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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

 

The Remains at Pompeii

This is a collection of teaching resources that could be used to support a lesson on Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius as well as life in ancient Rome. Included are artworks picturing Pompeii, archaeological artifacts, and links to "street views" of the ruins as well as magazine articles on the topic. Some questions to consider are: -What can we learn about the life of ancient Romans from the ruins at Pompeii? -What are the strengths and weaknesses of learning from archaeological ruins? -Why have the ruins at Pompeii continued to fascinate people over time?
Kate Harris
12
 

The 1960s--A Decade Collection

<p>This is a topical collection about American life and politics in the 1960s. Resources in this collection might be helpful to students and teachers working on projects about the decade. It is not meant to be completely comprehensive, but rather includes highlights of the Smithsonian's collection spanning art, popular culture, social trends, leadership, and technology.</p><p>Teachers and students might copy and adapt this collection to suit their needs; highlighting a specific aspect of life in the 1960s and adding annotations and additional resources.</p><p>tags: Sixties, Kennedy, Camelot, civil rights, Vietnam, politics, decade</p>
Kate Harris
97
 

The 1950s--A Decade Collection

<p>This is a topical collection about American life and politics in the 1950s. Resources in this collection might be helpful to students and teachers working on projects about the decade. It is not meant to be completely comprehensive, but rather includes highlights of the Smithsonian's collection spanning art, popular culture, social trends, leadership, and technology. </p><p>Teachers and students might copy and adapt this collection to suit their needs; highlighting a specific aspect of life in the 1950s and adding annotations and additional resources. </p>
Kate Harris
80
 

The Seventies: A Crisis of Confidence

<p>This is a teaching collection designed to support an inquiry into why the public lost confidence in the government in the 1970s (70s). Topics covered include the economic recession, the Nixon presidency and Watergate, the Ford presidency, the Carter presidency, the Iran hostage crisis, the oil embargo, the Kent State massacre and the Pentagon Papers.</p><p><br /><br /></p><p>Guiding questions:<br /></p><p>-Why did the U.S. public lose confidence in the presidency in the 1970s?<br /></p><p>-What impact did economic crises have on American lives?</p>
Kate Harris
14
 

The Smithsonian in World War I

<p>Across the nation, public institutions like museums, universities, and government facilities showed the impact of World War One. Not only did private individuals find their lives changed by enlisting to fight or taking on new "war work," but buildings and public spaces also changed by shifting over to the war cause. This collection reveals how life at the Smithsonian Institution changed in order to support the war effort from 1914-1918 through artifacts and archival materials.</p><p>Questions to consider:</p><p>-<strong>How do Americans sacrifice during wartime? Has it changed over time?</strong></p><p>-How did the Smithsonian Institution and its employees adapt during wartime?</p><p>-What does the experience chronicled here tell us about that of other Americans? What is still missing?</p><p>Tags: WWI, World War One, homefront, war work, Smithsonian, museum</p>
Kate Harris
17
 

The Steamboat Arabia

<p style="margin-left:32px;">This collection was made to pair with a learning experience during the November 17th workshop for Pittsburgh teachers working with the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Teachers will visit the Steamboat Arabia exhibit and learn from a Heinz History Center curator about the decisions made and limitations faced when creating an exhibit for visitors to learn from. </p><p style="margin-left:32px;">Both the online collection and the Heinz History Center exhibit explore the question "<strong>How do new innovations in transportation affect American life?"</strong></p><p style="margin-left:32px;">The collection below contains artifacts and images from the Smithsonian collection that might help students and teachers respond to the question above. Suggested scaffolding questions might include:</p><ul><li>Identify the changes in technology and transportation that occurred between 1800-1850.</li><li>How did these new transportation systems impact the movement and interactions of groups of people, the expansion of trade, and cultural life on the frontier?</li><li>How do the items in this collection compare to what was found during the recovery of the Steamboat Arabia?</li></ul>
Kate Harris
22
 

The "Wild West"?

<p>The West has always held a special place in American culture. In 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner wrote what is known as the "frontier thesis," arguing that our sense of democracy and hard work has been shaped by experience of survival and growth along the frontier. More than a century later, Americans still idolize the cowboy image and are fascinated by the train robbers, saloons, and violence of the era. How accurate is our mental picture of the "Wild West"? What were the realities of life on the frontier in the late 19th and early 20th century? What was lost and what was gained as America closed out the frontier? Most importantly, why has the West continued to fascinate Americans and play such a prominent role in popular culture?</p> <p>This learner resource includes images, artifacts, and movies that deal with the concept of the American West.  Students will want to read Turner's essay and answer the attached questions. Then, they will focus on choosing images and ideas to include in a movie trailer or poster advertisement that presents a more accurate image of turn of the century western life.</p>
Kate Harris
29
 

Timeline: Causes of the Civil War

<p>This collection includes artifacts, stamps, political cartoons, portraits, and videos representing various long-term and short-term causes of the Civil War. After reviewing the collection, students will sort resources into chronological order, focusing on continuity and change over time. </p><p>Tags: compromise, Civil War, John Brown, Fort Sumter, Ft, Abraham Lincoln, Sumner, Brooks, Taney, Dred Scott, 1850, 1860, secession</p><p><br /></p><p>Additional teaching ideas are listed in the Notes to Other Users section.</p>
Kate Harris
30
 

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
 

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
 

Visions of the Future

This student activity includes a range of visions of the future, to serve as inspiration and present a challenge for students: what do you want your city to be like in the future? Students will watch a video where students complete a similar project, and then view a variety of artifacts presenting different views of the future, with questions for analysis. Finally, students will be tasked with developing their own vision for their city or town in the future.
Kate Harris
15
 

Was Reconstruction a Failure?

The period after the Civil War, known as Reconstruction, had lofty goals for reuniting the nation and preserving the new rights given to African-Americans. For a time, these goals were achieved and three important amendments were made to the Constitution. However, by 1876 Reconstruction was considered over and much of the progress that had been made was undone. This collection of detailed prints and cartoons highlight many different aspects of Reconstruction and asks students to consider the overall result of Reconstruction. Students can analyze each one using the embedded questions.
Kate Harris
8