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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 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 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 1980s: A Decade Collection

<p>This is a topical collection about American life and politics in the 1980s. 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 1980s and adding annotations and additional resources.</p><p>tags: Eighties, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, rap, detente, Vietnam, politics, decade, Cold War, Olympics, boycott, space shuttle, star wars, Reaganomics, trickle-down</p>
Kate Harris
42
 

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 Three Vinegar Tasters and Daoism

<p>This collection includes a brief overview of Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. It focuses on the story of Laozi and his ideas about the Dao and the balance between yin and yang. It includes two short passages from the Dao de Jing, assessment questions throughout, and a final task where students create their own collection about Daoism.</p><p>Tags: Dao, Confucius, Tao, Buddha, Laozi, China, religion, philosophy</p>
Kate Harris
8
 

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
 

Tools of the Labor Movement

The United States labor movement began in full force during the late 19th century and peaked during World War II. Workers learned that by joining together in unions, they could exert more pressure on employers and the government to protect their rights and improve labor conditions. This collection includes a variety of resources related to the United States labor movement, particularly the various tools and strategies used to create change. Guiding questions to consider are: -What rights do workers desire? -How can labor unions influence employers, government, and the public? -What tools and strategies are most effective for improving working conditions? Consider: boycotts, picketing, appeals to the media, strikes, walk-outs, and slow-downs. -How does the public perceive labor unions? How does this impact their results? -Are women and minorities included in the labor movement? Were they always?
Kate Harris
25
 

TRETC Explores the Learning Lab

<p>Let's take a journey to see what the Smithsonian has for you and your students. We will use this as a FRIENDLY challenge, and as a way to explore the types of diverse resources and features found in the Learning Lab.</p>
Kate Harris
12
 

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
 

Watch Night

<p>This collection asks students to examine an image entitled "Waiting for the Hour" and to try to determine its meaning and purpose. Students will practice interpretation with justification and then learn more about the history of "watch night services" and the importance of the 1862 watch night in United States history. They will also consider the legacy of this image--a copy is currently hanging in the White House. </p><p>tags: emancipation, freedom, Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, proclamation</p>
Kate Harris
4
 

Weikers Family Collection Class Warm-Up

<p>This is a single document with hot spots and questions used to model primary source analysis for a sixth grade class. It is drawn from a collection of archival records and photographs documenting the Weikers family's experience in Nazi Germany and their persistent efforts to seek asylum in the United States. You can find the full collection here:</p><p>https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/weikers-family-collection/zGJCDjyWqouEufnb</p><p>Questions to consider are:</p><p>a. Who are the Weikers?</p><p>b. Where did they live?</p><p>c. When did they live? What can they tell us about this time in history?</p><p>d. How were they affected by Nazi Germany?</p><p>e. What did they feel about the Nazis?</p><p>Tags: Nazi Germany, Holocaust era, primary sources, Pittsburgh</p>
Kate Harris
2