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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

 

Signs of the Times

This collection includes sixteen signs and posted notices from across the Smithsonian's collections. Use your history detective skills to figure out what you can about the sign--but don't look at the information tab! Can you determine the context for each sign, matching it to a place and decade in United States history? Consider who it might have been aimed at and for what purpose it was used. Be as specific as possible. The first resource models a historian's thinking and questioning process for students to mimic with other signs in the collection. Answers are listed on the last resource. Tags: historical thinking, questions, review activity
Kate Harris
17
 

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
 

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
 

Political Campaigns

How have political campaign strategies evolved over time? Use this collection of a variety of resources (artifact, poster, photograph, news article, video, and painting) to find an answer to the question. As you review the collection, take notes on the variety of issues, audiences, and tactics you see represented. Tags: politics, campaign, election, vote, ballot box, Kennedy, Nixon, 1960, Obama, 2008, 1956, Eisenhower, Ike, Nixon, Harding, Republican, Democrat, suffrage, Lincoln, 1860
Kate Harris
6
 

National Parks

This topical collection focuses on the establishment of a national parks system in the United States. Items in the collection can be used to address the following questions: -What is the difference between "conservation" and "preservation"? Which view towards nature seems to influence our national parks system today? -In United States history, there is often a tension between progress and protection, or change and tradition. How is that tension reflected in the story of the national parks system? Consider the economic demands of a growing nation and the impulse to make the natural world accessible to all members of U.S. society. Tags: Parks, environment, conservation, preservation, Muir, Sierra Club, Roosevelt
Kate Harris
19
 

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
 

Olympic Logos

Kate Harris
7
 

Pittsburgh 1932

This is a collection of images and documents that give historical context for the poem "Pittsburgh 1932." The poem itself tracks a city's changing economic landscape during war years and the Great Depression. Students can use this collection directly to explore the literature and history.
Kate Harris
25
 

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
 

How Did Artists View the Civil War? A Collection using a Visible Thinking Strategy

This collection uses a visible thinking strategy called "See-Think-Wonder" from Harvard's Project Zero to help students analyze a Civil-War era sketch to determine context and perspective. After completing the routine, students will learn more about the image and the artist who made it, as well as view art representing a very different point of view. For more on this strategy, see the "Notes to Other Users."
Kate Harris
8
 

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
 

What Do You Think? Dropping the A-bombs to End World War II (WW2)

This collection asks students to create their own exhibit on a controversial subject: the use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. Students will create a collection that includes five items reflecting their answers to the following questions: -How should the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki be remembered? -Was it necessary to drop the atomic bombs in order to end World War II? Students should consider both long-term and short-term effects in their responses.
Kate Harris
24