Found 623 Learning Lab Collections
This Learning Lab collection has been created to support the 2020 National History Day theme, Breaking Barriers in History. Utilizing portraits and other resources from the National Portrait Gallery, this collection demonstrates the groundbreaking impact individuals had on American history. The collection is organized according to spheres of influence, including: science; arts; labor; women's rights; media; athletics; civil rights; politics; and education.
Be sure to check out the following at the end of the collection:
-Reading Portraiture Guide for Educators highlights close looking strategies that can be used with the portraits listed
-Breaking Barriers In History Theme Book from National History Day 2020
Talk with Me!
Having conversations with young children contributes to their thinking and language development. All conversations are good, but research shows that the quality of words children hear matters more than the quantity. Further, what’s best is an exchange; in other words, talk with children, not at them.
The Talk with Me Toolkits give parents and caregivers thematically organized high-quality, authentic materials to make children their conversational partners in discussions that matter. Each online toolkit features captivating videos and real-world photographs, as well as intriguing paintings and other artworks to observe and discuss through conversation prompts. Hands-on activities and books complete each toolkit. Simple instructions appear right in the toolkits, so you can jump right in. See what interests your child and get started. There’s a lot to talk about!
To read more, see, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Usable Knowledge site, The Brain-Changing Power of Conversation.
Time- 2 class periods
Using the Project Zero Design Thinking routines "Parts, People, Interaction", this activity provides an understanding of the system of gender power at stake in the representation of Chapter 34 of Tales of Genji - Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess. It then looks at a modernization of the illustrations and offers a reflection on what the new feminine contemporary perspective brings to the interpretation of the Third princess story.
In exploring the representations of the tales of Genji, students have the opportunity to discover tales that have become a standard for Japanese culture. They look at the first known literature piece written by a woman, who shares a rare and intimate perspective of a woman on a world governed by men. Students compare the representation of the tales from the XVIth century with one from the XXth century to identify in what ways they have been interpreted.
Step 1: Have students sketch The tale of Genji, chapter 34; Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess
Step 2: Debrief as a whole group
Discuss what the students have noticed. Do not show the caption to the students yet. The observational drawing is good to help students pay attention to details and unveil the artist's choices. It also encourages them to initiate a first interpretation.
Step 3: Parts, People, Interaction
Once students have discussed the painting, guide them through the routine "Parts, People, Interaction".
"This thinking routine helps students slow down and look closely at a system ( here the system of gender power.) In doing so, young people are able to situate objects within systems and recognize the various people who participate—either directly or indirectly—within a particular system.
Students also notice that a change in one aspect of the system may have both intended and unintended effects on another aspect of the system. When considering the parts, people, and interactions within a system, young people begin to notice the multitude of subsystems within systems.
This thinking routine helps stimulate curiosity, raises questions, surfaces areas for further inquiry, and introduces systems thinking." (PZ)
Step 4: Read the PDF "More about Chapter 34" and go back to the questions
Have students read the caption, go back and look at the painting and ask them to take notes on how their understanding has shifted from their initial interpretation.
Step 5: Debrief the "Parts, People and Interaction" routine as a whole group:
During the discussion, here are some specific question students may want to address:
- What does the illustration of Chapter 34, Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess says about the system of power gender in place at the Japanese court in the XIth century?
- To what extent the architecture in the painting play a role in facilitating the superiority of men?
- How does the system in place impact relationship between men and women?
Step 1: "See, Think, Wonder" - The third princess with her pet cat, Yamato Maki, 1987
Have them do a quick "See, Think, Wonder" to encourages them to reactivate prior knowledge, pay attention to details and reflect on the effects of the modernization of the illustration of The tales of Genji though manga. Identify the audience and the context of the illustration.
Step 2: Read the caption as a group - notice what is important.
Step 3: "Layers"
This routine will encourage students to refine their first analysis of the illustration by looking at it through different angles (Aesthetic, Mechanical, Connections, Narrative, Dynamic). It will allow them to draw upon their prior knowledge and consider the impact of modernization of art on the public.
Students can work in small group and cover between 3 and 5 of the categories.
