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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 :
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

 

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
 

Geometry and Islamic Art

<p>This is a collection of artifacts representing geometric motifs in Islamic art. Students will learn why these complex patterns are so prevalent in Islamic art, practice spotting different types of patterns, and begin to create their own, using just a ruler and a compass. They will also have an opportunity to explore the concept of tessellation using an interactive tool.</p><p>tags: geometry, circle, angle, star, mosque, mihrab, tile, Muslim, Islam, religion</p>
Kate Harris
16
 

Civil Disobedience

<p>This is a topical collection on the concept of civil disobedience. Users are invited to explore the theme of civil disobedience through texts from Sophocles, Shelley, and Thoreau and a variety of images. </p><p>Questions to consider:</p><p>-Does civil disobedience pose a threat to society?</p><p>-What examples of civil disobedience are portrayed here? What are some other examples?</p><p>-What is the role of civil disobedience in today's society?</p><p>-Some people prefer the phrase "passive resistance" to "civil disobedience." Compare and contrast these two terms.</p><p>-How does one measure the success of an act of civil disobedience? Policy change? Public influence?</p><p>-What role does violence play in civil disobedience?</p><p>Tags: King, Gandhi, protest, Birmingham, Greensboro, suffrage, Boston Tea Party, Antigone, Masque of Anarchy, Tambo, nun, Randolph, civil rights, Mexican-American War, Goldman</p>
Kate Harris
17
 

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 Concept of God in Hinduism

<p>This topical collection is meant to serve as a starting point to explore the concept of god in Hinduism. Students can review the images in the collection for clues to help them answer questions like:</p><p>-How are gods portrayed in relation to other gods, people, or animals?</p><p>-Do there seem to be one god or many gods? Do they seem to be male or female? </p><p>-What common symbols or poses are present? What do you think they mean? </p><p>-What kinds of powers do the god figures seem to have? In what ways are they like human beings and in what ways are they different? </p><p>The final resource in this collection is a video that gives insight into the Hindu concept of god. After exploring this collection, encourage students to choose one aspect of Hinduism that they would like to research further.</p><p>tags: India, religion, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, trimurti, Ganesh, avatar</p>
Kate Harris
18
 

Pittsburgh Landscape

<p>This collection was prepared for a workshop with Pittsburgh Public School teachers about integrating the visual arts with Social Studies curriculum. It models how to use the claim-support-question visible thinking strategy as well as the use of historic lenses that suggest different questions to ask about a work of art.</p><p><br /><br /></p><p>The content focus of this collection is Pittsburgh during the Great Depression. </p><p><br /><br /></p><p>Tags: Pittsburgh, Great Depression, 1930s, New Deal, steel mills, workers, economy</p>
Kate Harris
9
 

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
 

Examining Icebergs

<p>What can we learn about global climate change by examining icebergs? This teaching collection provides resources to support a lesson on climate change and polar ice melt. It includes a video, link to a lesson plan and photo essay from the Global Oneness Project, images, and a Smithsonian article. </p><p>tags: climate change, global warming, iceberg, glacier, melt, temperature, environment</p>
Kate Harris
6
 

Watch Night

<p>This collection asks students to examine an image entitled "Waiting for the Hour" and to try to determine its meaning and purpose. Students will practice interpretation with justification and then learn more about the history of "watch night services" and the importance of the 1862 watch night in United States history. They will also consider the legacy of this image--a copy is currently hanging in the White House. </p><p>tags: emancipation, freedom, Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, proclamation</p>
Kate Harris
4
 

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
 

Timeline: Causes of the Civil War

<p>This collection includes artifacts, stamps, political cartoons, portraits, and videos representing various long-term and short-term causes of the Civil War. After reviewing the collection, students will sort resources into chronological order, focusing on continuity and change over time. </p><p>Tags: compromise, Civil War, John Brown, Fort Sumter, Ft, Abraham Lincoln, Sumner, Brooks, Taney, Dred Scott, 1850, 1860, secession</p><p><br /></p><p>Additional teaching ideas are listed in the Notes to Other Users section.</p>
Kate Harris
30
 

Earl Hines: An Innovative Jazz Musician

<p>Earl Hines embodies the innovator mindset because he was experimental, collaborative, resilient and resourceful. He invented a new style of playing the piano and became well-known for his work with other jazz musicians. As you look through this collection, try to find more examples of his innovator mindset. </p><p>For more on the characteristics that make up an innovator, look at the Heinz History Center website. You can even take a quiz and find out what innovator you are most like:</p><p><a href="http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/education/school-programs-k-12/steam/innovator-match-up">http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/education/school...</a></p><p>tags: Pittsburgh, Chicago, jazz, segregation, music</p>
Kate Harris
16