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A Survey of Masks at the Smithsonian: Using Research to Find Connections and Shape Intellectual Inquiry

By Emily Szasz, Education Associate, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum In April of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of Smithsonian colleagues convened to discuss the topic on everyone’s minds: that of masks, seemingly the last barrier of protection available to each of us individually during such an outbreak. Whether going to work in an essential position or picking up food in a grocery store, a mask provides—or at the very least, symbolizes—protection. B…

Talking with Children about COVID-19

Author: Cynthia Raso, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC), founded in 1988, is a model early childhood program that utilizes the Smithsonian's vast collections as the foundation for its curriculum. In addition to its school, SEEC serves the broader community through family programs and educator workshops. It’s important to talk with children about the pandemic, but knowing how to go about it can be tricky. In this post, the Smithsonian Early E…

A Woman’s Place Is in the Curriculum: Teaching Women’s History through American Art and Portraiture

By: Anne Showalter, Digital Interpretation Specialist, Smithsonian American Art Museum  As the digital interpretation specialist at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), I am always looking for opportunities to share our collection beyond the physical walls of the museum itself. Recently I worked with a team of educators at my museum and the National Portrait Gallery to develop/produce/create a teaching poster set and related webinar series designed to bring diverse women’s stor…

Global Thinking Across the Curriculum

By: Tess Porter, Digital Content Producer, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access Are you trying to prepare your students to succeed in our increasingly interconnected world? Looking for ideas and methods to help your students analyze real issues, understand and appreciate others’ perspectives, and take action? Check out the following interdisciplinary collections created by elementary to high school teachers to educate for global competence – defined as “the capacity and d…

Developing Global Competence in the World Language Classroom

By: Marcela Velikovsky and Vicky Masson2018 “Smithsonian Virtual Teacher Curricula Creation Fellows” with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and Participants at the National Portrait Gallery "Learning to Look" Summer Institute. “People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture” Being Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) Fellows was an enriching experience and a journey full of surprises and opportunities that has led to a long-term relationship.…