Found 321 Learning Lab Collections
This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Bessie Smith, the "Empress of the Blues" and one of the most influential blues singers in history. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture. Also includes a video clip of Bessie Smith performing "St. Louis Blues" in 1929 and a post from the National Museum of African American History and Culture discussing her and other LGBTQ African Americans of the Harlem Renaissance.
- What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
- How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
- 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.
- Having listened her music, does the portrait capture your image of Bessie Smith? Why, or why not?
- If you were creating your own portrait of Bessie Smith, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?
Keywords: singer, musician, 20s, 30s, American, Tennessee, #BecauseOfHerStory
On February 12, 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. President Obama's portrait was created by artist Kehinde Wiley, who is known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans posing as famous figures from the history of Western art. This portrait does not include an underlying art historical reference, but some of the flowers in the background carry special meaning for Obama. Mrs. Obama's portrait was created by artist Amy Sherald, who considers the former first lady to be someone “women can relate to—no matter what shape, size, race, or color. . . . We see our best selves in her.”
This collection includes the two portraits, in high resolution, so that learners can zoom in and out to carefully observe details. It also includes videos and articles about the portraits and their official unveilings. Additional supports include other works by the two artists and strategies for reading portraits. Portraits of the two sitters and other presidential portraits can be used for compare and contrast activities.
This collection can be used as a pre- and post-resource to support the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, Exploring Fossil Ammonoids with Paleobiologist Lucy Chang. During the 30-minute program, your students will have an opportunity to interact with the scientist through live Q&A and polls.
This collection contains objects from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Many of the specimens in this collection are fossil ammonoids, but other mollusks are included for comparison. Also included in the collection is a companion worksheet for students (with teacher key) to express their newly gained knowledge about ammonoids.
Ammonoids are an extinct group of marine mollusks that belong to the subclass Ammnoidea and the class Cephalopoda. A popular and well-known subgroup of ammonoids are ammonites. The closest living relatives of ammonoids are also cephalopods like squids, octopods, and cuttlefish, while the modern nautilus is more distantly related.
Ammonoids had shells made of calcium carbonate just like today’s snails, clams, oysters, and other shelled mollusks. Ammonoid shells varied in shape and size. Some ammonoids had tightly coiled shells (planispiral), while others had uncoiled, irregularly shaped shells (heteromorphs). Regardless of shape or size, the shell provided the ammonoid with protection and possibly camouflage.
Ammonoid shells had interior walls (septa) that created chambers inside of the shell. These chambers were connected by a narrow tube structure called a siphuncle. The ammonoid could use the siphuncle to control the amount of gas and fluid in each chamber, giving it the ability to achieve neutral buoyancy and move about in the marine environment.
Although ammonoid shells are abundant in the fossil record, there is an extremely poor record of their soft parts being preserved or fossilized. Based off of their relationships to mollusks alive today, ammonoids likely had bodies that were soft. The animal would have lived exclusively in the last chamber of its shell with numerous arms extending in a ring around its mouth, eating plankton and detritus, dead or decaying matter. Scientists study the shapes and patterns of ammonoid shells and related species, fossil and modern, to learn about the extinct animal.
Ammonoids lived around the globe and were present on earth for a very long time, about 350 million years. The entire group went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, about 66 million years ago, along with the dinosaurs.
The abundance of ammonoids in the fossil record and their long history on earth make them good fossils to study. Geologists use ammonoid fossils as guide or index fossils, helping to date the rock layers from which the fossils were found. Paleobiologists can use fossil ammonoids to learn about patterns of extinction and glean information about the group's evolutionary history.
People, Place and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Caja De Memoria Viva II: Constancia Colón de Clemente by Adrián Román (
In this collection, designed for a Spanish-speaking classroom, students will explore how art reflects culture when analyzing “Caja De Memoria Viva II: Constancia Colón de Clemente” by Adrian “Viajero” Román. In this three-dimensional multimedia installation, the artist portrays a black Puerto Rican woman who migrated to the United States in the 1940s. This portrait allows the artist (in his own words) “ to embark on a quest to visually represent how precious our memories are and capture the dignity in the people’s struggle and validate their existence.” The collection includes a teacher's guide in English and suggested authentic resources both in Spanish and English to be adapted by teachers of multiple disciplines.
Students will observe and analyze this three dimensional work of art and they will describe both its exterior and interior. Students will create their own box to reflect their heritage and personal story or that of a Hispanic figure.
