User Image

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 :

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

 

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
 

Flexing the 14th Amendment

<p>As part of the AP US Government and Politics course, students learn how the “Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause as well as other constitutional provisions have often been used to support the advancement of equality.” They are also asked to explore how individuals and groups help protect civil liberties and civil rights; another standard notes that “Public policy promoting civil rights is influenced by citizen-state interactions and constitutional interpretation over time.”</p> <p>This collection invites students to explore that process by learning more about the local and national history of the disability rights movement, and then imagining how future movements could build and expand on both the 14th Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In a typical AP US Government and Politics course, this could be taught as part of an introduction to Unit 3 (which addresses Civil Rights and Civil Liberties). </p> <p>It is designed as two 70 minute lessons with possibilities for extension, to be used in a remote learning or physical classroom environment.  The first day's lesson could be spent on the warm up and completing the timeline tracker, while the second day leaves time for discussion and possible further research. </p> <p>#civicdiscourse</p>
Kate Harris
28
 

Socialism in the Gilded Age

<p><br><strong>Overview:</strong> When facing challenges in society, activists must determine not just what kinds of changes might need to be made, but how much change, and how fast. A study of the growing socialist and anarchist movement during the Gilded Age in the United States (with a focus on Pittsburgh), will help students analyze why some people might advocate for radical change while others fear it. Students will then apply their new understanding when discussing responses to current social movements. </p> <p><strong>Questions for discussion throughout the lesson include:</strong></p> <ol><li>What kind of change is/was needed?  How might the answer to this question depend on your perspective (worker, farmer, politician, or business-owner?)</li><li>How much change is /was needed? How might the answer to this question depend on your perspective (worker, farmer, politician, or business-owner?)</li><li>Why might radical change be scary for some individuals but appealing to others? </li><li>What kinds of demands and strategies result in the most progress?</li></ol> <p><strong>Pacing/curriculum: </strong>This lesson can be used when discussing the response of workers and the labor movement to Gilded Age industrialization, or as a point of comparison when studying the other social reform movements of the late 19th and early 20th century, Populism and Progressivism. Just prior to this lesson, students in my classroom would have been studying the problems of workers and city-dwellers during the Gilded Age and the rapid growth of industrialization.</p> <p><br>The lesson is designed to be used during 1-2 70 minute class periods and can be implemented in an entirely remote learning environment.  The first day could consist of the warm up around socialism, and the why did it appeal/why was it scary t-charts. The second day should focus on connections to today and the question of revolution vs. reform located in the second half of resources in the collection. <br></p> <p>#civicdiscourse</p>
Kate Harris
37
 

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
 

Fighting World War II at Home

<p>Preparing for World War II in the United States meant uniting the nation and encouraging citizens to support the war with their actions and funds. However, it also created divisions within the nations, as Japanese-Americans were interned, African-American soldiers were segregated, and Mexican workers recruited to help with war-time demands were discriminated against. This collection includes objects reflecting a variety of aspects of homefront life during World War II and works well as an independent activity for students to complete. </p> <p>Guiding questions for discussion before and after include:</p> <p><strong>-In what ways did World War II unite the nation? In what ways did it divide the nation?</strong></p> <p>-What new opportunities were created by the need for more workers in World War II?</p> <p>-How and why did government regulation of the economy increase during World War II?</p> <p>-Why do you think the examples of propaganda in this collection were so effective?</p>
Kate Harris
26
 

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
 

Hamilton!

<p>Have your students (or you) caught the Hamilton bug inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical? This collection is filled with resources and teaching ideas about the founding father. With his musical, Miranda has transformed teaching the Founding Fathers from distant and un-relatable to a relevant story of a hustling immigrant whose rise helps progress the American Revolution and set the new nation on track to become the economic powerhouse that it remains today.</p> <p>Tags: Alexander Hamilton, ten dollar bill, Aaron Burr, duel, treasurer, financial plan, Federalist</p><p>#SmithsonianMusic<br /></p>
Kate Harris
14
 

Rebels and Beats

<p>This topical collection is based on a past exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery entitled <a href="http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/rebels/index2.htm" target="_blank">Rebels and Beats: Painters and Poets of the 1950s</a>. This collection might be used by teachers or students who want to explore the counterculture of the 1950s, a time period typically associated with conformity. The collection includes paintings, photographs, and videos related to the writers and artists involved in the Beat Generation, San Francisco Renaissance, Black Mountain College, and New York School scenes. </p><p>In what ways did these artists challenge the social norms of the time? Why is art often a means of challenging the status quo?</p><p>tags: Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, de Kooning, Baraka, poem, counterculture, Beat Movement</p>
Kate Harris
44
 

"Let Women Fly!": Female Aviators and Astronauts

<p>Did you know that astronaut Mae Jemison carried a picture of aviator Bessie Coleman in her uniform pocket? Or that astronaut Sally Ride was a major supporter of vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro? Maybe you knew that Jane Briggs Hart was Michigan's first female helicopter pilot and flew her husband, the late Senator Hart, to his political campaign stops as well as being vocal and liberal political activist? Find out about these inspirational women and others in this collection. This topical collection is a great starting point for research about female aviators and astronauts, and includes articles, images, artifacts, and video. Some guiding questions to consider might be:<br />-Why do you think it was so challenging for female pilots to become accepted? Compare the inclusion of women in aviation to other industries and fields. <br />-What role did the military play in the growth in the number of female aviators?<br />-What connections can you find between various female pilots and astronauts?<br />-Is being the "first" of something a political act? How do many female aviation leaders use their public voice?</p><p>#BecauseOfHerStory<br /></p>
Kate Harris
48
 

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
 

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