User Image

Kate Harris

Learning Lab Coordinator
Smithsonian Institution
Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)
Teacher/Educator
Language Arts And English, Civics, Literature, Cultures, Economics, Social Studies, Geography, Writing, US History, Arts, Other :
Learning Lab Coordinator

I'm a history-lover, art fan, and bookworm. I taught high school history (U.S. History and World Religions) for ten years in North Carolina, teach currently in Pittsburgh, PA,  and am working to help teachers make the most of this new resource!


Kate Harris's collections

 

All You Need is Love

<p>The best of love-themed graphic design in the Smithsonian Institution's collections. </p>
Kate Harris
12
 

Practice Reading Portraits--Black History Month

<p>This collection was created for a brief warm-up activity where students practiced analyzing portraits of recognizable figures as a group, prior to working on their own portrait analysis. Portraits of Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Rosa Parks, and Booker T. Washington are included and they vary in detail and medium. </p><p>The last resource, a PDF file, is a teacher's guide created by the National Portrait Gallery. Teachers should lead discussion about the portraits using suggested questions in the guide, and then let students search for a portrait of someone of their own choosing to analyze.</p><p>tags: civil rights, sports, tennis, boxing, African-American, black history, analysis, comparison</p>
Kate Harris
6
 

Leonidas at Thermopylae

<p>This 2-resource collection is intended to introduce students to the Battle of Thermopylae through an artistic interpretation and a map and graph rendering. It could be used as a short bellringer, warm-up, or homework activity prior to in-class discussion of the battle.</p><p>Tags: Sparta, Greece, Greek, Persia, Xerxes</p>
Kate Harris
4
 

The Melting Pot at the United Shoe Machinery Corporation

<p>This student activity includes a set of archival documents from the United Shoe Machinery Corporation. These documents can be used as resources to help students investigate the relationship between industry, education, and immigration in the early 20th century. </p><p>As students explore the collection, they should consider how each document helps them answer the following questions:</p><p>-Is it in the best interests of business to encourage citizenship and education? Why or why not?</p><p>-What do these materials say about what it means to be considered "American" in the early 20th century?</p><p>tags: school, learning, English, language, migration, Ellis Island, manufacturing, Progressives</p>
Kate Harris
8
 

Look for the Helpers: Analyzing Social Movements

<p>Mr. Rogers is quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." This collection will give students a framework to "look for the helpers"--the people who are trying to change society for the better during difficult times. Students will be introduced to a variety of strategies and tactics used in social movements, and consider how these might apply to an area of their own interest.</p><p>Included is a chart listing possible strategies for social movements that encourages students to find examples of tactics/strategies from the collection and determine the goals of each.</p><p>Opportunities for extension include:</p><p>Identify a social movement that relies on more than one strategy (most do). Can you create a "recipe" listing the various tactics used to create a successful movement?</p><p>Who is involved? Choose one of the examples from above to study further. Who was involved in that particular tactic or strategy? Consider different occupations (teacher, writer, church leader, student, mother) and also different demographics (gender, race, age, ethnicity, etc.)</p><p>What's missing? Are there strategies that you have encountered in your research that don't fit into this chart?</p>
Kate Harris
31
 

1950s Conformity and Counterculture

The 1950s were a period of post-war peace and prosperity. The growing economy and baby boom led to a culture of consumerism and growing Cold War tensions led to an embrace of all things American. This student activity includes a number of images reflecting the 1950s (most of them in postage stamp form). After investigating these images and evaluating how they support or challenge conformity, students are asked to research the counterculture that began to develop in the 1950s. The final assessment asks students to create a stamp image reflecting one of the people, events, or movements that pushed back against 1950s conformity. <br /><br /> Guiding questions:<br /> -What caused a sense of American conformity to develop in the 1950s? How was this feeling expressed?<br /> -What challenges to conformity existed in the 1950s?<br /> -Is it more "American" to conform or to rebel?
Kate Harris
19
 

The Ramayana

<p>This teaching collection and student activity includes the resources necessary to teach an EDSITEment lesson on the Ramayana where students read closely to find examples of the Hindu concept of dharma. </p><p>Guiding questions are:</p><ul><li>What is <em>dharma</em>?</li><li>How does the <em>Ramayana</em> teach <em>dharma</em>, one of Hinduism's most important tenants?</li></ul><p>tags: Hinduism, Hindu, India, dharma, Ramayana, rama, epic, Vishnu</p>
Kate Harris
11
 

Attention-grabbing headlines don't always tell truth!

