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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

 

Flashcard Activity: Asian Pacific American Resources

<p>This collection contains a diverse set of resources related to Asian Pacific Americans that may be used as an introductory activity to spark classroom discussion and prompt students to conduct research about how Asian Pacific American history is American history.  For discussion questions and activity implementation ideas, click "Read More."  A file to print these resources as flashcards is located at the end of the collection; please see the resource's Information (i) tab for printing instructions.</p> <p>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></p> <p>Keywords: printable, flash card, think puzzle explore, project zero visible thinking routine, apa</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
48
 

Flashcard Activity: Tools and Innovation

<p>This collection traces innovation in various types of tools over time.  Approach in small groups or as a classroom to have students explore the essential questions: What makes something innovative?  How do you define innovation? </p> <p>Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button.  This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/flashcard-activity-tools-and-innovation/R998xYb5Lbjw4bHE#r/860422">the resource tile</a> at the end of this collection). <br></p> <p>Keywords: invention, flash cards, conceptual understanding</p>
Tess Porter
37
 

Homo floresiensis: Teaching Resources

<p>This topical collection gathers resources related to Homo floresiensis, commonly known as the Flores “Hobbit." H. floresiensis, was discovered in 2003, making it the second most recently discovered early human species. Contains a video, websites, a 3D interactive tour, and articles.</p><p>Keywords: physical anthropology</p>
Tess Porter
7
 

African American Artists and Ancient Greek Myth: Teacher's Guide

<p>This teacher's guide explores how myths transcend time and place through three modern paintings by African American artists who reinterpret Ancient Greek myth to comment on the human experience. Collection includes three paintings and a lesson plan published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which includes background information on myths and artists, as well as activity ideas. Also includes a video about the artist Romare Bearden and his series 'Black Odyssey.' The video details his artistic process, the significance of storytelling in his art, and the lasting importance of 'Black Odyssey.'</p> <p><strong>Objectives:</strong></p> <ol><li>Demonstrate that myths transcend time and place</li><li>Recognize the use of classical myth in contemporary art</li><li>Discuss myth as commentary on human experience</li></ol> <p>Keywords: greece, alma thomas, bob thompson,</p>
Tess Porter
5
 

Lalibela, Ethiopia: Teaching Resources

<p>This topical collection gathers teaching resources on Lalibela, a UNESCO site in Ethiopia famous for its rock-hewn churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries CE. Christianity was established early in Ethiopia, and orthodox Christianity became the official religion of the Axumite Kingdom in the 4th century CE. Includes a video, a website, objects, and a contemporary painting from the National Museum of African Art.</p> <p>Keywords: ethiopian, africa, african, christian</p>
Tess Porter
11
 

Symbolism, Story, and Art: Achelous & Hercules

<p>A teacher's guide to the 1947 mural "Achelous and Hercules," by Thomas Hart Benton, which retells an Ancient Greek myth in the context of the American Midwest. Includes the painting, a pdf of the myth "Achelous and Hercules," a website, and video discussions by curators and educators. The website includes an interactive exploring areas of interest on the piece, as well as lesson and activity ideas for the classroom.</p> <p>Lesson & Activity Pathways: how to analyze symbol and meaning in art and writing, Ancient Greek myth, creative writing, and creating art.</p> <p>Keywords: greece, post-war, painting, agriculture, marshall plan, truman, missouri river</p>
Tess Porter
5
 

Civil Rights Sculpture: Claim Support Question

<p>Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "Claim Support Question," a routine for clarifying truth claims, students will examine a portrait of Rosa Parks, a prominent civil rights activist whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger prompted the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott. After discussing the portrait with their peers, students will learn more about the arrest this sculpture depicts by reading the original police report, with notes by a Smithsonian curator.</p> <p>Created for the 2016 National Portrait Gallery Summer Teacher Institute.</p> <p>Keywords: african-american, black, civil rights movement, female, woman, women, segregation, NAACP, justice, arrest, #BecauseOfHerStory</p>
Tess Porter
3
 

Investigating: Civil War Portraits

<p>In this student activity, students will investigate nine portraits of people involved in the Civil War, both from the Union and the Confederacy. Through these portraits, students will gain an understanding of: experiences of people on both sides of the war; why these people are seen as historically significant; and how portraiture can communicate how a person wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen. Included with each portrait is a video that explains the historical significance of the person depicted.  Activity extension ideas can be found by clicking "Read More."</p> <p>Big Ideas: </p> <ul><li>Why are these people, and the developments they shaped, seen as historically significant? </li><li>How does portraiture communicate how a person wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen?</li></ul><p>Keywords: thomas stonewall jackson, william tecumseh sherman, john pelham, elmer e ellsworth, george armstrong custer, jefferson davis, abraham lincoln, clara barton</p>
Tess Porter
10
 

Key Moments in WWII: What makes you say that?

<p>Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will investigate two photographs, taken from different angles, of Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu aboard the USS Missouri as they signed the surrender that would officially end WWII.</p> <p>Keywords: world war 2, world war ii, general macarthur, carl mydans, primary source, ww2, japanese instrument of surrender, potsdam declaration, inquiry strategy, japan</p> <p><em>#visiblethinking</em><br></p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Dong Kingman

<p>This collection focuses on Dong Kingman (1911-2000), an American watercolorist best known for his urban and landscape paintings, magazine covers, and scenery work for multiple films. Dong Kingman was born in Oakland, California, to Chinese immigrants and moved to Hong Kong when he was a child. There, he studied both Asian and European painting techniques before returning to the United States during the Great Depression. Artwork in this collection includes works created for the Works Progress Administration, the NASA Art Program, and Time magazine. Also included is a short documentary, directed by two-time Academy Award winner James Wong Howe, and Dong Kingman's obituary from the New York Times.</p> <p>This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. <br /></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: chinese american, china<br /></p> <p>#APA2018<br /></p>
Tess Porter
21
 

Hawaiian Monarchs

<p>This topical collection includes resources related to the eight monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  In order of succession, the monarchs are: Kamehameha I (r. 1810 - 1819); Kamehameha II (r. 1819 - 1824); Kamehameha III (r. 1825 -  1854); Kamehameha IV (r. 1855 - 1863); Kamehameha V (r. 1863 - 1872); Lunalilo (r. 1873 - 1874); Kalākaua (r. 1874 - 1891); and Liliʻuokalani (r. 1891 - 1893).  </p> <p>The Kingdom of Hawaii was established as a constitutional monarchy in 1810 by King Kamehameha I.  In 1893, a coup led by American businessmen driven by sugar and pineapple business interests in the Hawaiian islands overthrew Queen Lili'uokalani.  Despite native protests and Lili'uokalani's efforts to reclaim the throne, the United States annexed Hawaii as a territory in 1898.  Hawaii became an American state in 1959.</p> <p>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></p> <p>Keywords: Kamamalu, Emma, Kapi'olani, Kapiolani, Kalakaua, Liliuokalani, Hawaiian, royals, royalty</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
37
 

Suffrage Pin: Object Analysis

<p>Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "See Think Wonder," this activity explores the struggle of suffragists during the American suffrage movement through deep analysis of one object - a pin, worn by suffragist Alice Paul, in the shape of a jail door with a heart-shaped lock. Pins such as these were given in a ceremony to suffragists who were imprisoned as a result of the 1917 pickets. Includes the pin, an article discussing the history behind the pin, and multiple photographs suffragist picketers.</p> <p>Keywords: women's rights, suffrage, suffragette, protest, reform, civil rights, equal rights, alice paul, jailed for freedom, pin, national women's party, nwp, voting, vote</p>
Tess Porter
6