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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 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 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
 

Quilt Quest

<p>Did you know that quilts are also historical artifacts? Use this collection to learn more about how curators investigate quilts to learn about their origins, and then explore a variety of different quilts that tell us important things about the time in which they were made and the crafters who made them. Finally, make your own quilt depicting an important historical moment. </p><p>tags: quilt, craft, activity, review</p>
Kate Harris
19
 

Robber-Baron or Captain of Industry: Andrew Carnegie

<p>This collection includes different perspectives and information about Andrew Carnegie. Students are challenged to build an argument supporting one position or the other: Robber-Baron or Captain of Industry--using the resources as evidence. <strong>Was Carnegie an industrialist who desired to get rich and promote himself regardless of the effects on his workers? Or was he an example of the American dream, an industrial leader who improved the nation and helped its people?</strong></p> <p>Investigate the items in this collection while thinking about those questions. After an initial review of the collection, complete the sorting activities at the end to test your understanding of the issue and begin to develop an argument reflecting your answer to the question above. </p>
Kate Harris
19
 

Origin Stories from Around the World

<p> Creation myths, or origin stories, tell us what a culture believes about how humans came to be. They can also tell us much about what that culture values. These are often religious or spiritual explanations for human life. </p><p>Choose one of origin stories on this page to focus on. Read, watch, or listen to the story. Then, create a visual that illustrates a scene in the story that you think is revealing about that culture's values. Finally, write a paragraph summarizing what you learned about that culture based on their origin story.</p><p>To recap:</p><p>1. Read/watch listen.</p><p>2. Create a visual of 1 scene in the story. </p><p>3. Write a paragraph summarizing what you learned about that culture based on their origin story.  <br /></p>
Kate Harris
8
 

Who provoked the Korean War?

"On June 25, 1990, the North Korean Army launches it surprise assault on the South." But what led up to this moment? This activity asks students to read primary source documents and interpret historical events surrounding the Korean conflict. Students will look for motives and evidence in a variety of accounts and determine who was responsible for starting the Korean War. <br /> <br /> There are resources with quiz questions that students can answer directly, or teachers may prefer to print documents and resources for in-class use. It is recommended that teachers preview the materials in this teaching collection as there are a variety of ways to structure the lesson.<br /> <br /> Essential questions include:<br /> -How would you describe the relationship between Kim Il Sung and Joseph Stalin?<br /> -Was North Korea, a smaller country, pulling a superpower into a conflict?<br /> -Was the Soviet Union using North Korea to further its goals?<br /> -Why did the United States choose to respond via the United Nations forces instead of unilaterally? How did this decision impact the conflict?<br /> -How does this incident reflect larger themes and issues of the Cold War, especially the role of the United Nations, over-arching foreign policy strategy, and nuclear fears?<br /> <br /> Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Korea, China, Truman, Eisenhower, Macarthur, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris
17
 

Sacco and Vanzetti

<p>Students may use this collection to explore the reasons why Sacco and Vanzetti became a celebrated cause among liberal activists in the 1920s, and how their trial exemplified cultural divisions that emerged during the decade. Examining artists' perspectives on the trial through visual arts and music will help provide insight into the era. </p> <p>Tags: 1920s, Twenties, immigration, nativism, anarchy, socialism, Red Scare, crime, justice, inquiry, continuity and change</p><p><em>#historicalthinking</em></p><p><br /></p>
Kate Harris
11
 

Sorting Activity New Deal Organizations: Relief, Recovery, or Reform?

<p>First, review the images in the collection and the information provided with each, then determine which New Deal organization it is representing. Think about whether that organization is a good example of relief, recovery, or reform. At the end of the collection, you will be asked to sort the images into categories and answer some evaluative questions.</p> <p><br /></p> <p>tags: Great Depression, FDR, Roosevelt, New Deal, Agricultural Adjustment Act, Tennessee Valley Administration, 1930s, sort</p><p><em>#historicalthinking</em></p><p><br /></p>
Kate Harris
23
 

Slavery and Slave Resistance in the Colonies

<p>This collection includes items that will help you understand the conditions that led to the growth of slavery and the ways in which enslaved persons resisted slavery. <br /><br />Guiding Questions:</p> <ol><li>Why did slavery become increasingly important, especially in the Southern colonies?</li><li>How did "slave laws" support the system of slavery?</li><li>What does it mean to "resist" slavery? </li><li>How did white slave-owners respond to such actions? </li><li>Is maintaining a distinct cultural heritage a form of resistance? Why or why not? </li><li>How do religion, art, and music encourage resistance?</li></ol><p>You will answer your group's assigned question using at least 3 pieces of appropriate evidence from the collection included here. </p> <p><br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p><br /></p>
Kate Harris
13
 

Do our national symbols accurately reflect our nation?

<p>After the War of 1812, a set of new national symbols were revered. These symbols, including the flag and the song that would be come the national anthem, demonstrated a sense of pride in a nation that had now defeated the British twice and would be an experiment in liberty and freedom.  Use the items in this collection to learn about the history of these symbols. Do they accurately reflect the ideals of the nation in the early 19th century? Do they accurately reflect the realities of life in the nation at that time?</p> <p>Lately, the national anthem and athlete protests during the anthem have been the subject of some controversy. What are your personal feelings about the flag and/or anthem? Consider how learning the historical background of the song might impact your opinion on these anthem protests. </p>
Kate Harris
10
 

The Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American fighter pilots in the United States military. This collection describes their work and training during an era of segregation, as well as their contributions to World War Two, through videos, photographs, art, and poetry. At the end of the collection, students are asked to write a poem of their own using one of the artifacts as inspiration.
Kate Harris
8