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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, US History, Writing, Arts, Other :

Kate Harris's collections

 

Context for Weikers Family Collection: Life in Nazi Germany and Resettling in the United States

<p>This collection was created to align with with the Weikers Family collection and provides general context about life in Germany for a Jewish family in the 1930s and their eventual resettlement to the United States. The artifacts in the collection are not necessarily specific to the Weikers family, but give some idea of how others might have shared similar experiences. </p><p>Tags: Nazi Germany, Holocaust era, primary sources, Pittsburgh</p>
Kate Harris
19
 

Ekphrastic Poetry Lesson

<p>According to <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/glossary-terms/detail/ekphrasis" target="_blank">the Poetry Foundation</a>, "An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the "action" of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning"</p><p>This collection is based on a lesson plan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which guides users through the process of using artwork to inform and inspire poetry. Strategies for developing original poems, sample ekphrastic (art-inspired) poems, and suggested artworks are included to stimulate thinking.</p><p>tags: creative writing, art, poetry, poems</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
 

The Steamboat Arabia

<p style="margin-left:32px;">This collection was made to pair with a learning experience during the November 17th workshop for Pittsburgh teachers working with the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Teachers will visit the Steamboat Arabia exhibit and learn from a Heinz History Center curator about the decisions made and limitations faced when creating an exhibit for visitors to learn from. </p><p style="margin-left:32px;">Both the online collection and the Heinz History Center exhibit explore the question "<strong>How do new innovations in transportation affect American life?"</strong></p><p style="margin-left:32px;">The collection below contains artifacts and images from the Smithsonian collection that might help students and teachers respond to the question above. Suggested scaffolding questions might include:</p><ul><li>Identify the changes in technology and transportation that occurred between 1800-1850.</li><li>How did these new transportation systems impact the movement and interactions of groups of people, the expansion of trade, and cultural life on the frontier?</li><li>How do the items in this collection compare to what was found during the recovery of the Steamboat Arabia?</li></ul>
Kate Harris
22
 

Red Caps and Pullman Porters

<p>This is a topical collection of items relating to red caps and Pullman porters, positions associated with train travel during the 20th century.</p><p>Teachers and students might use this collection to explore how these jobs reinforced the social status of African-Americans while at the same time ensuring steady, reliable work and the rise of an African-American middle class. They also might consider the impact of A. Philip Randolph and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. How did the development of this labor union later impact the Civil Rights movement?</p><p>tags: amtrak, railroad, trains, sleeping car, segregation</p>
Kate Harris
19
 

Shinto Shrines

<p>How do religious rituals and practices reflect the core beliefs of a religion? This collection creates a virtual field trip to a Shinto shrine. Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan, based on cultivating a positive relationship with the kami, or spirits present in the world. The religion of Shinto is centered around four affirmations. They are:</p><p>-Tradition and the family</p><p>-Love of nature</p><p>-Physical cleanliness</p><p>-Matsuri (festivals and ceremonies in honor of the kami)</p><p>Guiding questions include:</p><p>How are the four affirmations expressed in a visit to a Shinto shrine?</p><p>How does a shrine visit compare to visits to other houses of worship?</p><p>Tags: religion, culture, Japan, Shinto, shrines, analysis, compare contrast</p>
Kate Harris
14
 

The Smithsonian in World War I

<p>Across the nation, public institutions like museums, universities, and government facilities showed the impact of World War One. Not only did private individuals find their lives changed by enlisting to fight or taking on new "war work," but buildings and public spaces also changed by shifting over to the war cause. This collection reveals how life at the Smithsonian Institution changed in order to support the war effort from 1914-1918 through artifacts and archival materials.</p><p>Questions to consider:</p><p>-<strong>How do Americans sacrifice during wartime? Has it changed over time?</strong></p><p>-How did the Smithsonian Institution and its employees adapt during wartime?</p><p>-What does the experience chronicled here tell us about that of other Americans? What is still missing?</p><p>Tags: WWI, World War One, homefront, war work, Smithsonian, museum</p>
Kate Harris
17
 

The Emancipation Proclamation

<p>How did the writing of the Emancipation Proclamation reflect the political tensions of the time? This collection reviews the writing, impact, and legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation through videos, informational texts, and art. Students can work through the lesson independently and their understanding of the Emancipation Proclamation will be assessed via quiz questions. Students will be able to determine the short-term and long-term impacts of the Emancipation Proclamation.</p>
Kate Harris
17
 

Evaluating America's First System of Government

<p>What kind of government best suited the needs of the rebelling colonists? In this learner resource, students will learn about the Articles of Confederation and determine if they should be remembered positively or negatively. What were the strengths of the Articles? What were the weaknesses that led to the Constitutional Convention, and the writing of a new form of government, our current Constitution?</p><p>tags: articles of confederation, whiskey rebellion, northwest ordinance, declaration of independence</p>
Kate Harris
8
 

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
 

Communes, Counterculture, and the Back to the Land Movement

<p>This collection includes a variety of photographs taken by Lisa Law. Students will examine the photographs and a few artifacts and try to draw conclusions about the ways in which the commune or back-to-the-land movement challenged the norms of traditional United States society in the 1960s and 1970s. A link to an exhibit website is include and allows students to check their assumptions, and students are asked to compare elements of the counterculture with that of mainstream 1960s and 1970s culture. </p><p>Tags: counterculture, commune, hippie, granola, back to nature, communal living, co-op, cooperative, sixties, seventies, Woodstock, change over time, compare, ashram, silent majority</p>
Kate Harris
10
 

Numbers

<p>This collection is an example of how the Learning Lab could be used to create number or alphabet books for younger students. Students can search for the numbers and letters represented in the art, sculpture, and artifacts that exist throughout the Learning Lab. </p><p>Alternatively, students could be given a specific theme (animals, for example) and be tasked to find images representing the theme for each letter or number. Annotation (notebook tabs) can be used to include additional text or explanations. Quiz questions could be used to ask "how many ________ are in this image?".</p><p>Have fun!</p><p>Tags: reading, books, alphabet, numbers, counting, math, young learners, early childhood</p>
Kate Harris
17