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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

 

The 1850s and Causes of the Civil War

This collection includes artifacts, stamps, political cartoons, portraits, and videos representing various long-term and short-term causes of the Civil War. Students could use the collection as the basis for a sorting activity: Which causes are long-term and which are short? Which represent economic, social, or political differences between the North and South? Can they be put in chronological order? Which show attempts at compromise and which show that violence was difficult to avoid? Additional teaching ideas are listed in the Notes to Other Users section.
Kate Harris
33
 

Great Ideas, Modern Art, and Advertising

This collection consists of advertisements created for the Container Corporation of America in the 1950s. Each advertisement pairs a quote from a "Great Idea of Western Man" with a work of original art. After reviewing the collection, students will create their own art work to reflect a "Great Idea" that they think is important and meaningful in the world today.
Kate Harris
11
 

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
 

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
 

Look for the Helpers: Analyzing Social Movements

<p>Mr. Rogers is quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." This collection will give students a framework to "look for the helpers"--the people who are trying to change society for the better during difficult times. Students will be introduced to a variety of strategies and tactics used in social movements, and consider how these might apply to an area of their own interest.</p><p>Included is a chart listing possible strategies for social movements that encourages students to find examples of tactics/strategies from the collection and determine the goals of each.</p><p>Opportunities for extension include:</p><p>Identify a social movement that relies on more than one strategy (most do). Can you create a "recipe" listing the various tactics used to create a successful movement?</p><p>Who is involved? Choose one of the examples from above to study further. Who was involved in that particular tactic or strategy? Consider different occupations (teacher, writer, church leader, student, mother) and also different demographics (gender, race, age, ethnicity, etc.)</p><p>What's missing? Are there strategies that you have encountered in your research that don't fit into this chart?</p>
Kate Harris
31
 

Jainism

<p>This is a topical collection of resources related to Jainism. It includes sculptures, manuscripts, and paintings from the Smithsonian Institution's collection as well as links to outside web resources for further background information. Some questions to guide thinking are embedded throughout. </p><p>As they explore the collection, users might consider how Jain art and architecture reflect the main beliefs of the religion.</p><p>tags: ancient, India, religion, Jain, tirthankara, Mahavira, faith, Digambara, Svetambara</p>
Kate Harris
12
 

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
 

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 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
 

Slave Resistance

This collection includes items representing various forms of slave resistance and rebellion. Students should determine what kind of actions are pictured in the case of each item and use them to create a robust definition of slave resistance. Guiding Questions: What does it mean to "resist" slavery? How did white slave-owners respond to such actions? Is maintaining a distinct cultural heritage a form of resistance? Why or why not? How do religion, art, and music encourage resistance?
Kate Harris
13
 

The History and Spread of Islam

This collection can be used by students to explore the founding, history, and spread of Islam. Includes short informational texts paired with artifacts from around the globe and some links to additional resources. Students are tasked with tracking the countries that are mentioned on a map, taking notes on how the religion spread, and how the religion may have changed as it spread to new areas and ethnic groups. There is a quiz to assess their understanding of these concepts at the end. The guiding questions for this collection are: 1) Where was Islam founded and where did it spread? 2) How did the religion spread from place to place? 3) How were the practices and the beliefs adapted by the people of different geographic areas?
Kate Harris
36
 

The Achievements of Ancient Mayan Civilization

This collection reviews the major achievements of the ancient Mayan civilization, including its great cities, use of writing, calendar, religious beliefs, art, and architecture. Resources are provided as a basis for student research. Several of the videos are available in Spanish and English and would be useful for a Spanish language teacher who wants students to research the Maya. Guiding questions to consider while reviewing this collection: 1) In what ways did observation of the sun influence multiple facets of ancient Mayan life? 2) Which elements of ancient Mayan life persist in Mayan culture today? 3) How are art, religion, and architecture seemingly intertwined in ancient Mayan culture? 4) What are the various theories about the demise of the ancient Mayans? This collection focuses on the achievements of the ancient Mayans; however, it is critical to remember that the Maya are a living people and continue to preserve old traditions while building new ones in the modern world. For those interested, here is a collection on the modern Maya: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/the-maya-people-today/yKMyzCEPMadkGgA8.
Kate Harris
25