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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

 

Pangu and the Chinese Creation Story

<p>This student activity teaches students about the Chinese creation story of Pangu and introduces them to other common symbols in ancient Chinese mythology. </p><p>Guiding questions include:</p><p>-How does this story compare to other creation myths you may know? Are there common elements?</p><p>-In what way does this story reflect a distinctly Chinese culture or system of belief?</p><p>Tags: Pan gu, Panku, creation, origin, myth, compare contrast, yin yang, Taoism, Daoism, Buddhism, Buddhism, Confucius, Laozi, dragon, qilin, turtle, phoenix, ancient China, religion</p>
Kate Harris
11
 

How Siddhartha Became the Buddha

<p>This collection teaches students about the biography of Siddhartha Guatama and asks them to analyze images depicting stages of his life. Students will also learn about the different mudras, or hand gestures, that the Buddha makes. Quiz questions and hot spots are embedded throughout to check for understanding and support learning. </p><p>Tags: Siddhartha, Buddha, Buddhism, reincarnation, religion, India</p>
Kate Harris
12
 

3-D Resources from the Smithsonian

<p>This collection provides an introduction to the 3D resources available from the Smithsonian Institution. All of the items in this collection are videos showing 3D models or sharing the process of creating such materials. To explore the models directly in a 3D viewer, download file information, and discover tours and other educator resources, please visit <a href="http://3d.si.edu" target="_blank">3d.si.edu</a>.</p><p>Models of interest to K-12 teachers might include:</p><ul><li>Apollo 11 command module</li><li>Amelia Earhart's flight suit</li><li>Liang Bua (archaeological site where <em>homo floriensis</em> was discovered)</li><li>Funerary bust of Haliphat (from Palmyra)</li><li>Jamestown burial sites and artifacts</li><li>David Livingstone's gun</li><li>Porcelain dishes and other home items in the Freer Gallery of Art (from Asian cultures)</li><li>Killer Whale Hat</li><li>Whale and dolphin fossils</li><li>Cosmic Buddha</li><li>Woolly mammoth skeleton</li><li>Wright Brothers flyer</li><li>Gunboat Philadelphia</li></ul>
Kate Harris
19
 

Coffee Break

The best selection of coffee makers, urns, and mugs to be found in the Smithsonian collection. The best thing about waking up...
Kate Harris
23
 

Vikings--Myths and Mysteries

<p>The Vikings have inspired many artists, writers, and filmmakers with their bravery and unique way of life. However, many misconceptions have developed and many facts are still unknown. In this collection, students will explore the website for the Vikings exhibit while taking notes on the included worksheet. Then, they'll evaluate three works of art (and a team logo) based on the Vikings to gauge how accurately they represent Viking life. Finally, they will be asked to create their own 2-D or 3-D object representing Viking life.</p><p>Tags: Norse, inquiry, Viking, Norway, Greenland, Iceland</p>
Kate Harris
7
 

Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute

<p>This collection includes photographs and paintings that reveal information about Booker T. Washington's strategy for achieving civil rights for African-Americans, and about the subjects taught at Tuskegee. It is intended as an introductory activity on the subject, to be completed by students.</p><p>Tags: point of view, Reconstruction, Tuskegee Institute, civil rights, segregation, Gilded Age, cause effect</p>
Kate Harris
6
 

"Women's Work"

<p>This collection explores the conception of "women's work" and challenges users to think about whether such a phrase has meaning. </p><p>Teachers and students can use the collection in a number of ways: grouping or sorting the resources chronologically to explore change over time; writing definitions of "women's work" for different time periods; completing image or text analysis on individual resources; or researching women's contributions in a particular field. </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. In fact, this could be a point of discussion: what, or who, do you think is missing from this collection?<br /></p>
Kate Harris
35
 

School Integration

<p>The topic of K-12 school integration is a complex one that goes far beyond an understanding of that landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. How have efforts at integration been sustained in the 60+ years since that case was first decided? How have concerns about socioeconomic differences been addressed (or not addressed) through school districting? How do district and national policies impact individual students for better or worse? This is a topical collection that addresses the history of school integration but also includes references to and resources reflecting the issue today.</p><p>Tags: segregation, Little Rock Nine, desegregation, charter schools, Arkansas, busing, Boston, racism, prejudice, civil rights</p>
Kate Harris
14
 

Resources for Teaching African-American History

<p>A collection of teaching resources about African-American history, from slavery to modern-day. 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. This collection will be updated frequently and includes both individual artifacts and lesson plans.</p>
Kate Harris
38
 

Discover the Story: A Miner's Life

This collection includes objects and artifacts representing life in as a miner. Students are challenged to write a creative story or narrative based on the objects in the collection, illustrating life at the time. The last two resources in the collection are a worksheet that teachers may use to frame the assignment and a grading rubric for the assignment. Tags: Pennsylvania, narrative, Pittsburgh, mining, miner, immigration, coal, worker safety, child labor
Kate Harris
16
 

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
 

Emmett Till: Confronting a Difficult History

This collection looks at how a tragic incident like the murder of Emmett Till is remembered in American history and national memory, as well as the significance of the decision of Till's mother, Mamie Mobley-Till, to share her son's loss publicly with an open-casket. Her actions created a galvanizing moment for the modern civil rights movement, heightening its significance and influence. The collection includes photographs, art work, and two newspaper articles about modern memorials to Till and other lynching victims. Teachers might use the following images as the basis for silent discussion (see the Big Paper strategy from Facing History, included on the last resource) prior to a group conversation on the following questions: -How did this case impact the civil rights movement? -What were the effects of having an open casket at Till's funeral? How does media continue to impact the civil rights movement? -How should Emmett Till be remembered and honored? How should his mother be remembered and honored? -Should national memorials and museums include objects like Till's original casket or the soil from lynching sites? Why or why not?
Kate Harris
7