Found 228 Learning Lab Collections
This topical collection includes the iconic "Moon Man" image of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a National Air and Space Museum “expert annotation” video featuring a curator highlighting specific details, and other resources about the space suit and the Apollo 11 mission.
Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions about the mission to the moon, for analysis of photographic details, or in biography projects about the astronauts.
This is a lesson designed for a teacher workshop on using Thinking Routines to spark curiosity and a desire to explore topics in depth. The estimated length of the workshop is 45 minutes, although there are extensions to the learning that could easily double that time (see below).
The first step is to engage in slow looking with the image. I will project it on a screen and we will get close in order to see all of the details. It's a dense image, with copious detail. I'll ask the teachers to look closely, noting where their eyes go, what they focus on.
Once we have had time to scan the image a few times, I'll introduce the See-Wonder-Connect Thinking Routine. See the next resource for the sequencing of questions.
After completing the Thinking Routine, I'll reveal the title, Manifest Destiny, and ask for reactions to it. Why would Rockman choose that title? What do you think the artist is trying to say?
I'll give some background information about the artist and the painting. There are resources posted that give further information.
The teachers will go back to small groups at tables and brainstorm how the image (or perhaps another image) could be used in their own context.
The lesson can be extended in a variety of ways. It can be a kick-off to an interdisciplinary study of various issues raised by the small groups, for example. I've used the 3Ys Global Thinking Routine to evaluate the significance of the various issues. Following the 3Ys, I then ask: How can you go more deeply with this topic? What more do you need to learn?
This image is a strong example of an artist's response to contemporary issues. One can't understand the potential impact of global warming without knowledge of science. In that way, it offers great potential for interdisciplinary exploration.
Teachers looking to foster in their students a broader understanding and appreciation of today’s complex world can use these Learning Lab collections that pair Harvard’s Project Zero Global Thinking Routines with new bilingual Latino-content videos of National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum curators discussing works in the collection.
Each Learning Lab teaching collection includes additional supporting materials to add dimension, expand the activity, and deepen students' learning.
These four videos were created with federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
This teaching collection helps students to think critically and globally by using two Thinking Routines to explore the painting, "Shifting States: Iraq," by Cuban American artist Luis Cruz Azaceta. 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 the work itself from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, another video from Articulateshow.org, two suggested Thinking Routines - "Colors, Shapes, Lines" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and three other works by Azaceta in the Smithsonian collections.
For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, American History, Art History classes
Puerto Rico’s Fragile Modernity: An Exploration of Francisco Rodón's Portrait of Luis Muñoz Marín, using Global Thinking Routines
This teaching collections aims to help students to think critically about Puerto Rico's past and present, as portrayed in the media and through close looking at a portrait. The collection explores Francisco Rodón's monumental portrait of Luis Muñoz Marín, the first democratically elected governor of Puerto Rico, known as “the Father of Modern Puerto Rico.” Although the portrait and supporting video with National Portrait Gallery curator Taína Caragol were created before Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017, a close examination of the portrait itself lends a deeper understanding not only of Francisco Rodón, but of the history of Puerto Rico itself, both pre- and post-Hurricane Maria.
Included here are the portrait from the National Portrait Gallery, a video with the curator, two suggested Global Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero materials, and three news articles (from Vox and the New York Times) about Hurricane Maria, at the time in 2017 and almost one year later.
For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, American History, Art History classes
Photographs are the entry point to help students think critically about the nature of community in America's urban environments of the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition introduced here, after which this collection is titled, features Latino artists who "turn a critical eye toward neighborhoods that exist on the margins of major cities like New York and Los Angeles." Smithsonian American Art Museum Curator E. Carmen Ramos has said that the exhibition was meant to explore the artists' complex vision of life in the urban environment, juxtaposing both a sense of unwelcoming urban neglect with a strong sense of community.
Included here are photographs from the exhibition, a bilingual video with the curator, the "Step In - Step Out - Step Back" Thinking Routine from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking Strategies, some links to Smithsonian American Art Museum supporting exhibition materials, including the exhibition webpage, a blog post, a link to Piri Thomas's book after which the exhibition was titled, and footage from a poetry reading at the museum.
Teachers and students can use these photographs in a variety of ways - to explore the work of individual artists, to compare the works of different artists, and to look as a whole at the exhibition and extract deeper meaning about "the urban crisis" of America's urban environments in the 1960s and 1970s.