This collection is one of three that explore “People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture.” Products, practices and perspectives displayed in Latinx art, show how our place and history (past) influence who we are (present) and who we want to be (future) in geographical, social, economic, and/or historical contexts. In the three collections, Latin American works of art illustrate how culture shapes the way we see the world, others, and ourselves, and they also raise awareness about Latinx diversity.
The three collections were created by Marcela Velikovsky (Bullis School) and Vicky Masson (Christ Episcopal School) as part of the 2018 Smithsonian Virtual Teacher Curricula Creation Opportunity with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA), and thanks to the Smithsonian Latino Center's Latino Initiative Pool Funds. The three collections highlight Latino history, art and culture,and use Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines and Global Thinking Routines strategies.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab collections provide an opportunity to invigorate the World Language (Foreign Language) curriculum as it allows to effectively integrate online museum resources (authentic resources) towards a 21st century curriculum. They facilitate student-centered activities within a variety of themes such as, family and communities, personal and public identities, social values and customs, holidays and celebrations, immigration, ethnic groups, Hispanic Heritage, image and stereotypes, inequality and discrimination, global issues, religious practices, etc. They also provide the opportunity to analyze art, read portraiture, and investigate art media.
These collections also consider ACTFL standards (Communication, Connections, Comparisons, Communities and Culture), Asia Society Global Competence skills, the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals), Teaching Tolerance Social Justice standards, the Framework for Developing Global and Cultural Competencies to Advance Equity, Excellence and Economic competitiveness, and Participate Global Competencies.
# National Portrait Gallery #The Outwin # Adrián “Viajero” Román # Caja de Memoria Viva II # Spanish # Puerto Rico # New York # Empathy # Inequality # Critical thinking # Curiosity # Heritage # Stories #LatinoHAC
While they may be little, young children are capable of deep thinking, perspective taking, sharing ideas and taking action; all skills necessary to be an active participant in society. Not only should young children be included and respected as citizens of both the local and global community, fostering these skills encourages the next generation to be invested in the betterment of society. Art is an effective and engaging catalyst to build these civic skills with young children. In this collection, educators from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center and the Quaker Valley School District share their use of artwork and thinking routines in their practice with young children. Through hearing stories, seeing examples, and engaging in model lessons, participants will experience relevant thinking routines, have opportunities to reflect on techniques presented and work cooperatively with peers as they create lessons inspired by provided artworks modeled techniques. Participants will leave the session feeling inspired and confident to incorporate art into their practice to build civic skills using demonstrated techniques.
National Museum of American History colleagues Steve Velasquez and Lauren Safranek will discuss the making of the exhibition, "Many Voices, One Nation," and its accompanying educational website, "Becoming US." Together the exhibition and educational website aim to explore not only how the many voices of people in America have shaped our nation, but also to guide high school teachers and students in learning immigration and migration history in a more accurate and inclusive way.
Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.
In this collection, beautiful celadon ceramic pieces are used to help students explore the art of Celadon. While learning more about the ceramics students will also
explore the following things: kingdoms, personal objects of value, burial practices, cultural similarities and differences, religious and ceremonial pieces, political influence, kings and noble men, dynasties, artistry, skilled craftsmanship, treasures, geography and the continent of Asia.
This collection is not comprehensive but hopefully will serve as a starting point to encourage students to research and study more about some aspect of Asian-related ceramics, arts, geography, history, cultures, customs or trade . Hopefully it will encourage interest and value in field trips to Museums such as the Smithsonian Freer Gallery, as well as short-term /long-term study abroad trips to Asian countries.
This collection is designed to help educators bridge the classroom experience to a museum visit. It is intended to demonstrate various ways to use the Learning Lab and its tools, while offering specific, replicable, pre-engagement activities that can simply be copied to a new collection and used to help students engage with museum resources.
- Section 1: a set of flashcards, a template document so that teachers can create and print their own specific sets, and strategies for their use in their classrooms.
- Section 2: a variety of student activities and resources to explore artist Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq," a metaphorical representation of the unrest taking place in Iraq, and more broadly, an exploration of the human condition during times of crisis. This section includes an image of the work from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an explanatory video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, two Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero Visible Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and an array of prompts and Learning Lab tools to help students think critically and globally.
- Section 3: a short assignment to get participants started using the Learning Lab.
- Section 4: spacer tile template to serve as chapter headings in longer collections.
