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Tess Porter

Digital Content Producer
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Smithsonian Staff
Digital Content Producer

I'm the Digital Content Producer at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. Here, I research and develop learning resources focused on the topics of history, art, and culture for projects both within the Smithsonian and in collaboration with other institutions. I also train educators on how to create their own customized content in the Lab.

learninglab@si.edutwitter.com/smithsonianlab

Tess Porter's collections

 

Understanding Ancient Civilizations through Artifacts

Resources supporting the April 2016 Google Hangout facilitated by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in coordination with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.
Tess Porter
22
 

Reading Companion: Hot-Air Balloons and the Civil War

In this collection, students will explore the Union Army's use of hot-air balloons during the Civil War. Two articles - "Professor Lowe's Adventure" [Cobblestone; Nov/Dec 2015] and "Civil War Air Force" [Cricket; Oct 2015] - serve as an introduction to Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, an aeronaut, and his influence in the creation of the US's first air force. Additional resources, such as photographs of the balloons, letters written from the Secretary of the Smithsonian to Lowe prior to his involvement in the Union Army, the remnants of a Confederate balloon, and more, help situate these articles into a larger, historical context. Suggestions for use located in "Notes to Other Users." Uses the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "Think Puzzle Explore." This routine sets the stage for deeper inquiry.
Tess Porter
19
 

Reading Companion: Robots

This collection is a reading companion to two articles - "Robot Zoo" [Ask; Nov 2011] and "Me, Myself, and My Android Twin" [Muse; Nov 2012]. Students are asked to investigate these articles, alongside other objects, videos, and articles, to examine what issues robot designers are attempting to address with their inventions, and how they are trying to address them. At the end of the activity, students will be asked to write a paragraph or more explaining which inventions they think are the most important and why, citing resources in this collection as evidence.
Tess Porter
22
 

Asian Pacific American Authors

<p>This topical collection about Asian Pacific American authors includes portraits, interviews, and book reviews. </p> <p>Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. </p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. </em> </p> <p>Keywords: Jhumpa Lahiri, Indian American, Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart, Filipino American, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chinese American, Julie Otsuka, Japanese American, Chang-rae Lee, Korean American, Anor Lin, Sadakichi Hartmann, A.X. Ahmad, Ava Chin, P. S. Duffy, Eddie Huang, Yiyun Li, Valynne Maetani, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Vietnamese American, Ellen Oh, Vu Tran, Thrity Umrigar, literature<br /></p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
28
 

Japanese American Incarceration: Articles and Videos about Inmate Experiences

<p>This topical collection includes articles and videos about Japanese American experiences in incarceration camps.  The collection highlights four individuals and their stories: Fred Korematsu, a civil rights activist; Minoru Yasui, a lawyer and civil rights advocate; Norman Mineta, a politician who grew up in the camps; and Isamu Noguchi, an artist who self-deported himself to an incarceration camp. Other important articles and videos about inmate experiences are located at the end. This collection is one in a series of collections, each containing different types of resources, about the Japanese American Incarceration; see also <a href="http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/gCGyk6eEyx7hGU4a">Japanese American Incarceration: Images of Camp Life</a>, <a href="http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/yqzp7FXFJtCqPsik">Japanese Incarceration: Publications, Letters, and Other Documents</a>, and <a href="http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/D1atcYAXArxq55uY">Japanese American Incarceration: Camp Objects</a>.</p> <p>In February 1942, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 and authorized the imprisonment of approximately 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals in incarceration camps.  This order was not rescinded until 1945. </p> <p>Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussion. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. </p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.</em> </p> <p>Keywords: internment camp, world war ii, ww2, wwii</p> <p>#APA2018 </p>
Tess Porter
30
 

Asian Pacific Americans in Sports

<p>This topical collection about important Asian Pacific American athletes and sports innovators includes portraits, artifacts, blog posts, and a video. <br /></p> <p>Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions about Asian Pacific American representation in sports. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. </p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.  </em></p> <p>Keywords: Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian, Pedro Flores, Filipino American, Philippines, Apolo Ohno, Japanese American, Kristi Yamaguchi, Craig Beardsley, Chinese American,  Darsh Singh, Indian American, Sikh, Olympics, surfing, surfer, swimmer, swimming, yo-yo, yo-yoing, speed skating, ice skating, 9-man volleyball, rowing, baseball, basketball</p> <p>#APA2018<br /></p>
Tess Porter
20
 

