Skip to Content

Cultural Communications: Telling Our Stories

4 Favorites 0 Copies
Language Arts And English +7 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

Language is the very first tool that we use to understand the ideas that we are trying to share. But what about the monuments, art, and songs that we have created to share our ideas with one another? This exploration will focus on how American culture founded on the mixing of ethnicities and experiences used the skills and talents of its members to reveal its faults and celebrate its wonder and imagination. This collection focuses on the identities and expressions of 1st Nations People, African American, and White American cultures. There are so many other cultures that have contributed to this nations story, this is just one exploration of many that we should embark on to tell our stories of who we are as a people and a nation. This exploration will give students a way to examine the history of those around them, but also their place within this most extravagant quilt of this country. 

  • The purpose of this activity is to give students a better understanding of the American Indian identity of the United States as foundational to understanding this land. From that foundation they will journey through the musical/dance expressions of those who came to be known as White Americans and African Americans, who came to inhabit the US and through them some of the historical/contemporary realities and perspectives that make up a part of our society.

Please follow the lesson plan laid out at the beginning of the collection to see the best way to use it. #goglobal

Judith Jamison in "Cry"

National Portrait Gallery

Lesson Plan Tile

Sean Felix

Inspiration Slide

Sean Felix

Introduction

Sean Felix

The Cave

Smithsonian American Art Museum

See/Think/Wonder: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Petroglyphs near Hurley, New Mexico March 1925

National Anthropological Archives

A Fire Cave

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Duck Man, Gooseneck, Utah

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Chamber

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Petrified Forest, Arizona

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Creation Story of the Maya

National Museum of the American Indian

The 3Ys: Project Zero Global Competency Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Bacon Banjo Mandolin

National Museum of American History

Self-Portrait with Banjo

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Electric guitar belonging to Chuck Berry, nicknamed "Maybellene"

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Axe Electric Bass Guitar, signed by Gene Simmons

National Museum of American History

Lead Belly - "Haul Away Joe"

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Roscoe Holcomb - "Graveyard Blues"

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

"Steel Pony Blues" by Dom Flemons [Official Music Video]

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Pete Seeger - This Land Is Your Land (Unreleased)

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Pete Seeger - Down by the River Side (Folkways cover)

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Our Native Daughters - "I Knew I Could Fly"

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Jazz Music and Film Clips

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

#APeoplesJourney: Musical Crossroads - Regions Without Borders

National Museum of African American History and Culture

History Break

Sean Felix

Navajo Fire Dance [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Fire Dance Chant

National Museum of the American Indian

The Evolution of Swing

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bill T. Jones

National Portrait Gallery

Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Members of the Cochiti Pueblo perform an Eagle dance

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Music of the African Diaspora

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Cherokee Days 2017 - Traditional Animal Dances

National Museum of the American Indian

Native Storytelling: Thirza Defoe

National Museum of the American Indian

Social Dance

Sean Felix

Voguing at the Ball

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Modern Movement

Sean Felix

Beauty and Truth

Sean Felix

Beauty and Truth: Project Zero Global Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Reflect

Sean Felix