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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

 

Social Justice: National Museum of the American Indian Resources

<p>This collection previews the second seminar of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, <em>The Native American Struggle for Treaty Rights and Tribal Sovereignty.</em> Three National Museum of the American Indian staff members will lead this event: Mark Hirsch, David Penney, and Colleen Call Smith.</p> <p>Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.</p> <p>#MCteach</p>
Tess Porter
7
 

Social Justice: National Portrait Gallery Resources

<p>This collection previews the fifth and final seminar of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, <em>The Struggle for Justice</em>. Two National Portrait Gallery staff members will lead this event: David Ward and Briana Zavadil White.</p> <p>Resources and questions included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore and consider before the seminar itself. </p> <p>#MCteach</p>
Tess Porter
24
 

Social Justice: Opening Panel Resources

<p>This collection previews the opening panel of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, <em>Social Justice: America's Unfinished Story of Struggle, Strife, and Sacrifice</em>. Four Smithsonian staff members will speak at this event: Igor Krupnik (Arctic Studies Center, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History), Lanae Spruce (National Museum of African American History and Culture), Ranald Woodaman (Smithsonian Latino Center), and E. Carmen Ramos (Smithsonian American Art Museum).</p> <p>Each text annotation in this collection contains each speaker's presentation title, description, and bio. Following each text annotation are resources and questions chosen by the presenters for participants to consider before the panel itself.</p> <p>#MCteach<br /></p>
Tess Porter
17
 

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
 

The Classical Origin of Iconic American Symbols

<p>In this student activity, analyze how and why iconic symbols of America, such as the Capitol Building and the United States Seal, were inspired by Greek and Roman art and architecture.  </p> <p>Explores the big ideas:</p> <p></p> <ul><li>How were symbols of America influenced by those of Ancient Greece and Rome? </li><li>What might this desire to associate America with historic, successful democracies say about early American hopes for their new nation?</li></ul><p></p> <p>Includes: architecture, a seal, portraiture, a video, a primary source letter, discussion questions, and an opportunity to learn more through the full digitized text of "The Ruins of Palmyra," a publication that heavily inspired early American neoclassical architecture.</p> <p>Keywords: greece, symbolism, classic, classical</p>
Tess Porter
12
 

The Red Scare

<p>This collection features resources (photographs, portraits, documents, articles, and videos) about the Second Red Scare (1947-57), a period of anti-communist fear, also known as "McCarthyism," that spread through American life at the beginning of the Cold War.  Resources include key people, such as Joseph McCarthy, Edward R. Murrow, Alger Hiss, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, letters documenting a university's requirement that faculty affirm they were not members of the Communist Party, individuals targeted by House Un-American Activities Committee, and more.</p> <p>This collection provides a launching point for further research and should not be considered comprehensive.</p> <p>Keywords: communism, anti-communism, anticommunism, HUAC, HCUA, hollywood blacklist, ray cohn </p>
Tess Porter
45
 

What Makes You Say That?: Civil War Photograph

<p>Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will investigate a photograph from the Civil War taken by the studio of Mathew Brady, one of the most prominent American photographers of the 19th century.  The Civil War was the first major war captured on camera and photographs, like this one, played a pivotal role in shaping public perceptions of the conflict.</p> <p>This activity can be used as an entry point into studying soldiers' experiences during the Civil War, photography's effect on public perspectives about war, and more.  Resources to extend this activity include: a Smithsonian American Art Museum lesson plan investigating this and other photographs from the Civil War, a blog post discussing connections between Civil War photography and President Abraham Lincoln, a Smithsonian Magazine article about Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner, a Learning Lab collection on Alexander Gardner's <em>Photographic Sketchbook of the War, </em>and an article discussing the National Portrait Gallery's recent exhibition <em>The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now</em>.</p> <p><em>Keywords: photo, battlefield, inquiry strategy</em></p>
Tess Porter
8
 

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
 

Woody Guthrie: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Woody Guthrie, one of the most important folk composers in American history. 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 multiple music recordings, a Smithsonian Magazine article about his legacy, and a podcast episode about his music and relationship with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.</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 he wanted to be seen, or how others wanted him to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.</li><li>Having listened to his music, does the portrait capture your image of Woody Guthrie? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of Guthrie, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?</li></ul><p>Keywords: singer, musician, songwriter, oklahoma, protest, #SmithsonianMusic</p>
Tess Porter
12