National Portrait Gallery’s Asian Pacific American Portraiture (Artists & Sitters)

<p>This topical collection contains portraits and artwork that depict or were created by Asian Pacific Americans. Leslie Ureña, National Portrait Gallery Assistant Curator of Photographs, curated this group of resources from the National Portrait Gallery’s ever-expanding collections. A list of the museum’s collections on this topic is included as the second resource.  <br /></p> <p>Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussion; for example, this collection may inspire students to conduct research about other Asian Pacific American artists and individuals. This collection is not comprehensive, but rather provides a launching point for further research and study. </p><p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. </em> <br /></p> <p>Keywords: portraiture, photograph, sculpture, article, primary source, painting, poster, letter</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
123
 

Shoes: Exploring Culture, History, Place, and Innovation

<p>Teacher's guide for using shoes to explore culture, history, place, and innovation. Includes images of thirty shoes and three different strategies, located at the end of the collection, for using these objects in the classroom. </p> <p>Strategies include: a small-group object analysis activity; a poster, "If You Walked in My Shoes," introducing students to basic primary source analysis questions through six pairs of shoes; and a vocabulary exercise for ESL learners.</p>
Tess Porter
33
 

The Classical Origin of Iconic American Symbols

<p>In this student activity, analyze how and why iconic symbols of America, such as the Capitol Building and the United States Seal, were inspired by Greek and Roman art and architecture.  </p> <p>Explores the big ideas:</p> <p></p> <ul><li>How were symbols of America influenced by those of Ancient Greece and Rome? </li><li>What might this desire to associate America with historic, successful democracies say about early American hopes for their new nation?</li></ul><p></p> <p>Includes: architecture, a seal, portraiture, a video, a primary source letter, discussion questions, and an opportunity to learn more through the full digitized text of "The Ruins of Palmyra," a publication that heavily inspired early American neoclassical architecture.</p> <p>Keywords: greece, symbolism, classic, classical</p>
Tess Porter
12
 

Mummification in Egypt: Ritual and the Afterlife

<p>In this student activity, learn the process and religious significance of Ancient Egyptian mummification through analysis of objects associated with tombs and funerary rituals. </p><p>Big ideas: Why and how did the Ancient Egyptians practice mummification? How does their religion effect their material culture?<br /></p><p>Includes artifacts, multiple choice and discussion questions, and opportunities to learn more through a reading-level appropriate article and a webcast. Encourages cross-cultural comparison of Afterlife concepts. Resources for learning more about the subject, through videos and articles, are located at the end of this collection.</p> <p>Keywords: mummies, mummy, archaeology</p>
Tess Porter
22
 

Mummies: Teaching Resources

<p>This topical collection pulls together resources on mummification in multiple cultures. Resources cover reasons for mummification, different methods, and what can be learned by studying mummies. Includes Smithsonian Channel videos, fact sheets, objects, a student-targeted webcast, and articles. Areas explored include Ancient Egypt, South America, and Europe.</p><p>Keywords: egyptian, archaeology</p>
Tess Porter
19
 

Letter Writing and Censorship in World War I

<p>This activity has students investigate experiences of servicemen in World War I through primary sources - censored U.S. Army mail postcards and envelopes.  Students will compare and contrast these primary sources to examine how censorship affected communication between servicemen and their loved ones, while building an understanding of how U.S. Army mail censorship was implemented and why it was necessary.  Using two Project Zero Visible Thinking routines, this activity is designed to spark further inquiry into World War I and the experiences of servicemen. The activity ends with an opportunity to learn more by examining a parody of the form postcard written by a British serviceman in his diary.</p> <p>Information on how to use this collection in the classroom can by found by clicking <em>Read More »</em>. </p> <p>This collection was created in conjunction with the National Postal Museum's "My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I" teacher workshop (July 19, 2017). It focuses on two of the many postcards from <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/my-fellow-soldiers-postcards-from-world-war-i/HPrCVWkR1wqjpK3k#r" target="_blank">this topical collection</a> to demonstrate its use in a secondary classroom. #NPMTeacherPrograms</p> <p>Keywords: WWI, WW1, the great war, army, military, soldiers, soldier, primary source, project zero, thinking routine</p>
Tess Porter
9