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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

 

Esperanza Spalding: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Esperanza Spalding, a Grammy-winning jazz bassist and singer. 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 a video of artist Bo Gehring speaking about his portrait of Spalding and a Smithsonian Magazine article about her curation of an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.</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 she wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.</li><li>Having read listened to her music, does the portrait capture your image of Esperanza Spalding? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of Esperanza Spalding, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?</li></ul><p>Keywords: musician, oregon, American, #BecauseOfHerStory, #SmithsonianMusic</p>
Tess Porter
7
 

Eudora Welty: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides a portrait and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Eudora Welty, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author known for her evocative novels and short stories set in the American South. 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 a video and blog post that look closely at this portrait, as well as a related article about Mississippi's new writers trail that may be used as a lesson extension.</p> <p>Consider:</p> <ul><li>How is this portrait both fact and fiction?</li><li>How does this portrait reflect how Eudora Welty wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose this portrait was created.</li><li>Having read one of her stories, does the portrait capture your image of Eudora Welty? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of Eudora Welty, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?<em></em></li></ul><p>Keywords: mississippi, ms, story, optimist's daughter, writer, #BecauseOfHerStory</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Exploring Complexity: Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way

<p>In this activity, students will analyze an artwork that celebrates the idea of Manifest Destiny and western expansion - Emanuel Leutze's 1861 mural study for <em>Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way</em>, the final version of which rests in the U.S. Capitol Building.  Through the use of two Project Zero Thinking routines - <em>What makes you say that?</em>, a Visible Thinking routine for interpretation and justification; and <em>Parts, Purposes, Complexities</em>, an Agency by Design routine for looking closely - students will consider what message this painting conveys, how choices made by the artist convey that message, as well as what perspectives are portrayed and what perspectives are missing.  After looking critically, students will watch a video and learn from senior curator Richard Murray how to read this painting and what messages/images they may have missed.</p> <p>This activity can be used as an entry point or supplement in studying westward expansion, the idea of Manifest Destiny, how public perspectives are shaped, and more.  Resources to extend this activity include: a website about the final mural located in the U.S. Capitol Building and a Smithsonian American Art Museum lesson plan about both the mural study and the final mural.</p> <p><em>Keywords: Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, manifest destiny, westward expansion</em></p>
Tess Porter
7
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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 <em>Read More </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&amp;st_op=and&amp;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
 

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