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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

 

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
 

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
 

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
 

How a Bill becomes a Law

<p>How can ideas become legislation? This student activity reviews the process of how a bill becomes a law. Students may choose from two videos to watch, and then can read through the collection and investigate the resources. They may want to take notes on the process. Finally, a sorting activity assesses whether or not students truly understand the process of creating new legislation in the United States.</p>
Kate Harris
12
 

What's in a name?

<p>This collection is based on a lesson in Bruce Lesh's "Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer?" and on a Smithsonian National Museum of American History lesson (both cited fully below). In this lesson, students will evaluate primary source material in order to develop an appropriate name for the site of the 1876 battle at Little Bighorn River. This collection allows students to explore the following questions:</p><ul><li>Why do different interpretations of history develop? How do they change over time?</li><li>When thinking about conflicts in history, whose perspectives are valued and remembered?</li></ul><p>tags: Custer, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Little Big Horn, continuity, change over time, perspective, historiography, point of view, Native American, indigenous, American Indian, Sioux, Greasy Grass</p>
Kate Harris
18
 

All You Need is Love

<p>The best of love-themed graphic design in the Smithsonian Institution's collections. </p>
Kate Harris
12
 

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 Concept of God in Hinduism

<p>This topical collection is meant to serve as a starting point to explore the concept of god in Hinduism. Students can review the images in the collection for clues to help them answer questions like:</p><p>-How are gods portrayed in relation to other gods, people, or animals?</p><p>-Do there seem to be one god or many gods? Do they seem to be male or female? </p><p>-What common symbols or poses are present? What do you think they mean? </p><p>-What kinds of powers do the god figures seem to have? In what ways are they like human beings and in what ways are they different? </p><p>The final resource in this collection is a video that gives insight into the Hindu concept of god. After exploring this collection, encourage students to choose one aspect of Hinduism that they would like to research further.</p><p>tags: India, religion, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, trimurti, Ganesh, avatar</p>
Kate Harris
18
 

Who is Frances Mary Albrier?

<p>This is a collection of items belonging to, or about, Frances M. Albrier. Although an important female leader and activist during the mid-20th century, many students may not have heard of Ms. Albrier. Encourage students to act as history detectives, exploring the collection to determine why this woman's belongings are in the collections of the Smithsonian.</p> <p>Some questions to consider:</p> <ul><li>What are Albrier's main accomplishments? What types of occupations did she have?</li><li> Based on these, what values do you think were important to her?</li><li>How does Albrier's life reflect major changes for women during the 20th century? Changes for African-Americans?</li><li>What do these items tell us about challenges facing African-American women in the mid-century?</li><li>What remains unknown about Albrier based on this collection? Where else could you go to look for more information?</li><li>Look at an encyclopedia entry for Ms. Albrier. Are there any events mentioned not covered in this collection? What might be a good item to add in order to better show her life?</li></ul><p><br /></p> <p>tags: activism, civil rights, union, labor, voter registration, 60s, world war II, shipyards, WW2, nursing, Red Cross, National Council of Negro Women, Nigeria, independence, peace, moral rearmament, #BecauseOfHerStory</p>
Kate Harris
15
 

Look for the Helpers: Analyzing Social Movements

<p>Mr. Rogers is quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." This collection will give students a framework to "look for the helpers"--the people who are trying to change society for the better during difficult times. Students will be introduced to a variety of strategies and tactics used in social movements, and consider how these might apply to an area of their own interest.</p><p>Included is a chart listing possible strategies for social movements that encourages students to find examples of tactics/strategies from the collection and determine the goals of each.</p><p>Opportunities for extension include:</p><p>Identify a social movement that relies on more than one strategy (most do). Can you create a "recipe" listing the various tactics used to create a successful movement?</p><p>Who is involved? Choose one of the examples from above to study further. Who was involved in that particular tactic or strategy? Consider different occupations (teacher, writer, church leader, student, mother) and also different demographics (gender, race, age, ethnicity, etc.)</p><p>What's missing? Are there strategies that you have encountered in your research that don't fit into this chart?</p>
Kate Harris
31
 

The Ramayana

<p>This teaching collection and student activity includes the resources necessary to teach an EDSITEment lesson on the Ramayana where students read closely to find examples of the Hindu concept of dharma. </p><p>Guiding questions are:</p><ul><li>What is <em>dharma</em>?</li><li>How does the <em>Ramayana</em> teach <em>dharma</em>, one of Hinduism's most important tenants?</li></ul><p>tags: Hinduism, Hindu, India, dharma, Ramayana, rama, epic, Vishnu</p>
Kate Harris
11
 

Attention-grabbing headlines don't always tell truth!

<p><strong>Attention-grabbing headlines don't always tell truth!</strong></p><p><strong>Pictures are powerful, sometimes edited!</strong></p><p><strong>Twitter doesn't tell whole story.</strong></p><p><br /></p><p>In the era of "fake news" and information overload, we all need to become better readers of the words and pictures that are used to explain what is going on in the world around us. In this activity, students and teachers will consider:</p><p><strong>How<span></span></strong><strong> can the choice of image or words convey different messages about current events? How do journalists and editors shape the news through their choices?</strong><br /></p><p>This student activity asks students to look at several images of young people resisting a law or recent event. Their task is to write two different headlines for that image designed to appeal to different audiences. They will also be asked to research the context for the image and to consider how that might impact their headlines. </p><p>The goals of this lesson are to:</p><ul><li>explore image and word choice as news drivers (factors that make items newsworthy or appealing to readers)</li><li>determine how journalists and editors shape the news through their choices</li><li>encourage news literacy and a critical reading of headlines and photojournalism in the future. </li></ul>
Kate Harris
15