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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

 

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
 

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
 

National Parks

This topical collection focuses on the establishment of a national parks system in the United States. Items in the collection can be used to address the following questions: -What is the difference between "conservation" and "preservation"? Which view towards nature seems to influence our national parks system today? -In United States history, there is often a tension between progress and protection, or change and tradition. How is that tension reflected in the story of the national parks system? Consider the economic demands of a growing nation and the impulse to make the natural world accessible to all members of U.S. society. Tags: Parks, environment, conservation, preservation, Muir, Sierra Club, Roosevelt
Kate Harris
19
 

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
 

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
 

Artifacts from the Battlefield: WWI

This is a collection of artifacts from World War I, including photographs, uniforms, and some surprising contributors. Students will watch a video to observe how a curator connects an object (in this case a woman's AFFW uniform) to the person who used it, and then choose three objects from the collection to study before sharing findings with other classmates. Students should think about the guiding questions below as they investigate the objects in the collection. Guiding questions: How was World War I different from wars that came before? What impact did technology have on the war? What kinds of threats did soldiers face during World War I? How did soldiers find comfort during World War I? How might the experience of World War I have influenced the culture and politics of the years following it?
Kate Harris
14
 

Teaching about the Chicano Movement

<p>This collection gathers resources and artifacts pertaining to the Chicano Movement of the post-WWII era. The following paragraphs, from the Educating Change website, briefly define the movement:</p><p>The "Chicano Movement" has been used by historians to describe a moment of ethnic empowerment and protest among Americans of Mexican descent beginning in the 1960s. "Chicano" had long existed as a pejorative term among young Mexican Americans prior to this period. By the 1960s, however, young Mexican Americans embraced the label, reinscribing it with notions of pride in ones' Mexican heritage and defiance against institutions and individuals who practiced or condoned discrimination against Mexicans.</p><p>The "movement" or movimiento was really a convergence of multiple movements that historians have broken down into at least four components: [1] A youth movement represented in the struggle against discrimination in schools and the anti-war movement; [2] the farmworkers movement; [3] the movement for political empowerment, most notably in the formation of La Raza Unida Party; and [4] the struggle for control and ownership over "homelands" in the US Southwest (<a href="http://www.brown.edu/Research/Coachella/chicano.html">http://www.brown.edu/Research/Coachella/chicano.ht...</a>). We will add an additional component of [5] creating art and music to reflect and voice cultural pride. </p><p>Students will review the collection here and identify five items that connect to one of the components listed above. They will then create their own collection that acts as a digital exhibit, teaching others about the Chicano Movement. This assignment is described in further detail on the last resource in this collection.</p><p>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.<br /></p>
Kate Harris
36
 

Sitting for a Portrait

<p>Have you ever sat while someone painted your picture or took a photograph? How does it feel? What do you think about while it occurs? This student activity begins with a portrait of George Washington and a letter describing his attitude towards portraits. After students reflect on these, they will choose another portrait from the set and focus on developing observational skills and an attitude of empathy by examining the work closely and imagining the perspective of one of the people in the image. </p><p>Tags: portrait, point of view, perspective, Washington, Pine, de Kooning, John F. Kennedy, JFK, Norman Rockwell, Mitchell, Spalding, video, self-portrait</p>
Kate Harris
9
 

Globalization and Cultural Diffusion

<p>This student activity focuses on the concepts of globalization and cultural diffusion. Students will look at a variety of artifacts and explain how they illustrate the two concepts and/or help answer the guiding questions below:</p><ul><li>What is globalization and how does it affect people and places?</li><li>What leads to cultural diffusion?</li></ul>
Kate Harris
10
 

Running Fence

This teaching collection includes images and video of Running Fence, a work of installation art by Christo and Jean Claude. Included at the end is a lesson plan that engages students in analysis of Running Fence and details the steps for a student-designed installation art work at their school. Learning goals include: • Define installation art • Analyze the process and results of the work of Jean-Claude and Christo to develop Running Fence • Use the design process to develop a proposal for an installation art piece • Use persuasive speaking skills to pitch your plan to the relevant stakeholders in your school community • Plan and execute a piece of installation art on your school grounds, working cooperatively with a team
Kate Harris
46
 

Clothing Across Cultures

This teaching collection was made to accompany the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum lesson plan "Saris, Kimonos, Togas & Smocks: Exploring Clothing Across Cultures." In addition to saris, kimonos, togas, and smocks, huipils and kanga are used as examples of culturally-specific clothing. The lesson asks students to complete think about the cultural importance of clothing, and then to research a specific type of clothing and build a presentation around that research. Students might use this collection as a source for images for their presentation, to inspire research topics, or as a common basis for discussion with their peers.
Kate Harris
32
 

How Did Artists View the Civil War? A Collection using a Visible Thinking Strategy

This collection uses a visible thinking strategy called "See-Think-Wonder" from Harvard's Project Zero to help students analyze a Civil-War era sketch to determine context and perspective. After completing the routine, students will learn more about the image and the artist who made it, as well as view art representing a very different point of view. For more on this strategy, see the "Notes to Other Users."
Kate Harris
8