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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 :

Kate Harris's collections

 

Thanksgiving--A Reflection of a Nation

A learning resource for students about Thanksgiving. The images in this collection are different portrayals of the United States holiday of Thanksgiving. They are grouped in order of publication from 1863 to 1994. As you look through them and complete the activities, think about these three key questions:<br /> -How does the context in which the image is produced affect the result? Meaning, how does what is happening during the time period affect what kind of picture of Thanksgiving we see?<br /> -What do the images say about our national identity: who is a welcome part of the United States? What do we celebrate in this country?<br /> -Whose version of the Thanksgiving story is being told in these images?
Kate Harris
15
 

My Nightstand

What you might find on my nightstand....
Kate Harris
7
 

Photographs from Ellis Island

<p>This is a collection of five photographs taken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as well as a handout to be used with the photos. Use the collection as a warm up or prompt for further research about the experience of immigrants to America. Teachers could assign different photographs to small groups so that students can share ideas and questions as they closely examine each one, focusing on differences between what is clearly evident in each photo as well as what can be inferred or hypothesized. </p><p>What can we learn about the experience of immigrants at Ellis Island from photographs? What emotions are expressed in these images? Challenge students to consider the photographers process and perspective: Are these images staged or candid? What kind of statement do you think the photographer might be making about immigration at this time?</p><p>More teaching ideas are include in the "Notes to Other Users" section.</p>
Kate Harris
8
 

Westinghouse: The Man and the Companies

This is a collection of teaching resources available on the topic of George Westinghouse as well as Westinghouse Electric Company (founded 1886) and its spinoffs (including the broadcasting company and nuclear energy company). Fun fact: During the 20th century, Westinghouse engineers and scientists were granted more than 28,000 US government patents, the third most of any company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westinghouse_Electric_Company#cite_note-2009profile-14)
Kate Harris
15
 

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
 

Native American Policy Overview

<p>During the late 19th century, reformers in the United States like Helen Hunt Jackson pushed for a change in attitude towards Native Americans. Rather than simply viewing them as enemies from whom land could be gained, these reformers promoted the concept of assimilation, or helping Native Americans adopt the characteristics of white culture that would allow them to be successful in American society. One of the ways they did this was through the use of Christian boarding schools for Native American children. Federal laws, like the Dawes Act of 1887, also supported this goal. </p> <p>As you investigate the artifacts, images, and readings in this collection, consider whether you think assimilation was a beneficial policy for Native Americans. How did Native American families respond to assimilation?</p> <p>Tags: point of view, assimilation, assimilate, American Indians, Carlisle, Jim Thorpe, allotment</p>
Kate Harris
14
 

California: A Land of Opportunity?

<p>As we continue to read "The Grapes of Wrath," I'd like you to consider the way in which California represents the "American Dream." How has this changed over time? Has California always lived up to its image? Consider who has access to dreams and opportunities in California at any given time. </p><p>After you look through the collection, choose one of the following assignments to complete and submit your assignment using the "Submit File" option that is part of the last resource. Hint: you may want to take notes and/or save images as you are browsing the resources here. </p><p>Possible assignments:</p><p>1) Create a timeline of "Opportunities Gained and Lost" in California using at least 8 images from the collection. For each image, identify who is gaining or losing an opportunity in this instance, and what kind of opportunity is being referenced. Remember this is a timeline and will need to be in chronological order by year. Complete your timeline with an image that you have found (from the Learning Lab or an outside resource) that represents California today.</p><p>2) Would you argue that "California is a land of dreams"? How could you change that statement to make it more accurate? Write an essay defending your statement that references at least 4 images from this collection. You may want to do some additional research to supplement your essay.</p><p>Tags: point of view, change, continuity, cause, effect, Dust Bowl, drought, migrant, migration, chronology, Steinbeck</p>
Kate Harris
34
 

Droughts and Dust Bowls

This is a collection of teaching resources about droughts and the Dust Bowl. While it is mainly focused on 20th century American history, there are also some links to articles that cover droughts more broadly across time and cultures. I have included some artists (Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, nda Dorothea Lange) who recorded the effects of the Dust Bowl on American society. There is also a selection of lesson plans and videos that explain how farming practices and environmental changes lead to droughts, and how people have responded by changing practices and developing new technologies. <br /> <br /> Resources in this collection might be used in Language Arts, Social Studies, or Science classrooms. Questions to consider might include:<br /> -How do people impact their environment?<br /> -How do changes to the environment impact peoples' lives?<br /> -How did government and society respond to the disaster of the Dust Bowl? <br /> -What is government's responsibility in times of natural disaster?<br /> -What steps can be taken to prevent future environmental disasters?<br /> <br />
Kate Harris
27
 

Investigating a Place: The Pacific Northwest

<p>What defines a place? Is it its people? Economic life? Physical characteristics?</p><p>Examine this collection of images from or about the Pacific Northwest (loosely defined as Washington and Oregon states and British Columbia) to answer these questions: What are its unique set of physical and cultural conditions? How do these physical and cultural conditions interact? How does the economy of the PNW connect to its culture and geography? What are the consequences of human activity on the cultural and physical landscape? </p><p>Ask students individually or in small groups to create a collection in Learning Lab to represent the physical and cultural characteristics of another place (city, region, state). Using these collections, ask students to write summary statements describing the unique human and physical characteristics of places researched. Discuss student collections and what makes each place unique.</p><p>Tags: Portland, Seattle, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, Native Americans, American Indians, grunge, space needle</p>
Kate Harris
38
 

The Ancient Greeks Live On

A collection of artifacts showing how the ancient Greeks have influenced the modern world, combining both ancient Greek artifacts and modern objects and images. In some cases, the collection is incomplete and more modern examples could be identified. This is noted with some text and questions. Teachers might review this presentation with students, challenging them to identify modern examples that connect with the ancient objects that they see. Teachers are encouraged to ask students to compare and contrast, noting how time has changed certain concepts or ideas (e.g. our democracy is far more inclusive than Greek democracy was, although we use a representative democracy, not a true democracy.) Finally, teachers might consider using this activity as a precursor to further research on a specific topic addressing how the ancient Greeks continue to influence the modern world. Useful after students have had some introduction to the history and culture of Greece.
Kate Harris
29
 

Great Ideas, Modern Art, and Advertising

This collection consists of advertisements created for the Container Corporation of America in the 1950s. Each advertisement pairs a quote from a "Great Idea of Western Man" with a work of original art. After reviewing the collection, students will create their own art work to reflect a "Great Idea" that they think is important and meaningful in the world today.
Kate Harris
11
 

The Emancipation Proclamation

<p>How did the writing of the Emancipation Proclamation reflect the political tensions of the time? This collection reviews the writing, impact, and legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation through videos, informational texts, and art. Students can work through the lesson independently and their understanding of the Emancipation Proclamation will be assessed via quiz questions. Students will be able to determine the short-term and long-term impacts of the Emancipation Proclamation.</p>
Kate Harris
17