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Creating your own collections and customizing resources to fit your needs makes the Learning Lab a one-of-a-kind resource for efficiency and creativity. Free your imagination – you can create collections using the Smithsonian's vast resources, add your own resources or those from other sources, annotate the objects you collect, develop your own quizzes and more. Create complete lessons or artistic collections, and build upon each for more personal and memorable learning.

Suggested Resources

 

Writing Inspiration: Using Art to Spark Narrative Story Elements

The Smithsonian museum collection inspires many to research the history behind artifacts, but this collection explores the use of art and artifacts to spark creative story writing. Students will choose artifacts to craft characters, a setting, and a plot conflict to create and write a narrative story.

Targeted Vocabulary: Narrative, protagonist , antagonist, character, character traits, setting, plot, climax, and conflict.

After reading and analyzing several narrative stories for story elements such as character, setting, plot, climax, and conflict, students will use this collection to begin planning their own narrative stories.
Individuals or partners will first view the portraits and discuss possible stories behind each face before choosing a protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters. They may begin to discuss and imagine character traits for each subject.
Next, the student will select a landscape setting in which the story may take place. The writer will describe the landscape, imagine a time period, and name the location.
Finally, the student will either choose an action artifact around which to build a major plot event, or have that slide as a minor scene in their story.
Students may use the Question Formulation Technique to garner ideas for background stories behind the faces. http://rightquestion.org/
Once the story elements are in place, the students may begin to draft narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

With the artifacts selected as the major story elements, the students may begin crafting their narrative story. The artifacts can then be displayed as illustrations in the published narratives.
Kathy Powers
66
 

3D-Printing and Scanning

A collection of 3D printing and scanning applications from the Smithsonian.
Brian Ausland
6
 

Unpacking Sol LeWitt’s Open Cubes

Students will analyze Sol LeWitt's variations of the open cube to apply their knowledge of drawing cubes using isometric paper and nets of cubes. Students will extend their knowledge of surface area while observing LeWitt's Cube without a cube and make a generalization for two formulas.

This is an activity for a grade 6 or 7 geometry class. Prerequisite knowledge: volume, surface area and nets of cubes.

Students can do the work in groups of 2-3 there are sections for thinking routines and prompts for students to upload photos of their work.

Amanda Riske
8
 

Cultural Imagery and Stereotypes: The American Experience in the Classroom

This collection focuses on two works that deal with the issues of nationality, identity and the assimilation of cultures. Mel Casas's pun-laced Humanscape 62 combines elements familiar to many Americans: brownie desserts and a young Girl Scout (a Brownie), with traditional Mexican imagery. This pop art style-blend illustrates the Chicano experience to American culture and creates a push and pull narrative about Latino identity. Similarly, Roger Shimomura, an American-born artist of Japanese descent, contemplates repressed emotions from the time he and his family spent in World War II-era Japanese internment camps, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

#APA2018

http://americanexperience.si.edu/historical-eras/c...

Phoebe Hillemann
14
 

Horn Players

This is introductory information for Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Horn Players" from 1983.

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

TAGS: #NPGteach, portrait, learning to look, National Portrait Gallery, jazz, Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Basquiat, AP Art History

Stacey Horman
12
 

Compare and Contrast Looking Strategy: Learning to Look with the National Portrait Gallery

In this collection, we look at portraiture through the lens of comparing and contrasting two portraits. This looking strategy allows participants to consider similarities and differences between two portraits. Consider using portraits of the same individual at two different point in his or her life, portraits by the same artist, or portraits by different artists of similar subject matter.

Included in this collection are examples of portraits National Portrait Gallery educators have had success with when facilitating the compare and contrast looking strategy while teaching in the galleries: Pocahontas, Shimomura Crossing the Delaware and Washington Crossing the Delaware, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, LL Cool J and John D. Rockefeller
Briana White
22
 

My Smithsonian Closet

You could be exceptionally well-dressed if the Smithsonian were your closet.
Kate Harris
29
 

Civil War Diary: Homefront Perspectives

Diary entries from Mary Henry and Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas during the Civil War.
Nicole Gilbertson
8