<p><strong>Attention-grabbing headlines don't always tell truth!</strong></p><p><strong>Pictures are powerful, sometimes edited!</strong></p><p><strong>Twitter doesn't tell whole story.</strong></p><p><br /></p><p>In the era of "fake news" and information overload, we all need to become better readers of the words and pictures that are used to explain what is going on in the world around us. In this activity, students and teachers will consider:</p><p><strong>How<span></span></strong><strong> can the choice of image or words convey different messages about current events? How do journalists and editors shape the news through their choices?</strong><br /></p><p>This student activity asks students to look at several images of young people resisting a law or recent event. Their task is to write two different headlines for that image designed to appeal to different audiences. They will also be asked to research the context for the image and to consider how that might impact their headlines. </p><p>The goals of this lesson are to:</p><ul><li>explore image and word choice as news drivers (factors that make items newsworthy or appealing to readers)</li><li>determine how journalists and editors shape the news through their choices</li><li>encourage news literacy and a critical reading of headlines and photojournalism in the future. </li></ul>
Kate Harris
15
 

My Favorite Things

<p>In 2014-2015, artist and illustrator Maira Kalman created a personal collection that was displayed at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Her collection drew from across the Smithsonian museums and reflected a life story. Her inspiration and thinking is shared in the video resource that begins this collection, and some of the objects that she included (or similar ones) are shared.</p><p>Can you create your own collection of "favorite things"? What story would it tell? What people, places, and objects would it connect to? What emotions would it evoke?</p><p>tags: design, art, activity, personal, inspiration, creativity, biography</p>
Kate Harris
6
 

Forced Removal during Apartheid: Examining Historic Photographs

<p><em>How did apartheid affect the lives of blacks living in Johannesburg in the late 1940s and early 1950s? What was the purpose of forced removal?</em></p><p>This student activity uses the examination of historical photographs as an entry point to learning about the forced removal of blacks from urban areas to townships &amp; homelands under apartheid in South Africa. The images here are all from Sophiatown and Soweto. What details emerge about the life changes that resulted from being moved? What questions remain?</p>
Kate Harris
19
 

The Fight to End Apartheid

<p>This is a topical collection of resources related to the fight to end apartheid. Teachers and students can use this collection to explore strategies used to fight against apartheid as well as famous leaders in the fight. Strategies include economic sanctions, boycotts, and divestment, raising awareness through artists and musicians, nonviolent protest, armed resistance, and external political pressures on the South African government. This is a work-in-progress based on the digitized materials within the Smithsonian Learning Lab's collection--it is not meant to be wholly definitive or authoritative. Think of it as a starting point for further inquiry!</p><p>Possible student activities include:</p><p>-researching one strategy of resistance and/or one well-known leader in depth.</p><p>-drawing comparisons between political organizations and movements like the ANC, PAC, Black Consciousness Movement, and United Democratic Front.</p><p>-creating a timeline of resistance to apartheid.</p><p>-debating the use of armed resistance and "sabotage."</p><p>-interviewing adults who may remember the end of apartheid.</p><p>-drawing comparisons between the civil rights movement in the United States and the anti-apartheid movement.</p><p>-choose 1-3 events and make a case for them as turning points in the fight against apartheid. What makes these events so significant?</p><p>tags: apartheid, South Africa, Mandela, Tutu, Huddleston, Soweto, townships, Sharpeville, Defiance Campaign, Biko</p>
Kate Harris
28
 

Evolution of an Artist: William H. Johnson

<p>The clippings, paintings, and other items here will all help you develop an understanding of William H. Johnson's life and growth as an artist. First, read the biography in the first resource. Then, try to order the remaining collection items from earliest to latest, using clues from the informational text and the style and subject of each work. Once finished, review the progression you have created. How would you describe the evolution of Johnson's art? Can you connect changes in his art to world or personal events?</p><p>tags: Harlem, Federal Art Project, sorting, folk art, African-American, painter</p>
Kate Harris
31