Keywords: El Barrio, New York City, Urban Crisis
Students use a Global Thinking Routine to explore both a portrait and a work of literature that together offer a rich view of the Chicano experience in the American southwest in the middle of the 20th century.
This teaching collection features Gaspar Enríquez's portrait of Rudolfo Anaya. It is the first commissioned portrait by the National Portrait Gallery of a Latino sitter by a Latino artist. Both artists address the Chicano experience and confluence of cultures in the American southwest.
Included here are the portrait, a bilingual video with National Portrait Gallery curator Taína Caragol, the "Step In - Step Out - Step Back" Thinking Routine from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking Strategies, two other works by Gaspar Enríquez, and some links to National Portrait Gallery supporting materials.
Teachers and students can pair the portrait and read Rudolfo Anaya's coming of age novel "Bless Me Ultima," first published in 1972 and reflecting Chicano culture in rural New Mexico in the 1940s, to gain a deeper understanding of the Chicano experience in the American southwest.
This collection contains the provocative piece The Way They Was and asks students to make parallels to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It uses thinking routines such as "See/Think/Wonder", "Circle of Viewpoints", and "Claim/Support/Question". There is also a graphic organizer in the shape of a door that allows students to record the connections they see between the piece of art and the novel. This lesson can be used after Chapter 25 or at the end of the novel.
This collection contains supplemental artifacts and resources for Where Do You Stand? PROTEST, part of the American Experiments suite of educational resources from the National Museum of American History.
These interactive resources and games challenge students to think about their roles and responsibilities within their democracy. Where Do You Stand? PROTEST invites students to critically think about the nuances and complexities of issues and learn from the experiences and reasoning of their peers as they form their own opinions and responses to a range of prompts. The learning begins with the guiding question: What would you do to support what you believe in?
Visit Smithsonian's History Explorer to learn more!
Visual art is a language that is socially and culturally constructed. Socially constructed learning values diverse perspectives, engages with local and global experts, and employs inquiry, discovery and exploration to move students toward global citizenship. Because the visual arts leverage the power of dialogue and debate to sharpen critical thinking, starting with the arts is a logical place to help students develop empathy for others while increasing their cultural intelligence.
This collection was created to support teachers and administrators who wish to better understand the various cultures in their schools. Using both Project Zero's Global Thinking Routines and strategies from Amy E. Herman's Visual Intelligence book, participants will practice articulating cultural perspectives and communicating across differences using artwork and primary sources from the vast collections of the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Participants will learn how to read a work of art, understand compositional hierarchy, and question what is missing. The frameworks provided by Project Zero and Amy E. Herman will allow everyone, even those not accustomed to discussing art, a place from which to begin using art as a foundation for building culturally-responsive curriculum.
Participants will see museums as the cultural ambassadors that they are and ask whose culture is being represented and whose is missing and why. Extending from this inquiry, participants will recognize the role schools play in nurturing and shaping the lives and identities of our students.
Introduction: Exploring the Legacy of Roberto Clemente
How does our world influence our lives and how do we contribute to the world? Far from Roberto Clemente’s birthplace of Puerto Rico stands a bridge in his name. In what ways does this bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, represent Roberto Clemente’s legacy? By applying Project Zero routines, student groups build bridges as metaphors to explore the legacy of Roberto Clemente.
Building Bridges: An Approach to Understanding Product and Process
How might our Learning Lab investigation combine with the design process to deepen concept understanding and uncover complexity? What are the benefits of shifting our learning environments to cultures of contributions in communities of learning for all students and teachers? What connections can we find between Roberto Clemente’s legacy and our construction process?
Within the arc of the lesson are opportunities for teacher-led routines and independent/small group application. With a stress on process, the reflection opportunities are embedded within the design steps as students use thinking routines to translate research findings into elements of a bridge to share understanding. The thinking routines included within this collection are rooted in Project Zero research including Making Thinking Visible, Global Thinking, Agency by Design, and Edward Clapp's Participatory Creativity.
Procedure Part 1: Exploration and Documentation
The first phase of this lesson provides learners with opportunities to explore the life of Roberto Clemente. Begin by displaying the first piece in the collection, the portrait. Find a link to lines of inquiry by clicking the paperclip icon. Find questions and thinking models to promote close looking to help students make connections and support claims with evidence. Document ideas and highlight the hanging questions generated with the goal of understanding Roberto Clemente’s life, or legacy.