This collection is adapted from a teaching collection on the same theme (Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq" ( http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll...), that includes extension activities. It was created for the 2019 cohort of the Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program on the theme, "The Search for American Identity: Building a Nation Together," - the subject of the Montgomery College - Smithsonian 2019 Fellowship program.
National Museum of American Indian colleagues Paul Chaat Smith, Cecile R. Ganteaume, Colleen Call Smith, and Mandy Van Heuvelen will provide a behind the scenes look at the most daring exhibition the National Museum of the American Indian has ever staged. The exhibition argues that Native American imagery is everywhere in American life, and rather than being merely kitsch, stereotype, and cultural appropriation, it is evidence of the centrality of Indians in both history and 21st century life in the United States.
Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.
This collection includes a variety of resources on the theme, "We the People," a template document for teachers to create their own flashcard activity with Learning Lab images, and strategies to use them.
This collection was created for the 2018 cohort of the Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program on the theme, "We the People: America's Grand and Radical Experiment with Democracy." But anyone can use it.
Strategies: Begin by selecting your own set of images. (Feel free to copy this collection and then adapt as you like.) When creating your flashcards, use the template from the last learning tile, and add relevant text diagonally below the object. Print double-sided flipping on the SHORT side.
After distributing the cards, have students select one or two that speak to them. Then have them discuss the following questions in groups and share out.
What themes do you see?
Do you see these themes across the objects and over time?
Using these images, define American Democracy.
What other resources might you use to tell a fuller story?
This collection serves as a preview for the first seminar session of the 2018 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “We the People: America’s Grand and Radical Experiment with Democracy.”
National Portrait Gallery curator Asma Naeem and educator Briana Zavadil White will present an engaging and interactive examination of the democratization of portraiture in the United States, and model close looking techniques that Fellows can use with their students. Included within are a presentation description, participant bios, a "reading portraiture" guide, and images and articles for participants to consider in advance of the session.
Christopher Columbus, Yarrow Mamout, Charles Mingus, Lena Horne, Leonard Roy Harmon, Bill Viola
This collection serves as an introduction to the opening panel of the 2018 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “We the People: America’s Grand and Radical Experiment with Democracy.” The title for the opening panel is "The Smithsonian Institution: “A Community of Learning and the Opener of Doors.”
Four Smithsonian staff members will present, including Richard Kurin (SI Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large, Office of the Secretary), Jessica Johnson (Digital Engagement Producer, National Museum of African American History and Culture), Lisa Sasaki (Director, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center), and Chris Wilson (Director, Program in African American Culture, National Museum of American History). Their bios, presentation descriptions, and other resources are included here.
This collection supports the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, Exploring the Amazing World of Lichens featuring Dr. Manuela Dal Forno, scheduled for March 28, 2019. Manu is a scientist at the Smithsonian who studies lichens, a lichenologist. She collects lichens from all over the world, depositing them into the U.S. National Herbarium, which is located at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Manu identifies the lichens she collects with observations of how the lichen looks, their DNA data and where they were found.
Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungus. They have been on earth for millions of years, living on rocks, trees, and soil in all different habitats on all seven continents. Even though lichens are all around us, scientists are still learning about what they are, where they live, and how many different species of lichens there are.
Fungus is any group of spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, and include molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools. Algae is a simple, non-flowering plant. Algae contain chlorophyll and produce sugar through photosynthesis, like other plants, but do not have true stems, roots, leaves, or vascular tissue like most other plants. Lichenization is a fungal lifestyle, and therefore the name of lichen is the name of the fungus component.
When you look at a lichen, what you’re looking at is the “house” that the fungus and algae grow together. Scientists call this house a “thallus.” When algae and fungus come together to form this house, we see a lichen. This partnership is called a symbiotic relationship, because it helps both the fungus and algae survive. Research has shown that lichens are not a natural biological group, meaning they do not all come from a single common ancestor, in other words, lichens have many origins. Currently there are almost 20,000 species of lichenized fungi known.
In this symbiotic relationship, the fungus and algae benefit from being associated with each other. The fungus provides the house, its shelter (the thallus). This shelter helps the algae survive in habitats where it would otherwise be exposed to the elements and possibly could not survive. The algae provide food for the fungus, in the form of sugar. The sugar is a byproduct of photosynthesis that occurs within the algae.
Lichens are very important for the environment. They are an important food source for many animals, provide nest materials for birds, and provide habitat and material for biomimicry for insects and other organisms.
