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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

 

Claim-Support-Question: A Sharecropper's Shack

Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "Claim Support Question," a routine for clarifying truth claims, students will examine a photograph taken by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration. This exercise could be used as a warm up for a lesson about the Great Depression's impact on farmers, sharecropping, or the New Deal. Tags: Roosevelt, New Deal, Farm Security Administration, Great Depression, tenant farmer, sharecropper, migrant farmer, Okie, Missouri, Oklahoma, Dust Bowl, Resettlement Administration.
Kate Harris
4
 

The End of World War I

This collection asks users to consider how unresolved issues from WWI may have led to the outbreak of war again in the 1930s. Included is a letter from a soldier on the end of the war, a summary of the Treaty of Versailles, a painting and a political cartoon. The collection asks students to evaluate the predictions about future wars made by the letter's author and then to evaluate how and why the Treaty of Versailles may have failed. Tags: World War I, Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations, armistice, interwar, World War I, Hitler
Kate Harris
5
 

The March on Washington

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s tackled many problems facing African-Americans at the time. This collection offers a brief video introduction into the March on Washington in 1963, which brought national attention to many of these issues, and asks students to analyze a photograph and three artifacts from the March. Students will answer the question "What problems did participants in the March on Washington aim to solve?" and consider how these issues continue to have relevance in the United States today. tags: Civil Rights, Martin Luther King, A. Phillip Randolph
Kate Harris
6
 

Six Degrees of Separation: An APUSH Review Activity

Use this collection as a starting point for an AP United States History review activity that emphasizes connections and cause-and-effect. Students will copy the collection and add in four resources that form a chain of connection from one item to another (ending with six resources total). For each resource, they should add an annotation describing each of the events or items included, analyzing any important details in the resources themselves, and explaining how each connects to the next one.
Kate Harris
2
 

I Am a Man--We Are Human

This collection traces how a powerful phrase and its variations have been adopted by different voices in United States history. Questions to consider: -How is the phrase (and/or design of the original poster) used? How do the changes and adaptations it has undergone reflect different time periods and issues in United States history? -Why has the phrase "I am a Man" had such staying power? Alternately, why has "We Are Human" been adopted? -How do the above phrases reflect or reject concepts like "separateness," "personal identity," or "inclusion"? -Why do you think many artists are drawn to the phrase and design? Do you think the artists expect viewers to recognize the influence of the original work? Why or why not? -Why is the verb underlined? How would it change if another word were emphasized? -What other examples could be included in this collection? This collection focuses primarily on visual interpretations of the phrase. Can you think of literary or pop culture examples? Tags: Ernest Withers, Dread Scott, Ferguson, Abolition, Sojourner Truth, Memphis, sanitation workers, immigration reform, refugee crisis, Hank Willis Thomas, protest, sign, placard, broadside, civil rights
Kate Harris
9
 

The End of the Cold War

This teaching collection chronicles the events and people associated with the end of the Cold War. Suggested teaching strategies are embedded throughout. Guiding questions include: -Who started the "revolutions" of 1989--Gorbachev and his reforms? People in Eastern Europe? -Evaluate the roles of the United States and the Reagan and Bush administrations, as well as the changes within the Soviet Union, in bringing about the end of the Cold War. -Why did the Cold War end? -What were the costs of the Cold War, both human and material? -What are the legacies/lessons of the Cold War? -What uncertainties or questions remained as the Cold War came to a close? What would come to characterize the 'New World Order' that followed? Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Reagan, Gorbachev, glasnost, perestroika, revolution, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris
21
 

The Olympics and the Cold War

This learner resource includes artifacts and archival documents regarding the 1980, 1984, and 1988 Olympics. Students will explore these materials in order to develop an understanding of how the Olympics were used as a platform for the United States and the Soviet Union to display political ideals during the Cold War. Comprehension and analysis questions are embedded throughout. Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Olympics, hockey, Miracle on Ice, boycott, Afghanistan, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris
10
 

Sputnik: Scientific Advances, Public Perception, and Political Priorities in the Cold War

The Soviet launch of Sputnik did much more than simply send a satellite into space. The announcement that the USSR had successfully launched a satellite that orbited the Earth was used to dramatize Soviet scientific superiority and set into motion a series of actions and statements by U.S. politicians designed to manage the public's fears and prevent the United States from falling behind. Guiding questions: -When it comes to military strength, which is more important: reality or perception? -How do the sciences impact national defense? -Why was a space program considered important and necessary for both the Soviet Union and the United States? -How and why do foreign events impact domestic politics and culture? Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Space Race, Sputnik, Technology, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris
21
 

Building the Berlin Wall

This teaching collection explores the Berlin crisis leading to the building of the Berlin Wall. It addresses the following guiding questions through primary/secondary sources and teaching suggestions: -Why was Berlin the center of crisis in between 1958-1961? -Why did the Soviet Union sanction the construction of the Berlin Wall? -Why did the United States allow it to happen? -How did the Wall affect the lives of East and West Berliners? -Does the end (no more crises in Berlin) justify the means (the Wall)? -How does this incident reflect the greater issues of the Cold War? Students will practice reading primary sources and analyzing multiple perspectives. Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Khruschev, Stalin, Berlin, Wall, Kennedy, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris
17
 

The Ancient Greeks Live On

A collection of artifacts showing how the ancient Greeks have influenced the modern world, combining both ancient Greek artifacts and modern objects and images. In some cases, the collection is incomplete and more modern examples could be identified. This is noted with some text and questions. Teachers might review this presentation with students, challenging them to identify modern examples that connect with the ancient objects that they see. Teachers are encouraged to ask students to compare and contrast, noting how time has changed certain concepts or ideas (e.g. our democracy is far more inclusive than Greek democracy was, although we use a representative democracy, not a true democracy.) Finally, teachers might consider using this activity as a precursor to further research on a specific topic addressing how the ancient Greeks continue to influence the modern world. Useful after students have had some introduction to the history and culture of Greece.
Kate Harris
29
 

The Remains at Pompeii

This is a collection of teaching resources that could be used to support a lesson on Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius as well as life in ancient Rome. Included are artworks picturing Pompeii, archaeological artifacts, and links to "street views" of the ruins as well as magazine articles on the topic. Some questions to consider are: -What can we learn about the life of ancient Romans from the ruins at Pompeii? -What are the strengths and weaknesses of learning from archaeological ruins? -Why have the ruins at Pompeii continued to fascinate people over time?
Kate Harris
12
 

Ancient Rome: Discover the Story

This collection includes objects and artifacts representing life in ancient Rome. Students are challenged to write a creative story or narrative based on the objects in the collection, illustrating Roman life. 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.
Kate Harris
12