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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

 

Teaching about Andrew Jackson

This collection includes artifacts, lesson plans, and teaching ideas about Andrew Jackson, including his role in the War of 1812 and his presidency.
Kate Harris
32
 

The Mexican-American War: Before, During, and After

The purpose of this collection is to have students consider the causes and consequences of the Mexican-American War. Students will analyze each item in the collection and determine whether it represents the time period before the war, during, or after. Then students will answer a set of broad questions about the war. While most items in the collection have accompanying text, students may need to consult their textbooks or outside resources in order to answer some questions.
Kate Harris
18
 

Slave Resistance

This collection includes items representing various forms of slave resistance and rebellion. Students should determine what kind of actions are pictured in the case of each item and use them to create a robust definition of slave resistance. Guiding Questions: What does it mean to "resist" slavery? How did white slave-owners respond to such actions? Is maintaining a distinct cultural heritage a form of resistance? Why or why not? How do religion, art, and music encourage resistance?
Kate Harris
13
 

World War II Lesson Plans and Interactives

Collection of lesson plans and interactive websites related to World War II from the Smithsonian Institution.
Kate Harris
13
 

The Crusades of the Middle Ages

This collection includes resources for teachers looking for materials related to the Crusades. Students can gain insight into the weapons and nature of fighting in the Crusades by investigating the images included as well as the video on bows, while the essays and map will provide ample background information. Finally, a lesson plan from the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum explains how to design a marshmallow catapult or trebuchet!
Kate Harris
10
 

The Art of Writing and Calligraphy

This collection includes a variety of resources representing styles of writing from around the world. It encourages viewers to consider writing not only for its ability to communicate through letters and symbols, but also for its artistic value. The collection includes a video on Sumerian writing, a website on African writing systems and art, and artifacts that are examples of the writing of East Asian, Arabic, Cherokee, Hebrew, and Modern European alphabets. In addition, a few tools used for writing are included. There is some background material on each type of writing as you read through the collection. Questions for classroom discussion and research might include: -What is the purpose of writing? Why use hand-writing or calligraphy instead of using a computer? -How do alphabets differ? -How can a style of calligraphy (or font change) the interpretation of a written work?
Kate Harris
29
 

Ancient Egypt: Shabtis

This is a collection of shabtis, which were small images of people that had been cast with a spell and buried with notable ancient Egyptians. The spells were meant to get the figure to carry out manual labor or specific tasks in the afterlife. You may notice some shabtis carry a whip, indicating that they are "overseers" of ten laborers. As you look through these images, think about what kinds of characteristics they all have in common. What differences do you see? Pay attention to materials used to make them, size, and images or depictions on the shabtis.
Kate Harris
9
 

Ancient Egypt: Sarcophaguses and Coffins

This is a collection of sarcophaguses and coffins from Ancient Egypt. The sarcophagus refers to the outer layer of protection for an important mummy, and would generally be carved or painted with images representing the deceased person. As you look through the collection, notice the difference between the sarcophaguses and coffins and pay attention to the kinds of images you see. What are common features that you might find on any sarcophagus? What kinds of things are different depending on who it is that is buried?
Kate Harris
6
 

Ancient Egypt: Canopic Jars

This is a collection of canopic jars, which were used to store the organs of the deceased in the burial chambers of ancient Egyptians. As you look through these images, think about what kinds of characteristics they all have in common. What differences do you see? Pay attention to materials used, shape of the jars, and images on the lids.
Kate Harris
7