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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

 

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
 

Immigration to America

This collection provides an overview of immigration to the United States, but emphasizes the increased immigration during the Gilded Age. Students can complete the collection independently, keeping in mind the following guided questions: -Why have people been motivated to immigrate to the United States? -What challenges have immigrants faced while traveling to or after arriving in the United States? -What contributions have immigrants made to American society?
Kate Harris
20
 

Identifying Characteristics of Renaissance Art

This collection will teach you about how Renaissance artists changed the style and focus of art in the period between 1300 and 1600 CE. When you are done, you should be able to thoroughly answer the question: How did the art of the Renaissance reflect the new emphasis on humanism and science? First, review the painting, Raphael's School of Athens, and learn about the new techniques used. Then study the additional works in the collection and try to use them as examples of the different techniques. Some of the works are from the Renaissance period and others are more modern interpretations. A worksheet is included at the end of this collection to record your work. Finally, test your knowledge with a quick quiz. Use your worksheet to help!
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
 

How Radio Changed America

The technology for radio communications advanced during World War I, but it wasn't until the 1920s that commercial broadcasting grew and everyone wanted a radio for their home. Radio had a huge impact on creating a "mass media" that bound together the nation. As students explore this collection, they will look for evidence proving that radio changed America in four different areas: -Politics -Entertainment and Sports -Religion -Advertising Possible assignments using this collection include: 1) Writing an essay evaluating the statement "Radio created a mass culture in America." 2) Researching a particular figure in radio's early history and sharing findings with classmates. 3) Creating a 1920s radio program that featured key people and trends from the decade. This could be recorded and shared in the form of a podcast. 4) Developing a chart comparing and contrasting the impact of radio with television or the internet.
Kate Harris
25
 

How did the growth of railroads impact the economy, politics, and society in the period after the Civil War?

This assignment will help you respond to the question: How did the growth of railroads impact the economy, politics, and society in the period after the Civil War? As you work through the activity, you will want to complete the organizational chart with your analysis of each artifact or resource. When you are finished, write your essay response using information from your chart. You will submit the file to your teacher in the format they have requested.
Kate Harris
14
 

Hamilton!

<p>Have your students (or you) caught the Hamilton bug inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical? This collection is filled with resources and teaching ideas about the founding father. With his musical, Miranda has transformed teaching the Founding Fathers from distant and un-relatable to a relevant story of a hustling immigrant whose rise helps progress the American Revolution and set the new nation on track to become the economic powerhouse that it remains today.</p> <p>Tags: Alexander Hamilton, ten dollar bill, Aaron Burr, duel, treasurer, financial plan, Federalist</p><p>#SmithsonianMusic<br /></p>
Kate Harris
14
 

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
 

Globalization and Cultural Diffusion

<p>This student activity focuses on the concepts of globalization and cultural diffusion. Students will look at a variety of artifacts and explain how they illustrate the two concepts and/or help answer the guiding questions below:</p><ul><li>What is globalization and how does it affect people and places?</li><li>What leads to cultural diffusion?</li></ul>
Kate Harris
10
 

Frederick Douglass and "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?"

<p>In this collection, students will review the life of Frederick Douglass and learn about one of his most famous speeches, "The Meaning of Fourth of July for the Negro" (it is also commonly referred to as "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July). They will explore the strategies he uses to persuade and compare staged readings of the speech. Next, they will consider the central question posed by Douglass--how does the history of racial injustice in the United States affect our understanding of national symbols and what they mean? In addition, how do the diverse opinions of the many citizens of the United States present both challenges and opportunities for our nation? </p><p>Teachers may draw relevant connections to today and recent protests during the national anthem by professional, collegiate, and high school sports teams. </p>
Kate Harris
13
 

Fourth of July Celebrations

A topical collection inspired by the Fourth of July holiday. Have a picnic, see some fireworks, and enjoy our nation's independence!
Kate Harris
14
 

Forced Removal during Apartheid: Examining Historic Photographs

<p><em>How did apartheid affect the lives of blacks living in Johannesburg in the late 1940s and early 1950s? What was the purpose of forced removal?</em></p><p>This student activity uses the examination of historical photographs as an entry point to learning about the forced removal of blacks from urban areas to townships &amp; homelands under apartheid in South Africa. The images here are all from Sophiatown and Soweto. What details emerge about the life changes that resulted from being moved? What questions remain?</p>
Kate Harris
19