User Image

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

 

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
 

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
 

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
 

Teaching about the Chicano Movement

<p>This collection gathers resources and artifacts pertaining to the Chicano Movement of the post-WWII era. The following paragraphs, from the Educating Change website, briefly define the movement:</p><p>The "Chicano Movement" has been used by historians to describe a moment of ethnic empowerment and protest among Americans of Mexican descent beginning in the 1960s. "Chicano" had long existed as a pejorative term among young Mexican Americans prior to this period. By the 1960s, however, young Mexican Americans embraced the label, reinscribing it with notions of pride in ones' Mexican heritage and defiance against institutions and individuals who practiced or condoned discrimination against Mexicans.</p><p>The "movement" or movimiento was really a convergence of multiple movements that historians have broken down into at least four components: [1] A youth movement represented in the struggle against discrimination in schools and the anti-war movement; [2] the farmworkers movement; [3] the movement for political empowerment, most notably in the formation of La Raza Unida Party; and [4] the struggle for control and ownership over "homelands" in the US Southwest (<a href="http://www.brown.edu/Research/Coachella/chicano.html">http://www.brown.edu/Research/Coachella/chicano.ht...</a>). We will add an additional component of [5] creating art and music to reflect and voice cultural pride. </p><p>Students will review the collection here and identify five items that connect to one of the components listed above. They will then create their own collection that acts as a digital exhibit, teaching others about the Chicano Movement. This assignment is described in further detail on the last resource in this collection.</p><p>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.<br /></p>
Kate Harris
36
 

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
 

Powerful Symbols and Words: Abolitionism & Women's Rights

<p>This collection looks at an image and phrase used widely in abolitionist materials, and at how that symbol was adopted and adapted by Sojourner Truth and/or other women's rights activists. Students will examine an abolitionist medallion and then learn about Sojourner Truth through a short reading, image analysis, and video. They can then review two version's of Sojourner Truth's speech and consider why the second version, as reported by another suffragette, Frances Gage, is markedly different. This collection is designed to be used as a short stand-alone lesson on the topic of the abolition movement and its intersection with the women's movement in the United States.</p><p>Tags: compare and contrast, change over time, "Ain't I a Woman?", abolition, slavery</p>
Kate Harris
4
 

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
 

Exploring American Ideals in Art

<p>How can American ideals be defined and expressed in different ways? The United States of America is associated the ideals of Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality. Those values have served as sources of inspiration for artists as goals that the nation aspires to (even if they are not always achieved). This collection contains artworks inspired by one or more of the ideals listed above. Students should choose a work and identify which ideal it relates to: Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality. </p><p>In a short essay based on the artwork, students should answer the following questions:</p><p>-How would the student define Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, or Equality?</p><p>-What is the artist trying to communicate about how this idea plays out in America?</p><p>-Does the student agree or disagree with the artist's interpretation?</p><p>If desired, students could create their own artwork based on one of the American ideals.</p>
Kate Harris
21