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Kate Harris

Social Studies teacher
Pittsburgh CAPA
Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)
Language Arts And English, Civics, Literature, Cultures, Economics, Social Studies, Geography, Writing, US History, Arts, Other

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


Tools for Meditation

Are you interested in meditation? This topical collection includes a variety of tools for meditation, including mandalas, music, prayer beads, labyrinths, and a video of a guided meditation and pranayama (breathing) practice. Web links to additional background information are embedded throughout.
Kate Harris

Timeline: Causes of the Civil War

<p>This collection includes artifacts, stamps, political cartoons, portraits, and videos representing various long-term and short-term causes of the Civil War. After reviewing the collection, students will sort resources into chronological order, focusing on continuity and change over time. </p><p>Tags: compromise, Civil War, John Brown, Fort Sumter, Ft, Abraham Lincoln, Sumner, Brooks, Taney, Dred Scott, 1850, 1860, secession</p><p><br /></p><p>Additional teaching ideas are listed in the Notes to Other Users section.</p>
Kate Harris

The "Wild West"?

<p>The West has always held a special place in American culture. In 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner wrote what is known as the "frontier thesis," arguing that our sense of democracy and hard work has been shaped by experience of survival and growth along the frontier. More than a century later, Americans still idolize the cowboy image and are fascinated by the train robbers, saloons, and violence of the era. How accurate is our mental picture of the "Wild West"? What were the realities of life on the frontier in the late 19th and early 20th century? What was lost and what was gained as America closed out the frontier? Most importantly, why has the West continued to fascinate Americans and play such a prominent role in popular culture?</p> <p>This learner resource includes images, artifacts, and movies that deal with the concept of the American West.  Students will want to read Turner's essay and answer the attached questions. Then, they will focus on choosing images and ideas to include in a movie trailer or poster advertisement that presents a more accurate image of turn of the century western life.</p>
Kate Harris

The Smithsonian in World War I

<p>Across the nation, public institutions like museums, universities, and government facilities showed the impact of World War One. Not only did private individuals find their lives changed by enlisting to fight or taking on new "war work," but buildings and public spaces also changed by shifting over to the war cause. This collection reveals how life at the Smithsonian Institution changed in order to support the war effort from 1914-1918 through artifacts and archival materials.</p><p>Questions to consider:</p><p>-<strong>How do Americans sacrifice during wartime? Has it changed over time?</strong></p><p>-How did the Smithsonian Institution and its employees adapt during wartime?</p><p>-What does the experience chronicled here tell us about that of other Americans? What is still missing?</p><p>Tags: WWI, World War One, homefront, war work, Smithsonian, museum</p>
Kate Harris

The Seventies: A Crisis of Confidence

<p>This is a teaching collection designed to support an inquiry into why the public lost confidence in the government in the 1970s (70s). Topics covered include the economic recession, the Nixon presidency and Watergate, the Ford presidency, the Carter presidency, the Iran hostage crisis, the oil embargo, the Kent State massacre and the Pentagon Papers.</p><p><br /><br /></p><p>Guiding questions:<br /></p><p>-Why did the U.S. public lose confidence in the presidency in the 1970s?<br /></p><p>-What impact did economic crises have on American lives?</p>
Kate Harris

The Scopes Trial

<p>This collection of photographs provides insight into the Scopes Trial in 1925. "Marcel C. LaFollette, an independent scholar, historian and Smithsonian volunteer uncovered rare, unpublished photographs of the 1925 Tennessee vs. John Scopes “Monkey Trial" in the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The nitrate negatives, including portraits of trial participants, and images from the trial itself and significant places in Dayton, were discovered in archival material donated to the Smithsonian by Science Service in 1971."</p><p>"Science Service is a Washington, D.C.-based organization founded in 1921 for the promotion of science writing and information about science in the media. Watson Davis (1896-1967), the Science Service managing editor, took these photographs when covering the Scopes trial as a reporter. In the 1925 trial, John Scopes was tried and convicted for violating a state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution. William Jennings Bryan served on the prosecution team, and Clarence Darrow defended Scopes."</p><p>Collection users might consider the following questions:</p><p>-How effective are court cases at swaying popular opinion? Can you think of other examples of this?</p><p><span></span>-How did this trial reflect the changes in mass media, science, and religion occurring in the 1920s?</p><p>-It is said that Bryan "won the case, but lost the argument." What is meant by that statement?</p><p>-How do these archival photographs challenge previously held conceptions of the case?</p><p>Source for text in quotes throughout collection: Smithsonian Institution Archives. Web. Accessed 16 Aug. 2016 <a href=""></a>.</p>
Kate Harris

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

The Remains at Pompeii

This is a collection of teaching resources that could be used to support a lesson on Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius as well as life in ancient Rome. Included are artworks picturing Pompeii, archaeological artifacts, and links to "street views" of the ruins as well as magazine articles on the topic. Some questions to consider are: -What can we learn about the life of ancient Romans from the ruins at Pompeii? -What are the strengths and weaknesses of learning from archaeological ruins? -Why have the ruins at Pompeii continued to fascinate people over time?
Kate Harris

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

The Military Draft

<p>This collection can be used for a teaching activity on the military draft in the United States and how it has changed over time from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Students will consider attitudes towards the draft, its effects, and means of avoiding the draft in different eras. What trends or patterns emerge? What changes? Why is the draft no longer in use?</p><p>Tags: conscription, draft, selective service, Civil War, World War I, World War II, WWI, WWII, WW2, Vietnam War, change over time, continuity and change, exemption</p>
Kate Harris

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

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