Lichens are also important for humans by providing natural dyes, perfumes, litmus paper, and even food. Humans even use lichens as bio-indicators, organisms that help humans monitor the health of the environment. Some species of lichens are sensitive to environmental pollution, so their presence or absence can help us understand more about the health of the environment, like air quality.
Lichens produce over one thousand different chemical compounds, most of them unique to lichens. These compounds include acids and pigments. Some chemicals may even fluoresce under UV light, making them important components for lichen identification.
Lichens have DNA, which is used to identify lichen and compare relationships amongst and within species. DNA analysis has been an important tool for lichenologists in identifying and understanding the biodiversity of lichens.
Sign up for the Smithsonian Science How webcast to introduce your students to Lichenologist Manuela Dal Forno! The program airs at 11am and 2pm on March 28, 2019. Sign up and view the program here: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/...
This collection previews the fifth and final seminar of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, The Struggle for Justice. Two National Portrait Gallery staff members will lead this event: David Ward and Briana Zavadil White.
Resources and questions included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore and consider before the seminar itself.
This collection previews the opening panel of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, Social Justice: America's Unfinished Story of Struggle, Strife, and Sacrifice. 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).
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.
Intro to Nutrition is a 3 credit, non-lab science in the General Education curriculum at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, USA.
Scientists rely on observation to help them identify patterns and to formulate their hypotheses. These three looking activities help students to develop more effective looking, thinking and questioning skills. These skills will serve them in this science class and in their lives outside the classroom, as well.
Exercise #1: Students are presented with two still life portraits from the 19th century. The first is by German American artist Severin Roese in 1852 and the second by Everhart Kuhn, in 1865. Working in small groups students use the SEE-THINK-WONDER routine to discuss and record the similarities and differences they can identify. They share out to the larger group their findings to see if others saw the paintings differently.
Exercise #2: Students examine one of the two paintings, either Still Life #12 (1962) by Tom Wesselmann or Breakfast Tacos (2003) by Chuck Ramirez. This exercise employs the WHAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT routine from Project Zero.
These slides are from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education —Project Zero.
This student activity explores Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq" using two Project Zero Thinking Routines to help students think critically and globally. The work is a metaphorical representation of the unrest taking place in Iraq, and more broadly, an exploration of the human condition during times of crisis.
Included here are an image of the work from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an explanatory video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, two Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero Visible Thinking and Global Thinking materials, an array of prompts and Learning Lab tools, and an assignment. This collection is adapted from a larger teaching collection on the same theme (Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq" ( http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll...), that includes extension activities.
This collection was originally designed for a workshop for pre-service teachers at Trinity Washington University. It is intended to demonstrate, and asks workshop participants to consider, various ways to use the Learning Lab and its tools. #TWUtech
Keywords: #LatinoHAC, Latinx, Latino, global competency, competencies
This collection focuses on exploring characters and settings, as well as how the two can be used together for a specific purpose. I used this collection to demonstrate to students how characters and settings impact one another.
Use these pictures to help your child make careful observations of their world and use words to describe what they think and wonder about. This collection is meant to stimulate curiosity and develop vocabulary with the youngest learners. There are conversation starters among the images, but be sure to let the child's interest and your own questions drive the discussion.
Combine these images with real-world examples from your child's books, toys, or your own community. If you're interested in learning more about an individual image, click on the "i" icon located in the top left to view the museum description.
This has been adapted from the Project Zero's “See Think Wonder" Visible Thinking routine, meant for exploring works of art and other interesting things.
A free printable version is included at the end of the collection.
In this collection, you will examine artifacts, paintings and text that gives you a window into the life of enslaved people of the US during 17 and 1800s.
While you navigate through this collection, consider:
- What is the main story?
- What is the human story?
- What is the world (issues) story?
- What is the new story?
- What is the untold story?
This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover the deeper meaning of and build an understanding behind an artist’s work, reveal an artist’s personal values, as well as begin developing empathy and sparking curiosity through close observation, perspective-taking and questioning. This deeper look into artwork can be used as a catalyst for students to share their own works, and act as an agent for action in their larger community.
This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover the complexity behind symbols found in art and artifacts. Curiosity and wonderment are sparked as students use close looking strategies to precisely describe what they see. Students can then apply these findings to reveal a deeper meaning behind the symbols and the identities of the designer and users. Students will be inspired to create their own stamps as they explore how symbols share messages and bridge connections to people and diverse cultures.