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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 Ceramics: Looking at Decorative Processes

<p>In this activity, students will examine Korean ceramics and use visual evidence to speculate about the processes used to create them, paying special attention to decorative techniques.  Questions from the Project Zero Artful Thinking Routine "Colors / Shapes / Lines," help students make detailed observations by drawing their attention to the forms in an artwork and giving them specific categories of things to look for.  Use this activity as an entry point into studying ceramics or Korean art, or to student creation of artwork.</p> <p><a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/search?st=%23AsiaTeachers&amp;st_op=and&amp;item_type=collections">#AsiaTeachers</a> </p> <p>Keywords: pottery, observation, inlay, stamping, types, celadon, goryeo, clay, ceramic<br /></p>
Tess Porter
8
 

Korean Buddhist Painting: Looking Closely

<p>In this activity, students will use visual evidence to explore and study an exceptionally rare Buddhist painting from the Goryeo period (935-1392 CE), an era of great artistic and cultural achievement in Korea.  This painting depicts Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion, and scholars believe images like this were created to aid private meditation.  Use this activity can as an entry point into studying Buddhism in Korea, Korea during the Goryeo period, and more. </p> <p><a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/search?st=%23AsiaTeachers&amp;st_op=and&amp;item_type=collections">#AsiaTeachers</a></p> <p>Keywords: water moon avalokiteshvara, avalokitesvara, religion, buddha, </p>
Tess Porter
4
 

Korean Burial Practices in the Goryeo Period

<p>In this activity, students will explore personal objects found in stone caskets from the Goryeo period (935-1392 CE), an era of great artistic and cultural achievement in Korea.  After looking closely at the types of objects found, students will consider why these particular objects may have been chosen to memorialize the deceased, what this may reveal about those who lived during the Goryeo period, and similarities and differences in how objects are used in the burial practices of other cultures.  Use this activity as an entry point into studying Korea during the Goryeo period, cross-cultural and cross-historical funerary practices, and more.</p> <p><a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/search?st=%23AsiaTeachers&amp;st_op=and&amp;item_type=collections">#AsiaTeachers</a></p> <p>Keywords: archaeology, archaeologist, tomb, funeral, death</p>
Tess Porter
16
 

Langston Hughes: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Langston Hughes, an American poet, novelist, playwright, and activist. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "<em>Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, </em>both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  Also includes "The Music in Poetry" lesson plan and website, which connect the rhythm of blues stanzas to Langson Hughes' poetry and may be used as a lesson extension.</p> <p>Consider:</p> <ul><li>What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?</li><li>How are these portraits both fact and fiction?</li><li>How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.</li><li>Having read one of his poems, does the portrait capture your image of Langston Hughes? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of Langston Hughes, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?</li></ul><p>Keywords: missouri, mo, poetry, jazz, blues</p>
Tess Porter
10
 

William Faulkner: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of William Faulkner, an American author and Nobel Prize laureate. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "<em>Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, </em>both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  </p> <p>Consider:</p> <ul><li>What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?</li><li>How are these portraits both fact and fiction?</li><li>How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as the caricature, stamp, etc.).</li><li>Having read one of his stories, does the portrait capture your image of William Faulkner? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of William Faulkner, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?</li></ul><p>Keywords: mississippi, ms, the sound and the fury, writer</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Richard Wright: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Richard Wright, an American author whose works investigate the toll that racial prejudice exerted on society. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "<em>Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, </em>both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  </p> <p>Consider:</p> <ul><li>What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?</li><li>How are these portraits both fact and fiction?</li><li>How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as the stamp, etc.).</li><li>Having read one of his stories, does the portrait capture your image of Richard Wright? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of Richard Wright, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?</li></ul><p>Keywords: mississippi, ms, writer, native son</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Minnesota: Investigating a Place

<p>This teacher's guide uses stamps, photographs, paintings, objects, videos, and music to explore the history and culture of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes. In the classroom, these resources can be used by students to investigate two essential questions: How do you define Minnesota as a place? What does it mean to be a Minnesotan? </p><p>Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button.<br /></p>
Tess Porter
54
 

New Orleans & Place

<p>Includes iconic people, places, and things associated with New Orleans. In the classroom, these resources can be used by students to investigate two essential questions: How do you define New Orleans as a place? What does it mean to be a New Orleanian? </p><p>Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button.</p><p>Keywords: louisiana</p>
Tess Porter
28
 

Inka Architecture: Teaching Resources

<p>This topical collection gathers teaching resources on Inka architecture, focusing on building methods and architectural symbolism in Cusco, capital of the Inka Empire. These resources explore the symbolic layout of Cusco as well as the architecture of five specific structures: Saqsaywaman (upper temple of the sun), Hatunrumiyoc (a wall, once part of the palace of Inka Roca), the Qorichanka (lower temple of the sun), and the Double Jamb Doorway (a sacred entryway). Includes video interviews with archaeologists, interactive 3D models, and the exhibition website for "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire." Resources also explore the continuing importance of these structures in Cusco today, both in terms of environmental stability and continuing cultures.</p> <p>Keywords: inkan, inca, incan, archaeologist, stonework, continuing legacy, peru, symbol, religion, ancient civilization, world history, culture, cuzco, andes, saksaywaman, qurikancha, archaeology, pre-columbian, latin america, south america, ruins</p>
Tess Porter
23
 

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
 

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
 

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