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Tracie Spinale

Learning Programs Manager
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary
Curriculum Coordinator, Museum Staff
Social Studies, Arts
Learning Programs Manager

Hello! I work at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) where I collaborate with communities to create cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary learning experiences. I organize opportunities for museum professionals, educators, students, and related audiences, focused on museum learning. I've organized workshops for a variety of audiences--ranging from teens with disabilities to Tibetan monastics in India. I manage intern and fellows programs at SCLDA. I've currently teamed-up with the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska to develop content with Alaska Native community partners (https://learninglab.si.edu/org/sasc-ak)!

I've worked at the Smithsonian since 2000, and hold a MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University (1998), and a BA in Anthropology from Beloit College (1996). When not online, you can find me wandering through museums or reading about ancient civilizations. 

Tracie Spinale's collections

 

Shelley's "Ozymandias" Poem: Museum Objects and Inspired Art

<p>How have museum objects and antiquities inspired arts and literature? Read and listen to a famous poem written two hundred years ago by English author Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias." Then, view artworks which in turn were inspired by the poem. View the environmental landscapes and settings in ancient Egypt which inspired the original poem about the colossal sculpture of a famous ruler from over three thousand years ago. The collection concludes with a link to view a draft of the poem. Will Shelley's work inspire the creation of your own poem or artwork about a place you've traveled, or an object you've seen in a museum?<br><br>keywords: sonnet, Ancient Egypt, Ramesses II, Thebes, impermanence, cultural patrimony </p>
Tracie Spinale
22
 

Access Series: Photo Quest in a Sculpture Garden

<p>Get out on a sunny day and enjoy an art sculpture garden with friends...Wander with a purpose. In this teen group quest, teams use close-up photo prompts to find artworks in a sculpture garden, and then use tablet devices to take team photos with the sculptures. This activity was originally used in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. with the All Access Digital Arts Program as a photo scavenger hunt. Example PDFs of photo details are provided. To turn the photo hunt into a more formal learning experience, the answer section shows the entire sculpture with information and discussion prompts to elicit questions about teen identity and self-expression.</p> <p>Tags: decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program</p>
Tracie Spinale
34
 

Access Series: Great Face! Portraits and Photo Composition

<p>Taking a great portrait is more than just taking a quick snap of a face. It requires thoughtful contemplation and a variety of choices by the photographer. This is a collection of photographs that illustrate various principles of portrait photography: angles (eye-level, high angle, low angle, and bird's eye), light and shadow, framing, and shot length (long-shot, medium-shot, close-up, & extreme close-up); As well as mood--capturing a feeling or emotion in a photograph; scale--how big or small subjects look; and sense of place--capturing the feeling of a place. Click into each photo and on the "paper clip" annotation icon to read more information and complete challenges.</p> <p>Tags: portrait photography, decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program</p>
Tracie Spinale
21
 

Access Series: Places "Real" and "Imagined"

<p>This topical collection of artworks is based upon a wide variety of places and travel spots, both "real" and "imagined." It features castles, mountains, beaches, forests, capital cities, and fantasy movie landscapes. It was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials); and as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program. Students were asked about famous places they have visited or would want to visit, as well as favorite vacation or travel spots. Other suggested uses beyond collage and discussion prompts would be a writing exercise, "If you could travel anywhere, where would you go, and who would you travel with, etc...?" Use the visible thinking routine "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for the writing prompt, and the images for inspiration.<br><br>Tags: Decision Making, Disabilities, Self-Determination, Self-Efficacy, Student Empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program</p>
Tracie Spinale
56
 

Access Series: Flying Things

<p>This topical collection of airplanes, hot air balloons, space craft, and other things that fly, was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials). It was used as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program--as pre-museum visit preparation to artifacts that would be found at an airplane museum. Other suggested uses beyond collage and discussion prompts would be a writing exercise, "If you could fly anywhere, where would you go and what would you do?" Use the visible thinking routine, "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for the writing prompt, and the images for inspiration.</p> <p>Tags: decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, all access digital arts program</p>
Tracie Spinale
93
 

