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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

 

Japanese American Incarceration: Images of Camp Life

<p>This topical collection includes photographs and inmate-created artwork of life in Japanese American Incarceration camps.  It 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/yqzp7FXFJtCqPsik">Japanese Incarceration: Publications, Letters, and Other Documents</a>, <a href="http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/D1atcYAXArxq55uY">Japanese American Incarceration: Camp Objects</a>, and <a href="http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/219EPFjW3g1MKqND">Japanese American Incarceration: Articles and Videos about Inmate Experiences</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  This order was not rescinded until 1945.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; for example, how these images may reveal experiences of children and teenagers growing up in the camps. 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, Akio Ujihara, Yosh Kuromiya, world war ii, ww2, wwii, Jerome, Arkansas, Heart Mountain, Wyoming, Rohwer, Manzanar, California, Gila River, Arizona, Amache, Colorado, Tule Lake, Topaz, Utah, Minidoka, Idaho </p> <p>#APA2018 </p>
Tess Porter
54
 

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
 

Shoes: Exploring Culture, History, Place, and Innovation

<p>Teacher's guide for using shoes to explore culture, history, place, and innovation. Includes images of thirty shoes and three different strategies, located at the end of the collection, for using these objects in the classroom. </p> <p>Strategies include: a small-group object analysis activity; a poster, "If You Walked in My Shoes," introducing students to basic primary source analysis questions through six pairs of shoes; and a vocabulary exercise for ESL learners.</p>
Tess Porter
33
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
23
 

Reading Companion: Robots

This collection is a reading companion to two articles - "Robot Zoo" [Ask; Nov 2011] and "Me, Myself, and My Android Twin" [Muse; Nov 2012]. Students are asked to investigate these articles, alongside other objects, videos, and articles, to examine what issues robot designers are attempting to address with their inventions, and how they are trying to address them. At the end of the activity, students will be asked to write a paragraph or more explaining which inventions they think are the most important and why, citing resources in this collection as evidence.
Tess Porter
22
 

Reading Companion: Hot-Air Balloons and the Civil War

In this collection, students will explore the Union Army's use of hot-air balloons during the Civil War. Two articles - "Professor Lowe's Adventure" [Cobblestone; Nov/Dec 2015] and "Civil War Air Force" [Cricket; Oct 2015] - serve as an introduction to Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, an aeronaut, and his influence in the creation of the US's first air force. Additional resources, such as photographs of the balloons, letters written from the Secretary of the Smithsonian to Lowe prior to his involvement in the Union Army, the remnants of a Confederate balloon, and more, help situate these articles into a larger, historical context. Suggestions for use located in "Notes to Other Users." Uses the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "Think Puzzle Explore." This routine sets the stage for deeper inquiry.
Tess Porter
19