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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

 

What Do You Think? Dropping the A-bombs to End World War II (WW2)

This collection asks students to create their own exhibit on a controversial subject: the use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. Students will create a collection that includes five items reflecting their answers to the following questions: -How should the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki be remembered? -Was it necessary to drop the atomic bombs in order to end World War II? Students should consider both long-term and short-term effects in their responses.
Kate Harris
24
 

Clothing Across Cultures

This teaching collection was made to accompany the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum lesson plan "Saris, Kimonos, Togas & Smocks: Exploring Clothing Across Cultures." In addition to saris, kimonos, togas, and smocks, huipils and kanga are used as examples of culturally-specific clothing. The lesson asks students to complete think about the cultural importance of clothing, and then to research a specific type of clothing and build a presentation around that research. Students might use this collection as a source for images for their presentation, to inspire research topics, or as a common basis for discussion with their peers.
Kate Harris
32
 

Running Fence

This teaching collection includes images and video of Running Fence, a work of installation art by Christo and Jean Claude. Included at the end is a lesson plan that engages students in analysis of Running Fence and details the steps for a student-designed installation art work at their school. Learning goals include: • Define installation art • Analyze the process and results of the work of Jean-Claude and Christo to develop Running Fence • Use the design process to develop a proposal for an installation art piece • Use persuasive speaking skills to pitch your plan to the relevant stakeholders in your school community • Plan and execute a piece of installation art on your school grounds, working cooperatively with a team
Kate Harris
46
 

Bushido, Bun, and Bu: Life as a Samurai

This collection includes resources reflecting the ideal characteristics of a Japanese samurai. After reviewing the resources in this collection, students will be able to: -analyze the changing role of the samurai in Japanese society -define and give examples of bushido, bun, and bu -compare the expectations for samurai with those of other social groups Students will begin by visiting two websites in order to gain background information on samurai. They will then read an excerpt from The Way of the Samurai and answer questions. Next, they will review a series of resources and determine whether they represent bushido, bun, or bu. Finally, students will begin a comparative research assignment.
Kate Harris
16
 

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
 

Pennants, Pins, Paintings & Posters: Artifacts of Political Protest

A mixed bag of artifacts of political and social protest movements in United States history. This collection can serve as a source of inspiration for students creating their own protest posters around a cause they believe in. The collection begins with a video by KQED Art School describing the characteristics of political art and a formula for making it.
Kate Harris
42
 

New Deal Organizations: Relief, Recovery, or Reform?

For each of the images in the collection, determine which New Deal organization it is representing. Think about whether that organization is a good example of relief, recovery, or reform. Some images can be used in more than one way, so be prepared to defend and explain your answers to the class.
Kate Harris
28
 

Who discovered America?

The question "Who discovered America?" invites a lot of discussion, now that many of us recognize that the simple answer of "Columbus" is not entirely accurate. This collection includes resources to help support student investigation into the answers of these questions: -What does it mean to "discover" a place? -How did the first peoples arrive in the Americas? -What claims to the Vikings and the Chinese have to the discovery of America? -Should Columbus be celebrated as a hero, villain, or something in between? There are discussion questions and additional links throughout the collection. Teachers and students are invited to explore the many websites included to further their research.
Kate Harris
18
 

The Maya People Today

This collection includes many videos, in English and Spanish, and resources showing how the Mayan people living today have preserved their traditions while adjusting to modern life. Students can use the collection to learn about the values and traditions that remain important in Mayan life today. Those who want to learn more about the ancient Maya should view this collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/the-achievements-of-ancient-mayan-civilization/Cb7G8r7LdVF6mGqm
Kate Harris
23
 

What do Anthropologists Do?

There are a number of lesson plans devoted to anthropology available from the Smithsonian. This collection links to several of the best lessons and teaching resources and, where necessary, provides short summaries of what each are, so teachers can easily use them in their own classrooms. It is focused on lessons and resources appropriate for middle and high school classrooms. The last four resources reference the case of Ishi, originally described as "the last Yahi Indian," and an example of flaws in the early approach to anthropology. The Smithsonian housed his brain, which had been donated to science by the University of California, from 1917 to 2000, when it was repatriated to his tribe.
Kate Harris
18
 

Archaeology Lessons

This collection includes lesson plans and artifact collections that would be useful for any K-12 study of archaeology. Brief descriptions of the resources are included where necessary, so that teachers can quickly determine what might be applicable to their own classrooms.
Kate Harris
14
 

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