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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

 

World War II Lesson Plans and Interactives

Collection of lesson plans and interactive websites related to World War II from the Smithsonian Institution.
Kate Harris
13
 

Fighting World War II at Home

<p>Preparing for World War II in the United States meant uniting the nation and encouraging citizens to support the war with their actions and funds. However, it also created divisions within the nations, as Japanese-Americans were interned, African-American soldiers were segregated, and Mexican workers recruited to help with war-time demands were discriminated against. This collection includes objects reflecting a variety of aspects of homefront life during World War II and works well as an independent activity for students to complete. </p> <p>Guiding questions for discussion before and after include:</p> <p><strong>-In what ways did World War II unite the nation? In what ways did it divide the nation?</strong></p> <p>-What new opportunities were created by the need for more workers in World War II?</p> <p>-How and why did government regulation of the economy increase during World War II?</p> <p>-Why do you think the examples of propaganda in this collection were so effective?</p>
Kate Harris
26
 

The Middle Ages: Discover the Story

This collection includes objects and artifacts representing life in the Middle Ages. Students are challenged to write a creative story or narrative based on the objects in the collection, illustrating life at the time. 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
 

Vikings--Myths and Mysteries

<p>The Vikings have inspired many artists, writers, and filmmakers with their bravery and unique way of life. However, many misconceptions have developed and many facts are still unknown. In this collection, students will explore the website for the Vikings exhibit while taking notes on the included worksheet. Then, they'll evaluate three works of art (and a team logo) based on the Vikings to gauge how accurately they represent Viking life. Finally, they will be asked to create their own 2-D or 3-D object representing Viking life.</p><p>Tags: Norse, inquiry, Viking, Norway, Greenland, Iceland</p>
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
 

Practice Reading Portraits--Black History Month

<p>This collection was created for a brief warm-up activity where students practiced analyzing portraits of recognizable figures as a group, prior to working on their own portrait analysis. Portraits of Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Rosa Parks, and Booker T. Washington are included and they vary in detail and medium. </p><p>The last resource, a PDF file, is a teacher's guide created by the National Portrait Gallery. Teachers should lead discussion about the portraits using suggested questions in the guide, and then let students search for a portrait of someone of their own choosing to analyze.</p><p>tags: civil rights, sports, tennis, boxing, African-American, black history, analysis, comparison</p>
Kate Harris
6
 

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
 

Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute

<p>This collection includes photographs and paintings that reveal information about Booker T. Washington's strategy for achieving civil rights for African-Americans, and about the subjects taught at Tuskegee. It is intended as an introductory activity on the subject, to be completed by students.</p><p>Tags: point of view, Reconstruction, Tuskegee Institute, civil rights, segregation, Gilded Age, cause effect</p>
Kate Harris
6
 

Resources for Teaching African-American History

<p>A collection of teaching resources about African-American history, from slavery to modern-day. 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. This collection will be updated frequently and includes both individual artifacts and lesson plans.</p>
Kate Harris
38
 

The Emancipation Proclamation

<p>How did the writing of the Emancipation Proclamation reflect the political tensions of the time? This collection reviews the writing, impact, and legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation through videos, informational texts, and art. Students can work through the lesson independently and their understanding of the Emancipation Proclamation will be assessed via quiz questions. Students will be able to determine the short-term and long-term impacts of the Emancipation Proclamation.</p>
Kate Harris
17
 

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
 

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