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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

 

Korean Art: Exploring Artistic Practices

<p>In this activity, students will explore the elements of art and principles of design used in celadon ceramics in order to understand the artistic practices and aesthetics of the Goryeo period (935-1392 CE), an era of great artistic and cultural achievement in Korea.  Many of the Goryeo celadons in the Freer|Sackler's collections originally adorned palaces, Buddhist temples, and private residences of the aristocracy.  Use this activity as an entry point into studying ceramics, Korean art, the Goryeo dynasty, and more.  Click the info button<em> </em>for ideas about how to prompt further inquiry using the Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine <em>"</em>Think / Puzzle / Explore" and resources on the elements of art and principles of design.</p> <p><a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/search?st=%23AsiaTeachers&st_op=and&item_type=collections" style="background-color:rgb(63,63,63);">#AsiaTeachers</a><br></p> <p>Keywords: clay, pottery, sculpture, vessel, cheongja</p>
Tess Porter
13
 

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
18
 

How Are Robots Changing Human Life?

<p>This collection explores the essential question: How are robots changing human life? Students will lead an inquiry into this question through a variety of resources - objects, videos, articles, and websites - examining the history of robotics from the 16th century to the present, the problems robot designers have attempted to address with their inventions, and how they try to address them. Supporting questions to scaffold students' inquiry include: What problems were these robots designed to address? Have these problems changed over time? Have strategies for addressing these problems changed over time?</p>
Tess Porter
22
 

Portrait Analysis: Long Tack Sam

<p>In this activity, students will analyze a poster of Long Tack Sam (1884-1961), an influential magician and acrobat who was once one of the most famous vaudevillian performers in the world. As a Chinese-American man competing against fake-Asian magicians in "yellow-face" who hoped to capitalize on Western ideas of "the mysterious orient," Long Tack Sam held a complicated and sometimes contradictory position.  He and his performance troupe wore elaborate embroidered costumes and used scenery depicting pagodas, but he also authored newspaper articles correcting Western misconceptions of China and refused roles in early Hollywood films that negatively stereotyped the Chinese as opium addicts, criminals, and laundry workers. Opportunities to learn more include <em>The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam</em> (2003), a documentary directed by his great-granddaughter.</p> <p>This activity can be used in studying Asian Pacific Americans in the early 1900s, Chinese-American experiences, and more. This activity opens with questions from the National Portrait Gallery's<em> "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators </em>and ends with a Project Zero Think / Puzzle / Explore routine; the full portraiture guide and routine instructions are located at the end of the collection.</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: magic, entertainer, entertainment, immigrant, 20th century</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
7
 

Understanding Ancient Civilizations through Artifacts

<p>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.</p>
Tess Porter
22
 

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
 

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
 

Object Analysis: Hawaiian Flag Quilt

<p>This student activity explores a "Hawaiian Flag" quilt, a type of decorative object that became popular in Hawaii after the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and the kingdom was annexed by the United States.  Symbols on this quilt, which include the Royal Coat of Arms, a quote from King Kamehameha III, and more, help reveal Hawaiian opinions about the state of their country during this tumultuous period in Hawaiian history.</p> <p>This collection can be used as an activity while studying the overthrowing of the Hawaiian monarchy, Hawaiian annexation, and United States foreign policy in the late 1800s.</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: Hawai'i, annexation, Lili'uokalani, Liliuokalani, 19th century, 1898</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Portrait Analysis: Duke Kahanamoku

<p>In this activity, students will analyze a stamp depicting Duke Kahanamoku to explore his significance in American history and culture. Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968) transformed the Polynesian pastime of surfing into a worldwide competitive sport.  He also won five Olympic medals in swimming, was an accomplished actor and businessman, and was re-elected sheriff of the city and county of Honolulu for thirteen consecutive terms.  Opportunities to learn more include a photograph of him with Amelia Earhart and her husband, a surfboard he carved, and a Google Doodle created for his 125th birthday.</p> <p>This activity can be used as an entry point into studying Duke Kahanamoku's life and achievements, Hawaiian history and culture, and more.  This activity opens with questions from the National Portrait Gallery's<em> "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators</em> and ends with a Project Zero Think / Puzzle / Explore routine; the full portraiture guide and routine instructions are located at the end of the collection.</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: surfer, pacific islander, athlete, hawaii, hawai'i</p> <p>#APA2018</p><p><em>#visiblethinking</em><br /></p>
Tess Porter
11
 

Ancient Egyptian Stelae: See Think Wonder

<p>Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "See Think Wonder," this activity explores multiple stelae, or funerary markers, from Ancient Egypt. Through analysis of these stelae, students will gain an understanding of: the different functions of stelae, their common characteristics, and how they fit into the larger picture of Ancient Egyptian funerary practice and afterlife beliefs.</p> <p>Keywords: stela, stele, steles, stelai, memorial, commemorative, inquiry strategy, archaeology</p> <p><em>#historicalthinking</em></p>
Tess Porter
5
 

Foreigners in Japan, 1860-1861

<p>Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?", students will examine Japanese artworks depicting Americans and other "westerners" in Japan to analyze Japanese views towards foreigners in the period after the signing of the Kanagawa Treaty (1854). The Kanagawa Treaty, the first treaty between the United States and Japan, ended a period of Japanese isolationism that had lasted for 220 years. Collection includes 21 woodblock prints from the years 1860-1861.</p> <p>Keywords: commodore perry, matthew perry, treaty of amity and commerce, townsend harris, national seclusion, sakoku, millard filmore, edo period, treaty of amity and peace, harris treaty, inquiry strategy, foreigner, global perspectives</p> <p><em>#historicalthinking</em></p>
Tess Porter
24
 

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