Access Series: Nostalgic Popular "Pop" Culture

<p>This inspiration collection of nostalgic popular "pop" culture from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s—super heroes and super villains, Muppets, cartoon characters, Star Wars, Disney and Pixar characters, Transformers, and movies was used for a collage activity and discussion prompt in an informal learning activity, "Me & My World: Personal Ecology/Interest Inventory" with a group of teens with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. Students were asked about their favorite pop culture influences from the past and present. Use the visible thinking routine, "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for a discussion prompt, and the images for inspiration. </p> <p>Tags: decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program</p>
Tracie Spinale
87
 

ACCESS SERIES | Through the Lens of Curiosity

<p><strong>IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.</strong></p> <p>All Access Club Explores the Microscopic World. If you cannot see something, does that mean that it is not there? Nope! Just lurking under the surface of common, everyday objects is an entire world that we normally cannot see. People just like you can use microscopes to discover things that need magnification in order to view.  The collection is part of an activity series that explores this mysterious microscopic world.<br><br><strong>EDUCATORS | </strong>For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Through the Lens of Curiosity"  ><br><br>In this collection you will:</p> <ul><li>Find out about the world through the use of microscopes and magnifiers</li><li>Take on the role of detective as you embark on a quest to solve 5 mysteries -- by making observations about up-close objects and reading clues, can you figure out what the whole object is?</li><li>In the game <em>A Part of the Whole</em>, use your power of observation to consider the structures and functions of up-close objects to guess what they might be. Again, you will look at part of an object--photographed up-close--to guess at the whole.</li></ul> <p>If it is possible to set-up a hand's-on experience with microscopes along with the online activities -- the tactile portion will enhance the online activity. Teens can also view a video about scanning electron microscopes by a young scientist in the 'extension section'.</p> <p>Keywords: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program <br></p>
Tracie Spinale
60
 

ACCESS SERIES | Nile, Nile Crocodile

<p><strong>IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.</strong><br /><br />Exploring: Ancient Egypt, the Nile River, and glass museum objects, papercraft, and sand art</p> <p>Rationale for Instruction: <br /></p> <ul><li>Through the introduction, museum visit, and activities, students connect with an ancient and diverse culture in ways both conceptual and concrete. The ancient Egyptians shaped our modern civilization in fundamental ways and left legacies that are still present today. </li></ul><p>Objectives:</p> <ul><li>Explain features of the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian living on the Nile River, including boat transportation, dress, and animal life. </li><li>Explore the ancient origins of glass making in Egypt.</li><li>Examine how glass making relates to object making, animal representation, and the desert environment of Egypt</li><li>Plan, create, and share digital and physical works of art that represent ancient (sand art) and modern art forms (digital photography with filters) as well as representational art (papercraft) landscape.</li></ul><p><strong>EDUCATORS | </strong>For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Nile, Nile Crocodile" ><br /><br />SET THE STAGE:<br /></p> <ul><li>Maps - Look at the maps in the Smithsonian collection; Where do you think you'll journey to in this collection?</li><li>"This is Sand" App - an tablet app that changes the pixels on the screen into digital sand.</li><li>Video about The Nile (for learners who prefer a concrete example)</li><li>Thought journey down the Nile River; Ask questions about observations along the way. If you are able to transform the furniture to reflect a boat, do so. </li><li>Glass making video as well as a primary source text from 1904 (for learners who prefer a concrete example); Help make the connection between the desert sand environment and glass making. </li></ul><p>MUSEUM "VISIT"<br /></p> <ul><li>Go to the gallery; read the panels and explore the objects. <strong>The gallery has been re-created in the Learning Lab collection</strong></li><li>Explore the glass vessels-->What do you notice?</li><li>Observe the glass animals-->Take turns reading the informational texts; What do the animals represent?</li></ul><p>~ BREAK ~<br /></p> <p>ACTIVITY STATIONS (rotate between activity stations)<br /></p> <ul><li>SAND ART - Create your own ancient Egyptian glass vessel through a sand art design similar to the decorated glass in the museum.</li><li>"ANCIENT" PHOTOS - Use digital tablets to take photos in a museum gallery and use the built-in filters to create 'ancient-looking' photos like the ones that document historic museum excavations. </li><li>PAPERCRAFT LANDSCAPE - Create a three-dimensional landscape of ancient Egypt based on the animals and structures observed in the museum gallery and in the introductory materials. Templates and examples are included. Document your results using photography.</li></ul><p></p> <p>Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program</p> <p></p>
Tracie Spinale
111
 

