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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

 

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
 

Why did the Second Great Awakening inspire reform movements?

<p>The Second Great Awakening was a religious revival movement in the first half of the 19th century. It emphasized emotion and enthusiasm, but also democracy: new religious denominations emerged that restructured churches to allow for more people involved in leadership, an emphasis on man's equality before god, and personal relationships with Christ (meaning less authority on the part of a minister or priest). There was also a belief that the Second Coming was imminent, and society must be improved before that time. Women were heavily involved in the 2nd Great Awakening movement, converting in large movements and taking on leadership roles in service committees and reform work. </p><p>Students and teachers might use this collection as a topical resource to explore:<strong> Why and how did the Second Great Awakening inspired a range of antebellum reform movements?</strong></p><p>Other questions that might support this inquiry include:</p><ul><li>How are concepts of democracy and equality important to both the Second Great Awakening and the rise of reform movements?</li><li>Why do you think women were often leaders in antebellum reform movements?</li><li>More Americans were moving westward during this period. How do you think that impacted the religious revival movement?</li><li>Can you hypothesize a connection between the increase in utopian societies during this time and the growing reform and religious movements?</li></ul><p>Tags: abolition, temperance, women's rights, women's suffrage, second coming, antebellum reform, asylum and prison reform, education, 2GA</p>
Kate Harris
35
 

The Scopes Trial

<p>This collection of photographs provides insight into the Scopes Trial in 1925. "Marcel C. LaFollette, an independent scholar, historian and Smithsonian volunteer uncovered rare, unpublished photographs of the 1925 Tennessee vs. John Scopes “Monkey Trial" in the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The nitrate negatives, including portraits of trial participants, and images from the trial itself and significant places in Dayton, were discovered in archival material donated to the Smithsonian by Science Service in 1971."</p><p>"Science Service is a Washington, D.C.-based organization founded in 1921 for the promotion of science writing and information about science in the media. Watson Davis (1896-1967), the Science Service managing editor, took these photographs when covering the Scopes trial as a reporter. In the 1925 trial, John Scopes was tried and convicted for violating a state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution. William Jennings Bryan served on the prosecution team, and Clarence Darrow defended Scopes."</p><p>Collection users might consider the following questions:</p><p>-How effective are court cases at swaying popular opinion? Can you think of other examples of this?</p><p><span></span>-How did this trial reflect the changes in mass media, science, and religion occurring in the 1920s?</p><p>-It is said that Bryan "won the case, but lost the argument." What is meant by that statement?</p><p>-How do these archival photographs challenge previously held conceptions of the case?</p><p>Source for text in quotes throughout collection: Smithsonian Institution Archives. Web. Accessed 16 Aug. 2016 <a href="http://siarchives.si.edu/research/scopes.html">http://siarchives.si.edu/research/scopes.html</a>.</p>
Kate Harris
14
 

The Fight to End Apartheid

<p>This is a topical collection of resources related to the fight to end apartheid. Teachers and students can use this collection to explore strategies used to fight against apartheid as well as famous leaders in the fight. Strategies include economic sanctions, boycotts, and divestment, raising awareness through artists and musicians, nonviolent protest, armed resistance, and external political pressures on the South African government. 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. Think of it as a starting point for further inquiry!</p><p>Possible student activities include:</p><p>-researching one strategy of resistance and/or one well-known leader in depth.</p><p>-drawing comparisons between political organizations and movements like the ANC, PAC, Black Consciousness Movement, and United Democratic Front.</p><p>-creating a timeline of resistance to apartheid.</p><p>-debating the use of armed resistance and "sabotage."</p><p>-interviewing adults who may remember the end of apartheid.</p><p>-drawing comparisons between the civil rights movement in the United States and the anti-apartheid movement.</p><p>-choose 1-3 events and make a case for them as turning points in the fight against apartheid. What makes these events so significant?</p><p>tags: apartheid, South Africa, Mandela, Tutu, Huddleston, Soweto, townships, Sharpeville, Defiance Campaign, Biko</p>
Kate Harris
28
 

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 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
 

Earl Hines: An Innovative Jazz Musician

<p>Earl Hines embodies the innovator mindset because he was experimental, collaborative, resilient and resourceful. He invented a new style of playing the piano and became well-known for his work with other jazz musicians. As you look through this collection, try to find more examples of his innovator mindset. </p><p>For more on the characteristics that make up an innovator, look at the Heinz History Center website. You can even take a quiz and find out what innovator you are most like:</p><p><a href="http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/education/school-programs-k-12/steam/innovator-match-up">http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/education/school...</a></p><p>tags: Pittsburgh, Chicago, jazz, segregation, music</p>
Kate Harris
16
 

The Three Vinegar Tasters and Daoism

<p>This collection includes a brief overview of Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. It focuses on the story of Laozi and his ideas about the Dao and the balance between yin and yang. It includes two short passages from the Dao de Jing, assessment questions throughout, and a final task where students create their own collection about Daoism.</p><p>Tags: Dao, Confucius, Tao, Buddha, Laozi, China, religion, philosophy</p>
Kate Harris
8
 

Women's Suffrage Postcards

This is a topical collection of women's suffrage postcards that could be used to supplement lessons on the women's rights movement and/or gender equality. They are also excellent practice in artifact analysis. Some questions to consider: -What do these postcards tell us about the arguments for and against women's suffrage? -Why are so many of the postcards focused on geography? -Who do you think each postcard is meant to appeal to?
Kate Harris
21
 

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