The next pieces in the collection go together. One is a link for learning the +1 Routine for viewing the other, the movie “What Roberto Clemente Meant to Baseball”. Allow the learners to share key concepts about Roberto’s Legacy adding to earlier documentation (suggestion: collect ideas on sticky notes and display on the board).
Pose the question referencing the ongoing documentation: “What are we noticing about influence and contributions? What influenced Roberto’s legacy and what contributions did Roberto make to the world?” Display Circles of Influence to Study Legacy for sharing and organizing this thinking as the research resumes. Model the process of taking the ideas collected during the exploration and placing them within the different circles (each circle could be a separate poster with another poster between them).
The next steps could take different configurations, from teacher-led to small groups/individuals, to match the needed levels of support and modeling. Using these learning lab resources, students explore the pieces and website links to interact and collect ideas. Over time, findings are shared on the class input/output posters based on the Circles of Influence to Study Legacy. Provide opportunities for the whole group to explain, discuss, and refine the findings. Keep this thinking visible for the next part of this lesson.
Procedure Part 2: Building Understanding Through the Construction Process
Share how a bridge is named after Roberto Clemente located just outside of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball stadium, PNC Park. Ask how this might be a fitting symbol, or metaphor for Roberto’s legacy. By making connections to collective findings from Part 1, groups are tasked with building a symbolic bridge to represent Roberto Clemente’s legacy. Using the Parts/Purposes/Process routine, groups document the process contributions as well as how characteristics of bridge pieces (and the bridge as whole) connect to different aspects of Roberto’s legacy (look back at documentation from part 1).
Materials and tools provided may vary (cardboard, construction paper, blocks, Legos…) depending on time, space, and age group. In addition, one member of each group is selected to document different types of contributions members make in the task. Meet with this set of observers to discuss the task and explain how they will also be doing this documentation while also participating. Review and provide the Participatory Inventory tracking sheet. Also, prepare large Parts/Purposes/Process charts for each group. The construction time is ideal for asking student groups to unpack the thinking as it takes shape.
When groups have completed construction and analysis, allow time for a gallery walk. The Connect-Extend-Challenge (connections to ideas documented by other groups) routine can support this type of thinking for closing discussions as ideas are shared about metaphor, process, and implications.
This collection of teaching resources includes lesson plans and multimedia resources about the engineering design process. There are several lesson plans on architecture and engineering concepts of design, such as simple shelters, balance, and materials. The videos and illustrations explain what engineers do and the fundamental engineering design process.
This lesson includes:
- A video by Crash Course Kids titled "What's an Engineer? Crash Course Kids #12.1" (4:30)
- A video by Crash Course Kids titled "The Engineering Process: Crash Course Kids #12.2" (5:17)
- Two models of the Engineering Design Process by Preschool Steam
- Engineering/architecture activities from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for Pre-Kindergarten-1st Grade
This collection is to be used in conjunction with the novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The lesson concept spans the total of three 55 minute class periods for a middle school ELA course.
Students will begin by completing a pre-reading activity where they will analyze the artwork, Iceman Crucified #4through a "See, Think,Wonder" activity. Students will then discuss the overarching ideas or themes that they observed in the piece. This lesson will end with students making a prediction about the book, A Long Walk to Water, through previewing the cover/title and using information from the artwork to predict a possible theme of the story.
After reading chapters 1-4, students will then begin analyzing their predictions. They will also be introduced to a new piece of art, The Girl I Left Behind, to analyze in conjunction with another character in the book. Students will do a collaborative poem with the artwork. They will then work in pairs to analyze lines of text and draw similarities/differences between the character in the text and the girl in the painting.
Includes iconic people, places, and things associated with Pittsburgh.
Prior to the workshop series, select one resource from this collection and conduct an adapted See-Wonder-Connect routine (What do you see in the resource that's worth noticing? What do you wonder about? What connections do you make to it?). You may consider sharing with a partner, using the Think-Pair-Share routine. Finally, Imagine if... you were using one of these resources in your own practice, what would you have students do with it?
This collection was created for the Smithsonian Learning Lab workshops in Pittsburgh and the surrounding school districts. Funded by the Grable Foundation and in partnership with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Quaker Valley School district and the Washington International School.
This set of activities is designed to encourage students to think critically about how an artist’s race, background, and experiences might impact their ability to fairly and accurately tell the story of a different person or group - an "other."
