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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

 

Ancient Egypt: A Variety of Artifacts

A topical collection to be used for student research projects.
Kate Harris
55
 

Tools for Meditation

Are you interested in meditation? This topical collection includes a variety of tools for meditation, including mandalas, music, prayer beads, labyrinths, and a video of a guided meditation and pranayama (breathing) practice. Web links to additional background information are embedded throughout.
Kate Harris
16
 

Bushido, Bun, and Bu: Life as a Samurai

This collection includes resources reflecting the ideal characteristics of a Japanese samurai. After reviewing the resources in this collection, students will be able to: -analyze the changing role of the samurai in Japanese society -define and give examples of bushido, bun, and bu -compare the expectations for samurai with those of other social groups Students will begin by visiting two websites in order to gain background information on samurai. They will then read an excerpt from The Way of the Samurai and answer questions. Next, they will review a series of resources and determine whether they represent bushido, bun, or bu. Finally, students will begin a comparative research assignment.
Kate Harris
16
 

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
 

Photograph Analysis: Migrant Workers in the Great Depression

This collection includes only one image and is intended as a discussion-based warm-up to a lesson on the Great Depression and migrant families. Suggested questions for discussion, a photograph analysis worksheet and a writing prompt are included.
Kate Harris
4
 

New Deal Organizations: Relief, Recovery, or Reform?

For each of the images in the collection, determine which New Deal organization it is representing. Think about whether that organization is a good example of relief, recovery, or reform. Some images can be used in more than one way, so be prepared to defend and explain your answers to the class.
Kate Harris
28
 

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
 

Sports and the African-American Civil Rights Movement

Popular athletes can reflect the broader societal change that is going on around them; they can also be instigators of that change. This collection traces the African-American civil rights movement through the 20th century and touches on athletes like Jack Johnson, Jackie Robinson, and Muhammad Ali. Students can use the collection independently to learn about this subject and complete the timeline worksheet included at the end. Students will be asked to generalize about the civil rights movement during different time periods in American history, noting the shifts in focus, strategies, and success. In addition, they will draw parallels between events in sports history and the civil rights movement.
Kate Harris
18
 

What do Anthropologists Do?

There are a number of lesson plans devoted to anthropology available from the Smithsonian. This collection links to several of the best lessons and teaching resources and, where necessary, provides short summaries of what each are, so teachers can easily use them in their own classrooms. It is focused on lessons and resources appropriate for middle and high school classrooms. The last four resources reference the case of Ishi, originally described as "the last Yahi Indian," and an example of flaws in the early approach to anthropology. The Smithsonian housed his brain, which had been donated to science by the University of California, from 1917 to 2000, when it was repatriated to his tribe.
Kate Harris
18
 

Remembering the Holocaust

This collection looks at the way artists have used art, literature, and architecture to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust and explores the questions around how an artistic work, memorial, or museum can try to convey an understanding of genocide. Questions to keep in mind as you observe each work: 1) What is the purpose of this memorial? Is it to honor, remember, educate others, or something else? 2) On what aspect of the Holocaust does this memorial focus? 3) What Jewish symbols are present? What national symbols are present? Are there human figures? Is it abstract? What other features do you notice about this memorial? 4) What is the setting of this memorial? How does that affect its purpose and design?
Kate Harris
24
 

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
 

Teaching about Andrew Jackson

This collection includes artifacts, lesson plans, and teaching ideas about Andrew Jackson, including his role in the War of 1812 and his presidency.
Kate Harris
32