Social Studies teacher
Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)
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
Tools for Meditation
Are you interested in meditation? This topical collection includes a variety of tools for meditation, including mandalas, music, prayer beads, labyrinths, and a video of a guided meditation and pranayama (breathing) practice. Web links to additional background information are embedded throughout.
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>
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.
The Black Power Movement
<p>Teaching about the Black Power Movement can be challenging, but has rich rewards. Misconceptions about the Black Power Movement abound, but the ability to contrast their strategies and aims with the earlier Civil Rights Movement allows Social Studies teachers to discuss the complex ways that social movements evolve, change, and respond to the times. In addition, a study of the Black Power Movement helps give context for a broader study of the economic and political shifts in the 1970s and 1980s and the rise of identity politics. This teaching collection includes a variety of resources that could be used to teach about the Black Power Movement, organized into sections for:</p><p>-People in the Movement</p><p>-Goals and Strategies of the Movement</p><p>-Teaching Activities</p><p>General guiding questions for this collection include:</p><p>-What were the distinct problems that the Black Power Movement tried to address? Do they remain today?</p><p>-What were the strategies of the Black Power Movement? Do you agree or disagree with these? </p><p>-Why and how do social movements develop and evolve? </p><p>-What defines a successful social movement? Was the Black Power Movement successful?</p><p>- Can a social movement survive beyond the demise of its leadership?</p><p>-What is the role of the arts in promoting the ideals of social movements?</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>
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>
<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>
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>
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>
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>
From Silk Worms to the Silk Road
This is a collection of resources that could be used to support a lesson on the discovery of silk and the impact of the silk road(s). Artifacts include images of silkworms and the silk-making process, websites with information about the luxuries traded on the Silk Road, and video summary. Possible guiding questions include: -Why did silk become such an important commodity in China? -How did the development of the silk trade routes impact both Europe and Asia? -In what ways do artifacts from Europe and Asia reveal the cultural connections created by the Silk Road?
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:  A youth movement represented in the struggle against discrimination in schools and the anti-war movement;  the farmworkers movement;  the movement for political empowerment, most notably in the formation of La Raza Unida Party; and  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  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>
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>