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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 :

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

 

Identifying Characteristics of Renaissance Art

This collection will teach you about how Renaissance artists changed the style and focus of art in the period between 1300 and 1600 CE. When you are done, you should be able to thoroughly answer the question: How did the art of the Renaissance reflect the new emphasis on humanism and science? First, review the painting, Raphael's School of Athens, and learn about the new techniques used. Then study the additional works in the collection and try to use them as examples of the different techniques. Some of the works are from the Renaissance period and others are more modern interpretations. A worksheet is included at the end of this collection to record your work. Finally, test your knowledge with a quick quiz. Use your worksheet to help!
Kate Harris
11
 

Samurai Armor

This collection invites students to consider samurai armor as both functional and expressive objects. The collection includes two informative videos, several examples of samurai armor, photographs, and quiz questions. It finishes with an optional extension activity to make and decorate an origami samurai helmet. This collection can be used independently by students. Guiding questions to consider are: 1) Why does the material, design, and purpose of an item of clothing matter? 2) How did samurai use their armor to affirm their social status? 3) How did samurai armor evolve over time and reflect changes in Japanese culture?
Kate Harris
19
 

World War II Lesson Plans and Interactives

Collection of lesson plans and interactive websites related to World War II from the Smithsonian Institution.
Kate Harris
13
 

Ancient Egypt: Canopic Jars

This is a collection of canopic jars, which were used to store the organs of the deceased in the burial chambers of ancient Egyptians. As you look through these images, think about what kinds of characteristics they all have in common. What differences do you see? Pay attention to materials used, shape of the jars, and images on the lids.
Kate Harris
7
 

Fourth of July Celebrations

A topical collection inspired by the Fourth of July holiday. Have a picnic, see some fireworks, and enjoy our nation's independence!
Kate Harris
14
 

Teaching about Andrew Jackson

This collection includes artifacts, lesson plans, and teaching ideas about Andrew Jackson, including his role in the War of 1812 and his presidency.
Kate Harris
32
 

Portraits of James Baldwin

<p>This student activity begins with an analysis of two portraits of James Baldwin by different artists. Then, students are asked to create their own portrait of Baldwin by remixing source material from this collection. Student portraits should answer the following questions:</p><p>1. How do you think James Baldwin should be remembered?</p><p>2. What are Baldwin's contributions to American life and culture?</p><p>Students may need to do additional research on Baldwin and his life in order to complete this assessment. This is an opportunity for students to learn about and explore the life of a revolutionary writer who presents a unique view of the civil rights movement and status of African-Americans in the United States.</p>
Kate Harris
25
 

Investigating a Place: The Pacific Northwest

<p>What defines a place? Is it its people? Economic life? Physical characteristics?</p><p>Examine this collection of images from or about the Pacific Northwest (loosely defined as Washington and Oregon states and British Columbia) to answer these questions: What are its unique set of physical and cultural conditions? How do these physical and cultural conditions interact? How does the economy of the PNW connect to its culture and geography? What are the consequences of human activity on the cultural and physical landscape? </p><p>Ask students individually or in small groups to create a collection in Learning Lab to represent the physical and cultural characteristics of another place (city, region, state). Using these collections, ask students to write summary statements describing the unique human and physical characteristics of places researched. Discuss student collections and what makes each place unique.</p><p>Tags: Portland, Seattle, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, Native Americans, American Indians, grunge, space needle</p>
Kate Harris
38
 

Claim-Support-Question: A Sharecropper's Shack

Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "Claim Support Question," a routine for clarifying truth claims, students will examine a photograph taken by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration. This exercise could be used as a warm up for a lesson about the Great Depression's impact on farmers, sharecropping, or the New Deal. Tags: Roosevelt, New Deal, Farm Security Administration, Great Depression, tenant farmer, sharecropper, migrant farmer, Okie, Missouri, Oklahoma, Dust Bowl, Resettlement Administration.
Kate Harris
4
 

Take Action on Air Pollution

<p>This collection of resources invites students to examine how societies have been convinced to take action regarding air pollution over time, and to craft their own persuasive message regarding pollution. Students will identify several different means of compelling individuals and groups to change their behavior in order to benefit the environment. They will then evaluate the effectiveness of those strategies. Finally, they will create their own message convincing others to take steps towards improving the environment. </p><p>Tags: smoke control, smog, pollution, environmentalism, earth day, advertising, persuasive writing, ad campaign</p>
Kate Harris
9
 

Investigating a Place: North Carolina

What defines a place? This teacher's guide uses stamps, photographs, paintings, objects, videos, and music to explore the history and culture of North Carolina. In the classroom, these resources can be used by students to investigate two essential questions: How do you define North Carolina as a place? What does it mean to be from North Carolina? Further questions include: How do these objects relate to each other? What objects/people/places are missing that you think are important in defining North Carolina as a place? What sub-themes can you identify within this collection of resources? How do you define North Carolina in terms of its environmental characteristics? What are its unique set of physical and cultural conditions? Has the definition of being from North Carolina changed over time? Activity Idea: Ask students to investigate collection in small groups to answer the two essential questions. Use the supporting questions to guide their inquiry into the essential questions - answering these questions will give students a knowledge and evidence base from which to answer the essential questions. To further the activity, students may choose one resource to investigate in depth and either write an essay or create a collection of their own around it. Students may choose two or more resources to compare in their exploration of how one defines North Carolina. Ask students individually or in small groups to create a collection in Learning Lab to represent the physical and cultural characteristics of another place. Using these collections, ask students to write summary statements describing the unique human and physical characteristics of places researched. In class discuss student collections and what makes each place unique.
Kate Harris
44
 

TRETC Explores the Learning Lab

<p>Let's take a journey to see what the Smithsonian has for you and your students. We will use this as a FRIENDLY challenge, and as a way to explore the types of diverse resources and features found in the Learning Lab.</p>
Kate Harris
12