Found 509 Learning Lab Collections
This collection was created by Aira Matin, a Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center intern. Aira applied one of our Culture Lab Manifesto tenets, "A Culture of Action: Stay woke. We have a social contract with one another to protect the vulnerable and ensure human rights for everyone," in her search for objects that may add to, challenge or spark this dialogue. Below is a statement of her process and inspiration for this collection, and may support classroom discussions on race, immigration, migration, activism, gender, inclusion and social media.
"What were the different forms of marginalization and discrimination against Asian Pacific American communities, and how did such oppression lead to action being taken to assert their place as equal citizens in the United States? For this collection, I examined different principles and foundations for oppression and prejudice against Asian Pacific Americans, as well as the different ways that these communities took action against such marginalization to represent themselves as equal Americans." --Aira Matin
How might we learn about cultures through the study of artifacts? What role could the study of design elements and process play in in deepening our understanding? How could we leverage student agency of the design process to gain opportunities to recognize relationships between artifacts and culture?
This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover complexity by looking closely and making connections between cultures and the design process behind the artifacts. Student claims are based on evidence using provided resources for investigation. The Artifact Investigation Map serves as a visible thinking tool for documenting our understanding of a culture by making connections between the artifact and research.
Begin by looking closely at an artifact, Lone Dog Winter Count, using a Project Zero Routine, Zoom In. Through close examination, we begin to develop hypotheses about the object and the connections to the culture. While a main goal is to learn more about the culture related to the artifact, we are also building a capacity for using this thinking process to build understanding. Record and display class ideas generated through this routine. In the discussion of culture, we are looking at how people live: What do the people value? What are their priorities and motivations?
Introduce the points of The Artifact Investigation Map. Ask students, “How could this be used to organize the ideas documented from the thinking routine about the artifact and the people who created it?”. (Students may recognize this as the Engineering Design Process.) Building on our initial Zoom In documentation, the group connects the artifact ideas to the map points. Different questions within each point may serve as prompts to continue making connections and lead to more questions about what we still wonder, guiding the next research steps. Provide a space to record and share new questions during the process.
Begin the research process with the first video Lakota Winter Counts. Using information from the source, model the process of organizing the findings using the different points on The Artifact Investigation Map. Be sure to highlight unanswered questions in the map as the class decides the future steps in the research. Support the student use of resource-based evidence starting from this Learning Lab collection when making and documenting claims. Depending on the learners, this phase may vary in the structure of guidance and interaction. Documentation is shared with an emphasis on providing opportunities to discuss the claims, findings, and analysis.
Guiding Points for Inquiry using The Artifact Investigation Map:
Ask: What needs or problems might this artifact address/solve? Does this design reflect empathy for a particular group or person?
Imagine: What possible prototypes or variations might have been produced in the timeline of this artifact? Could there have been earlier versions leading to this one?
Plan: Identify and describe what could have been key factors and/or restrictions influencing design process. Examples: materials/natural resources, traditions, people power, skills, technology/tools, historical and natural environment….
(Re)Create: Describe the possible steps taken to create the artifact. What could this look like? Options include for this exploration: Try to create a version or reenact one of the steps of the process. Use observations of the process to draw possible conclusions about the culture. Sketch or act out the steps. Take a part of the process and use the Step Inside thinking routine. *Document and share this process with the group in order to prepare for the next phase of The Artifact Investigation Map
Improvements: Since the creation of this artifact, what versions do we see today? What would the biography of this type of innovation look like? How might this type of artifact connect to modern innovation? *Extension for Improvements: Use the thinking routine Imagine If to evaluate a modern iteration of the artifact. How does it compare to the original?
Documenting Ongoing Conclusions/Questions/Reflections
Throughout the investigation, students share and post supported claims about the culture and reflect upon the process of using the design cycle to guide the study.
For the final reflection, use the thinking routine I Used to Think, Now I Think… to look for changes in thinking. Keep the process and research lines of thinking open for continued exploration with the unanswered questions.
- How do social factors, such as racism, influence change?
- How much power do American citizens have to change government policies?
- What protections are guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments of the U.S. Constitution?
- What factors drove the Jim Crow era and segregation after the Civil War?
- How did Americans push back against discrimination, specifically segregation, and fight for civil rights?
This series of lessons is designed as a broad introduction to the factors leading up to the Civil Rights Movement. Students will look closely at the 13th, 4th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution. Students will then explore some of the factors leading to and consequences of the rise of segregated America during the Jim Crow era in the years following the Civil War. They will look closely at powerful images that exemplify some of the Jim Crow laws, and then explore some of the court cases and responses of citizens that helped to bring about some changes leading up to and during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
Time: 3-4 class periods with optional maker project assessment.
Anticipatory set: Have students complete a chalk talk to unravel their definitions of equality vs. racism. Discuss and formally define equality and racism.
Looking closely: Share the image of the water fountains and notice similarities and differences (Optional opportunity to use the See - Think - Wonder thinking routine). Discuss context of Jim Crow era and explain we will be exploring what factors led to these laws and how people fought to change them.
Have students look closely at the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and dissect the language of the amendments to understand their meaning using the Parts, Purposes, Messages thinking routine. Read page one of iCivics Jim Crow handout. Students should record examples of equality and racism on post it notes as they read. When finished, they can add these post it notes to the chalk talk posters with definitions of equality and racism as they discuss their examples.
