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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

 

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
 

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
 

Achelous and Hercules: What makes you say that?

<p>Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will examine the 1947 mural "Achelous and Hercules," by Thomas Hart Benton. This artwork explores the relationship between man and water in post-war agricultural America through the retelling of an Ancient Greek myth. Collection includes a video analysis by a museum director and an interactive exploring areas of interest in the artwork.</p> <p>Keywords: greece, agriculture, agricultural, missouri river, marshall plan, truman, cultural connections, midwest</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

The Bikini Atoll and Operation Crossroads: Unveiling Stories

<p>In this activity, students will analyze photographs documenting the exodus of Bikini islanders from Bikini Atoll prior to Operation Crossroads, a pair of nuclear weapons tests and the first detonations of nuclear devices since the bombing of Nagasaki. These photographs were taken by Carl Mydans and were published in the LIFE Magazine article, "Atomic Bomb Island," on March 25, 1946. </p> <p>Using two Project Zero Global Thinking Routines - "Unveiling Stories" and "The 3 Ys" - students will analyze the stories these photographs communicate about the experiences of the Bikini islanders and America's perspective on military advancement after WWII. They will also consider the perspectives presented by these photographs, in multiple contexts from the personal to the global. Additional resources (primary sources and the original article) and information on using this collection in the classroom can by found by clicking <em>Read More ».</em></p> <p>Keywords: atomic testing, atomic bomb, operation crossroads, bikini islands, bikini atoll, rongerik, able test, baker test, nuclear bomb, photojournalism, inquiry strategy, global competence, global competency, 1940s, 40s, 1950s, 50s, 1960s, 60s </p> <p><br /></p>
Tess Porter
17
 

Photographs of the Great Depression: Unveiling Stories

<p>This activity analyzes the stories told by photographs of the <strong></strong>Resettlement Administration (RA) and Farm Security Administration (FSA) programs, which ran from 1935 to 1937 and 1937 to 1942 respectively. These photographs were taken to document the conditions and hardships experienced by Americans across the country during the Great Depression, as well as the success of relief services implemented by these two programs. Published widely in newspapers, magazines, books, and exhibitions, these photographs helped shape the public's perception and memory of this difficult time period.</p> <p>Using two Project Zero Global Thinking Routines - "Unveiling Stories" and "The 3 Ys" - students will uncover the stories and perspectives portrayed by these photographs in multiple contexts, from the personal to the global. Additional resources (photographer interviews and an article) and information on how to use these routines in the classroom can by found by clicking <em>Read More »</em>.<br /></p> <p>RA &amp; FSA photographers included in this collection: Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, and Marion Post Wolcott.</p> <p>Keywords: poverty, rural, urban, roy stryker, new deal, inquiry strategy, global competence, global competency, 1930s, 30s, dust bowl, photojournalism</p><p><em>#historicalthinking</em></p>
Tess Porter
20
 

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
 

American Ingenuity, Innovation, and Enterprise: National Museum of American History Seminar Resources

<p>This collection previews the fifth and final seminar of the 2016 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series. Fellows will visit the National Museum of American History to explore the issues and topics surrounding the upcoming exhibition, "American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith." Harry Rubenstein, Curator and Chair of the Division of Political History, will lead the seminar.</p> <p>Included in this collection: bio of presenter, presentation description, and resources for attendees to explore before attending the session. The first two resources in this collection - the video "Bill Geist with curators Harry Rubenstein and Larry Bird on the campaign trail, 1996" and image "Where is Democracy" with attached quiz question - are required. The others are not, but will help fellows prepare for discussion the day of the seminar.</p><p>#MCteach<br /></p>
Tess Porter
7
 

American Ingenuity, Innovation, and Enterprise: National Air and Space Museum Seminar Resources

<p>This collection previews the fourth seminar of the 2016 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series. Fellows will visit the National Air and Space Museum to learn about the design and development of space suits, as well as current conservation challenges and strategies. Two National Air and Space Museum staff members will lead this seminar: Cathy Lewis, Curator of International Space Programs and Spacesuits, and Lisa Young, Objects Conservator.</p> <p>Included in this collection: presenter bios, presentation description, and resources for attendees to explore before attending the session. The first resource in the collection - "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Using X-radiographs of the National Air and Space Museum's Spacesuit Collection to Promote Preservation" - is required. The other resources are not required, but will help prepare for discussion the day of the seminar.</p><p>#MCteach<br /></p>
Tess Porter
17
 

American Ingenuity, Innovation, and Enterprise: National Portrait Gallery Seminar Resources

<p>This collection previews the third seminar of the 2016 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series. Fellows will visit the National Portrait Gallery, explore the exhibitions, and learn strategies for examining portraiture in the classroom. Two National Portrait Gallery staff members will lead this seminar: David C. Ward, Senior Historian, and Briana Zavadil White, Student and Teacher Program Manager.</p> <p>Included in this collection: presenter bios, presentation description, and resources chosen by the presenters for attendees to explore before attending the session. Fellows will be asked to discuss their answer to the quiz question during the seminar. Other resources are not required, but will help fellows prepare for discussion the day of the seminar.</p><p>#MCteach<br /></p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Compare and Contrast: Personal Perspectives in Portraiture

<p>In this activity, students will explore how portraits reflect both the personality of the subject and the artist's personal view of the subject. They will examine two portraits - both painted by James McNeill Whistler of his patron (and eventually ex-patron) Frederick Richards Leyland. Using looking strategies, students will compare and contrast the artist's perspective of his subject before connecting the portraits to music as a final activity.</p><p>Big Idea: How do portraits reflect both the personality of the subject and the artist’s view of their subject? How can visual art and music communicate similar messages?</p> <p>This collection was created for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Arts Professional Development Day. It was created in collaboration with the <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/profile/freersackler_education">Education Department at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery</a>.</p> <p>Keywords: Peacock Room</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Multiple Perspectives: Artwork of the Great Depression

<p>In this activity, students will explore what life was like during the Great Depression through the perspectives of multiple artworks. After using looking strategies to examine six paintings, students will write a short essay comparing and contrasting these artworks while considering what art can reveal about life in particular time periods.</p><p>Big Ideas: </p><p></p><ul><li>How did perspectives regarding life during the Great Depression differ during that historical period</li><li>How can you see these differing perspectives through artwork created during the historical period?</li></ul><p></p> <p>Keywords: Public Works of Art Project, Federal Arts Project, Works Progress Administration, New Deal</p>
Tess Porter
7
 

Investigating Civil War Uniforms

<p>This topical collection includes resources related to Civil War uniforms.  Investigating these Union and Confederate uniforms - through types, differences, and similarities - helps to understand the different human resources of the Union and Confederacy, as well as the experience of individuals who fought in the Civil War. </p> <p>Collection contains two lesson plans (both of which can be adapted using resources in this collection), articles of clothing worn by Union and Confederate soldiers, lithographs, photographs, articles, a website, and a symposium.</p> <p>Keyword: Zouave</p>
Tess Porter
58