Specifically, students will look at the creations of two white men - the painting Wi-jún-jon, Pigeon's Egg Head (The Light) Going To and Returning From Washington by George Catlin and the novella The Pearl by John Steinbeck - to analyze how the whiteness of these two artists might have affected their ability to fairly portray the indigenous people they sought to memorialize. Using primary source texts written by the artists themselves, students will conduct an inquiry into the possible motives and biases of these men in order to assess whether they, as white outsiders to the groups on which they focused, did or even could tell their stories accurately. The question students will be tasked with answering in writing as a culminating exercise is whether a white man can fairly and accurately tell the story of an indigenous people?
In terms of purpose, the study of the painting is intended to supplant a traditional anticipation guide to help students prepare to read The Pearl and also to provide a lens through which to analyze the text.
This is a collection of the art and resources used to help students become more familiar with the time period Of Mice and Men was set in. The goal is for the students use a historical perspective when reading the novel and to help them when discussing character motivation and theme at the end of the unit. It will provide them with a richer view into the novel.
Harvey Dinnerstein’s The Brownstone depicts multicultural individuals who come together to form a community in New York during the 1950s.
Throughout the year, themes in literature come back to identity and community. Using The Brownstone, students will complete a variety of activities to explore these two ideas. After the first introductory activity, subsequent activities focus on literary concepts such as perspective, characterization, poetry, theme, purpose, and setting. These activities will include additional art and literary works. Ideas are explored through discussion and writing.
Understanding what makes a text effective in terms of rhetorical strategies in increasingly important for students, especially as the ACT/SAT writing exams become more analytical. By pairing a visual stimulus with a somewhat abstract, difficult-to-place concept such as that of Rhetoric, students should be able to more wholly understand what comprises and defines each canon and be able to apply the canons to a broad range of texts, both traditional and contemporary.
The selected artwork and learning lab collection offers a historical approach to the transformation of Native Americans into white culture and society. It serves as a purpose to provoke discussion on the historical context of the Indian Removal Act, and gives students an understanding of the main character’s (from the novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) “modern day” internal conflict of erasing or eliminating his Native American culture to immerse into the lifestyle of a white teenager in a predominately white school.
As an introductory activity, students will engage in the see/think/wonder methodology to infer the artists’ purpose for the artwork. This initial activity will help scaffold students’ prior understanding and knowledge of the historical context of Native American history and the forced immersion into white culture. Therefore, after students have had ample time of using visual understanding skills to interpret the artwork, students can explore a “modern-day version” of Sherman Alexie’s image that showcases a juxtaposition of the main character’s internal identity conflict.Similar to the artwork, students will engage in the "connect, extend, and challenge" thinking activity. Students will make connections to the text and real-world connections as a culminating task. Lastly, students will discuss how it extended their thinking and a remaining challenge or wonder students still have. Using their remaining questions, this could lead to several extension activities.
Students can explore other Native American artwork in the learning lab, students can also use the "unveiling stories" strategy to learn more about the Carlisle school. The history of the Carlisle school connects and relates with the novel by adding historical context. Lastly, students can engage in teacher-made or student-made gallery walks using other Native American artwork or imagery to support the reading process of the paired text.
This collection is comprised of resources for introducing middle school ELA students to the concept of identity in art and literature. This was planned for use as an introduction to The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, so a special focus is given to Latinx culture and experience, but the resources could be used for any literature that addresses the topic of identity.
The resources in this collection can be used in whatever order you wish, but I have included my general plan and sequence for a three-day mini-unit. Each lesson is intended for a 45-minute class period for middle school English students, but could be extended or combined for longer periods or older students.
Day 1: Exploring the Concept of Identity
We begin with the painting Braceros by Domingo Ulloa, using the See/Think/Wonder visual thinking routine as a jumping-off point to lead the class to the topic of identity. The ideas recorded could remain as an anchor chart in the classroom as the class reads and discusses the novel. It would be interesting for students to revisit their initial ideas to assess how their concept of identity expands and changes through the reading. As an alternative or addition to the lesson, depending on the needs of your students, you could also use the Identity Worksheet handout provided as a metacognitive tool to assist your students in tracking the ways their thinking evolves and expands. This worksheet also encourages them to make connections with other works of art, literature and music from their past experiences; this can be done independently or in small groups.
Day 2: What Comprises Our Identity?