Anticipatory set: Use the Imagine if... thinking routine to have groups of students explore challenging Jim Crow era issues.
Looking closely: Read "Jim Crow and the Great Migration" and have students continue to record examples of equality vs. racism on post it notes to add to the chalk talk posters from yesterday. Explore powerful Jim Crow images with a chalk talk using the Reporter's Notebook thinking routine.
Discuss how some people began to speak out against the injustices of the Jim Crow laws, both directly and indirectly. Compare and contrast the approaches of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois. Then read "I, too" by Langston Hughes. Students should complete the See/Hear - Think - Wonder during their first listen. Then students can deconstruct the poem in groups, paying attention to both the literal and figurative meaning of the metaphor of the kitchen in the poem.
Exit ticket/Reflection: What are the multiple meanings of the kitchen in the poem, "I, too," by Langston Hughes? What was his purpose for writing this poem?
Anticipatory set: Use the Making it Fair: Now, Then, Later thinking routine to start to identify how people could have made these Jim Crow restrictions more fair.
Looking closely: Read "The Road to Civil Rights" handout from iCivics. Students can add equality vs. racism post its to their original chalk talks. Watch the video of the sit-in reenactment (optional - reenact a sit-in in the classroom). Look closely at images of marches, sit-ins, boycotts, and court cases and use the Reporter's Notebook thinking routine to notice the layers of interactions during the events.
Optional assessment: Introduce the Journey to Civil Rights maker project. Allow students 3-4 days to work on their artifacts and essay explaining their choices.
The images used in my Digital Storytelling video.
A small narrative between a girl and her doctor.
The Power of Guilt in Sarah Winchester's Motivation to build the Winchester House
Loteria arrived in Mexico the last half of the 18th century. It began as a Spanish colonial card game played for amusement by the social elite, but was eventually played by all social classes. Unlike bingo, loteria is played using a board filled with colorful illustrations and instead of numbers being drawn, cards with corresponding images are selected from a stack. There is yet another twist, the announcer does not simply say the name of the image, traditionally he recites a poem or phrase to hint at what the card depicts before revealing it by name.
Prior to the Spanish colonization of Mexico, the Aztecs of Mesoamerica played a similar game of chance called Patolli, which means beans in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. High wagers were placed on a Patolli game, sometimes resulting in the loss of home, freedom and family members. The main objective of the game is to move a marker across 52 squares on an X shaped game board. Beans, or patolli, with a painted white dot on one side would determine the passage of a player’s markers.
Today, loteria is often played using beans as markers and can be utilized as an informal educational language tool. The Traditional Instrument Loteria, created by the Arizona State Museum, is an example of how this fun game can be a way to learn Spanish and Yaqui words, as well as an excellent introduction to Yaqui and Mexican culture.
Description Credit: Arizona State Museum
Stimulus for art work or essay on slavery in America. Students to create a drawing or painting using images to portray the the pain of slavery. Student can select a variety of media. The essay could be based upon the first person experience looking through the eyes of a slave.
This topical collection of artworks is based upon "fantastical things." It was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials); and as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program. Other suggested uses beyond collage and discussion prompts would be a writing exercise, utilizing the "See|Think|Wonder" visible thinking routine. You could also pair the collection with popular young adult fantasy novels, and ancient myths and legends.
Descriptors: Decision Making, Disabilities, Self-Determination, Self-Efficacy, Student Empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program
SCLDA's All Access Digital Arts Program (2012-2016) provided skill-building opportunities in digital arts and communications, creative expression, and social inclusion to a spectrum of teen learners in the Washington, DC metro area. Participating youth visited Smithsonian science, history, and art museums, created digital and physical artworks based upon a tailored curriculum, engaged in social interactions online and in-person, gained digital literacy skills, and developed friendships with other teens. Through once-per-month club outreach activities and summer intensive camps and workshops, students were exposed to communication, collaborative learning, research, and problem solving. The program served up to 20 youth per session, ages 14 through 22 with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The youth experienced skill building, leadership opportunities, and social integration through Smithsonian resources, socialization opportunities, and computer skills. Youth participated in 1.) One- and two-week multi-media digital arts workshops whose outcome was student-produced artworks, songs, and movies that were shared with family and friends at openings and online via a social network; and 2.) Club activities--to build upon skills developed during the summer, and maintain social connections.
All Access Club activities were offered to alumni of the summer workshops, and were held once monthly on Saturdays during the year to build upon skills developed during the workshop, and maintain social connections. During the club, teens practiced social skills through guided activities and Smithsonian museum visits, and produced original digital and hands-on art projects at the Hirshhorn ARTLAB+. Educators led the group in a series of planned educational activities related to the day’s theme—such as “the universe” or “oceans”. Volunteers assisted club members to use social media, tablets, cameras and laptops to facilitate the digital experience. The activities and resources promoted digital literacy skills, and can motivate families to visit museums to learn, and for teens to build self-esteem. An evaluation session on the final day allowed teens to express their thoughts to the club organizers.
Special thanks to colleague Joshua P. Taylor, Researcher, Virginia Commonwealth University
Keywords: access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, self-determination