ACCESS SERIES | Galaxy Quest

<p><strong>IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.</strong></p> <p>Have you ever wondered what's going on out there in the universe? Would you like to discover exciting things about planets, stars, and galaxies? Today, we will go on a GALAXY QUEST to EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE!<br /><br />RATIONALE | Digital technology has transformed how we explore the Universe. We now have the ability to peer into space right from our homes and laptop computers. Telescopes, photography, and spectroscopy remain the basic tools that scientists—astronomers and cosmologists—use to explore the universe, but digital light detectors and powerful computer processors have enhanced these tools. Observatories in space—like the Hubble Space Telescope—have shown us further into space then we have ever seen before.<br /><br /><strong>EDUCATORS | </strong>For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Galaxy Quest" <br /><br />Lesson Objectives:<br />1. Process and save at least one digital image of a galaxy or space image (with caption)<br />2. Create a three-dimensional astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)<br />3. Create a digital astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)<br />4. Visit the Explore the Universe exhibition at NASM and identify Hubble parts (mirror, lens, spectroscope)<br /><br />Learning Objectives:<br />1.     What a galaxy is<br />2.     What a space telescope is<br />3.     Learn how to open an image on the computer and process it<br />4.     Socialize well in the museum setting</p> <hr /><p>Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program <br /></p> <p><br /></p>
Tracie Spinale
71
 

Senses Series - Hearing

<p>How do we hear what we hear? This collection is about hearing the world in unexpected ways through human perspectives of science and culture, and animal adaptations. Meet a shark whose entire body is an ear; zoo otters who play the keyboard; rabbits whose large ear adaptations provide self-defense; and the reasons for a sea lion's bark. Learn about the structure and function of human ears can only see a certain type of light within the electromagnetic spectrum. Background information from the website Neuroscience for Kids provides an overview of how the ear and hearing functions work, as well as a sound experiments to try. The collections closes with a cross-cultural examination of hearing and function from Tibetan Buddhist monastics.<br /><br />Based on exhibition project work through <a href="http://scienceformonks.org/">Science for Monks</a> and <a href="http://scienceformonks.org/world-of-your-senses-web-tour/" target="_blank">The World of Your Senses</a> Exhibition (2010).</p>
Tracie Spinale
10
 

Senses Series - Smell

<p>How do we experience the sense of smell? This collection explores the variety of human and animal smell experiences. Videos examine ants that use smell to communicate, orchid bee perfumery, and the unique smell adaptation of the maned wolf. Background information from the website Neuroscience for Kids provides the structure and function of the nose, as well as olfaction experiments. The collection concludes with a cross-cultural examination of touch from a Tibetan monastic Buddhist perspective. How might their experience of smell differ from your own?<br /><br />Based on exhibition project work through <a href="http://scienceformonks.org/">Science for Monks</a> and <a href="http://scienceformonks.org/world-of-your-senses-web-tour/" target="_blank">The World of Your Senses</a> Exhibition (2010).</p>
Tracie Spinale
9
 

Senses Series - Taste

<p>How do we taste what we taste? This collection is about the kinds of tastes that the human tongue experiences. Background information from the website Neuroscience for Kids provides an overview of how the tongue and taste function. Included are experiments to try, as well as examples of the kinds of tastes: sweet, salty, sour, hot and bitter. The collection closes with a cross-cultural examination of tongue function and tastes from Tibetan monastics—who recognize thirty-six different tastes!<br /><br />Based on exhibition project work through <a href="http://scienceformonks.org/">Science for Monks</a> and <a href="http://scienceformonks.org/world-of-your-senses-web-tour/" target="_blank">The World of Your Senses</a> Exhibition (2010).</p>
Tracie Spinale
14