The goal today is for students to begin considering what factors determine or influence our identities. To begin class, students will be introduced to "Tenement Flats" using the "What Makes You Say That?" thinking routine. This will provide practice for students to make claims about the painting and provide evidence to support their claims. This will be the warm up for the day, but to extend time with the visual art, students could create a T-Chart or Venn Diagram for comparison and contrast with "Braceros."
Students will next listen to the poem, "Latino-Americanos: The Children of an Oscuro Pasado" by Xochitl (SOH-chee) Morales. After reading the poem, students will be invited to consider the stories they hear in the poem. Xochitl's voice tells one story, but what other stories do we hear? What stories are missing? IF the discussion does not naturally move toward identity, students should be invited to consider what comprises the poet's identity (for example, sense of self, sense of family, societal expectations, gender roles, home, community). Again, ideas could remain on an anchor chart for reference.
Day 3: What is the Author's Message about Identity?
On the final day, we will explore an excerpt from Cisneros' book ("My Name"). I have provided a handout with this excerpt. This could be an opportunity to guide students through close-reading techniques like intentional text marking, or students could do this work independently. After reading and annotating the text, students will be coached through the "Claim/Support/Question" reasoning routine to (1) provide an interpretation of the author's message or theme as it relates to identity; (2) provide support for the claim; and (3) extend their thinking by generating a question about what isn't explained or what information is missing, or what alternative points of view might exist.
I have provided some additional resources that could be added in to extend the time spent on this topic or used as journal or warm-up activities as the class continues Mango Street. These include an additional poem ("We" by Nathan M. Richardson) as a handout as well as a Youtube link to Richardson reading his poem, and a visual (typographic) prompt to use for the topic of identity. I have also included a video interview of Xochil Morales that might be useful for adding context, particularly because she is a very young poet and relatable.
Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way
Upward Bound Tech & Tour - Intro to the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access' Learning Lab
Taking a great portrait is more than just taking a quick snap of a face. It requires thoughtful contemplation and a variety of choices by the photographer. We'll examine a collection of photographs that illustrate various principles of portrait photography and that will help students to understand the parts of a digital artifact.
LENS 1 | One lens to consider when looking at an artifact is its context and the impression it gives you. Using "see, think, wonder" strategies, we consider:
- What do you see?
- What do you think about it?
- What makes you say that -- what evidence is there for that - on what are you basing your opinion?
- What does it make you wonder?
- Why does something look the way it does or the way it is?
LENS 2 | Analyzing great photographs to provide inspiration for your own photography pursuits
What makes a strong image?
- angles (eye-level, high angle, low angle, and bird's eye);
- light and shadow;
- shot length (long-shot, medium-shot, close-up, & extreme close-up);
- mood--capturing a feeling or emotion in a photograph;
- scale--how big or small subjects look; and
- sense of place--capturing the feeling of a place.
Click into each photo and on the "paper clip" annotation icon to read more information (metadata!)
We will then discuss publishing guidelines and other policies that will help students make their best collections.
Tags: portrait photography, decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, Project Zero
This collection was designed for elementary classes to infuse global competencies into an established study of open space and environmental stewardship. Birds are often a topic of study in primary classrooms, and this framework can help students start thinking about environmental stewardship through an initial study of birds. Guided by thinking routines, students examine birds and think about how other cultures have shown their interest in nature. They will also start thinking about why studying the needs of local birds is important to taking care of their local environment. Finally, students begin to explore why taking care of the birds and environment also might be important to the world.
This collection is meant to be used as a unit over several days. Please feel free to copy and adapt it for your own use.
The art used in this collection comes from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery collections. Many pieces were featured in an exhibition called "Dream Worlds: Modern Japanese Prints and Paintings from the Robert O. Muller Collection", which was on view November 2004-January 2005.
Tags: birds, environmental stewardship, open space, thinking routines, global competency, essential questions, human impact, Japan, Japanese art, Ohara Koson, woodblock printing, seasons, cherry blossoms, teacher, student, nature, crow, heron, magpie, pheasant, artful thinking
This Learning Lab was created as a resource for students and teachers participating in the 2018 National High School Design Competition.
This year's competition challenges students to make the everyday accessible by considering a place, process, or object they regularly use, identifying a challenge that a user with a disability might have with it, and designing a solution that addresses that challenge and makes the place, process, or object more accessible for all.
For more details on the competition go to https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2...