about this map?
  3. What can this map show us about human migration?

Next, ask students to work in groups, each choose one of the following three articles to read, then share a brief summary of their article with those in their group. These articles are excellent resources that provide different perspectives on lactase persistence and evolution. The first article (the source of the lactase persistence map) provides a clear explanation of what we can learn from milk fats found on ancient pottery shards and the link between lactase persistence and migration. The second article focuses on animal domestication and the third on the nutritional benefits of being able to digest lactase as a selective advantage.

The third article also connects lactase persistence, the shift to agricultural communities, and human migration with the genetics of human skin color. This could provide an opportunity for students to discuss the inheritance of skin color and perhaps skin color and race. A separate collection has been made to help discuss this and can be found here.

In the activity section, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute BioInteractive (HHMI) video summarizes some key aspects about the genetics of lactase persistence as well as some of the history. If students have already read and shared out to show understanding, the video could be used to meet the needs of students who tend to be more auditory learners. The activity “Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence,” also from HHMI, guides students though an understanding of the co-evolution of genes and culture. “Students analyze data obtained from published lactase-persistence studies involving many populations sampled around the world. The activity involves calculating percentages, drawing pie charts, plotting the pie charts on a world map, and analyzing the data. This lesson provides an interdisciplinary approach to studying lactase persistence, connecting biological concepts and data analysis to world geography and culture”. (https://www.biointeractive.org/sites/default/files/Patterns-in-the-Distribution-of-Lactase-Persistence-Educator.pdf)

The map the students create can be compared to the initial image provided (a map of lactase persistence) as well as the information provided by the Smithsonian Magazine articles to predict the path of human migration. Based on the initial map, reading and activity, students can show their understanding of the connection between genetics and human migration by using the Project Zero thinking routine ‘Claim, Support, Question’. Claims can be made based on their new knowledge and then supported with evidence from the map, reading or activity. Then, students can pose questions for further research or discussion.

In the additional resource section, a YouTube clip has been provided to further extend the conversation. Sarah Tishkoff, from the earlier HHMI video, does an excellent job explaining the co-evolution of culture and the gene for lactase persistence.

Emily Veres
10
 

Women and men who helped New York immigrates' living conditions during the 19th and early 20th century.

This collections shows men and women who helped change the living conditions of the immigrants that flooded into New York City during the 19th and 20th centuries. They changed the way people lived by shining a light on the poor living conditions of the newest Americans.  The following people are discussed in this collection: Lillian Wald, Jane Addams, Margaret Sanger, Jacob Riis, and Theodore Roosevelt.  The themes that are discussed are: tenement living, women's health, and immigrants. 

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

#NPGteach


leigh lewis
17
 

Maps as Primary Resources

Introduction:  How can we use primary sources to learn more about the world around us and how it changes over time.  By applying Project Zero routines, student groups explore maps over time and discuss why/how they change.    

Procedure:

Provide the students with a piece of the Waldsemuller map and have them use the Parts, Purpose, Complexities thinking routine(slide1) or the See Think Wonder routine(slide2).  Usually, I change the terms to fit the activity, so in this case I use Observe, Reflect, and Question.  I tell them to observe and question first.  What are you seeing and why is it there?  What other things do you see but not understand?  Then they go back and reflect on what they think the map is of and how it might be part of a bigger map and what that means.   Generally the questions and observation lead the discussion and I let the students work together to talk about what their map parts have and others do not.  

Once students have finished their observations of the map pieces, show them the whole map(slide3) put together and discuss the history of the map.  What does it look like? Is it the same way our maps look today? Why or why not? Have a discussion about when the map was made, how, and who made it, along with the history of the time period.  How do you think maps have changed since then?

Next, show them the map from 1854 and compare and contrast the two maps.  Discuss the changes in history and why the maps may look so different.  Continue going through each of the maps and ask how the maps have changed over time and why.  Explain the importance of using a primary resource for a map as opposed to a secondary resource.  

Finally, show the last two maps and discuss how maps can be used for more than just showing places, but also for seismographic activity, deforestation, etc.  Discuss what has changed in NYC over the last 200 years and discuss why it might be useful to have that old map?   (Writing a historical novel, seeing where ancestors lived, etc.).

Closure:

I generally don't do a wrap up activity, as the students go into their social studies classes and continue learning about maps and creating their own there.   The classroom teacher works with the students on creating their own maps of our town/neighborhood in coordination with the Project Zero Out of Eden project.  


#PZPGH

Nicole Wilkinson
10
 

President Lincoln: Casualty of War?

In lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, portraits of Lincoln introduce a study of the Civil War. An analysis of the portraits—including the famous “cracked-plate" photograph, two plaster “life masks," and an eyewitness drawing of Lincoln's arrival in the enemy capital of Richmond, Virginia—leads to an analysis of the times.

Click on the PDF icons to download the issue and larger images of the portraits.

Brian Ausland
16
 

Unlikely friendships

"Culture is often difficult to define, but it influences everything from who you are as an individual to how you relate to other people at home and around the world. " from Cultural Conversations (2014)

Cultural conversations have been important to the development of the United States since its inception. To start cultural conversations among my students, I have gathered a collection of artifacts that give a brief history of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Douglass and Lincoln would ordinarily have not been friends,  but because of their relationship, history was changed forever! Other Friendships worth investigating: WEB DuBois and Woodrow Wilson (as well as William Monroe Trotter), Lyndon B Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Banneker, and Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune.

#NPGteach

#visiblethinking


Jeryl Payne
25
 

The Pride of a Pitcher: Pedro Martinez

How do we represent our roots artistically? What can a portrait tell us about the sense of identity of the subject? Focusing on a famous athlete from the Dominican Republic, students will explore the personal history of the pitcher, Pedro Martínez, and how his cultural pride is portrayed on canvas. Class members will read a recent biography of Martínez before examining his portrait, Pride and Determination, currently on exhibition in Twentieth-Century Americans: 1990 to Present. #NPGteach

Patrick Bonner
7