Step 4: Each group of students present their learning to the class
Established in the mid-19th century, several of the earliest additions to the NNC were artifacts from Japan, Korea, and China, including coins and medals gifted to President Ulysses S. Grant from Japanese Emperor Meiji (received in 1881) and the 2,025 East Asian coins, amulets, and notes from George Bunker Glover’s private collection (received in 1897). These donations were the foundation of the NNC’s East Asian holdings, which continues to grow with new acquisitions, such as the Howard F. Bowker collection in 2017.
“Futurescapes. Storytelling and Video-Making Workshop: Using Digital Museums Resources to Imagine Our City in 2050”
This Learning Lab collection was made to guide participants during the Digital Storytelling workshop “Futurescapes. Storytelling and Video-Making Workshop: Using Digital Museums Resources to Imagine Our City in 2050””, a two-day event organised by the Storytelling Research Team at Loughborough University, UK, and hosted in the London campus at Here East on the 6th and the 7th of August as part of the East Education Summer School at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
During the workshop, designed and facilitated by Dr Antonia Liguori, museums objects will be used to trigger stories about a day in East London in 2050.
- learn how to use the cloud-based video-editing software WeVideo to make their own digital story;
- explore the variety of museums digital resources available online;
- experiment with storyboarding techniques for creative writing;
- learn how to record and edit an audio file;
- be supported in the selection of images and the production of a short video;
- reflect on the 5-step Digital Storytelling process;
- increase visual literacy through close looking at art.
Digital stories work best when there are rewards for both the storyteller and the viewer. Stories are always told from the perspective of the storyteller and for maximum benefit, it is vital to carefully choose the right story to tell. All necessary information will be given during the workshop, but to maximise opportunities, participants need to bring with them an object or a photo that connects them to the place where they live now and/or to their idea about how this place could change in the future.
This workshop is also the final event of the EOOL project and aims to showcase the methodology applied in this EU funded project to explore its potential in other formal and non-formal education contexts.
Who was Daniel Boone? Was he more than a stereotypical tough frontier hero? Explore Daniel Boone and his relationship to the valuable native plant, ginseng, through this collection and activities.
Daniel Boone was a historic person (click here) who spent much of his adult life blazing trails through the American wilderness (click here). Opening the wilderness allowed Boone and others to exploit its many rich resources, including the profitable plant, American ginseng (click here). It also rose Boone to the status of American legend, becoming known as someone who braved hardship and danger to bring the earth's resources, like ginseng, to the market (click here). The legend of Daniel Boone and his "lost" ginseng illustrates the way such stories can reflect historical fact and circumstance. They can become exaggerated or distorted through being passing along by many story tellers over time, and now even via the internet. Therefore, history and fiction become intertwined. (click here)
Although Boone has come and gone, wild ginseng is still searched for and gathered in the mountainous regions that Boone frequented. Learn more about Daniel Boone's adventures and American ginseng throughout this collection.
To continue to learn more about Daniel Boone and his efforts to explore the wilderness, visit the learning lab collection titled "The Wilderness Road" .
This activity, designed as a group exercise, asks participants to assume the role of a college student researching American women's work in the early 20th century, as an entry point to consider what is useful when tagging, searching, and creating digital resources. The collection includes the images that participants considered, followed in each case by a PDF of their responses. For the activity instructions, see the second tile of the collection.
This activity was conducted at the inaugural meeting of the Smithsonian Digital Resources Steering Committee, a group convened to share knowledge and explore best practices, issues, and strategies that arise in using and creating digital cultural museum resources.
Kayo Denda, Librarian for Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University and Visiting Fellow at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, created the activity reproduced here. As a Fellow, Ms. Denda is exploring how libraries, museums, and archives develop metadata for content on women in American history.
This collection uses a print by Enrique Chagoya, “Aliens Sans Frontières (Aliens without borders),” as a starting point to explore our assumptions about certain groups of people and how genetically similar all humans are despite our tendency for 'othering.' "After researching his DNA ancestry, Chagoya learned that his ancestors were Native American (Central Mexico), European, Ashkenazi, Middle Eastern/North African, Sub-Saharan African, and East and South Asian.” In this print, Chagoya presents six self-portraits, “each drawing on a pernicious stereotype of a certain ethnicity". Chagoya “uses his art for activist causes and also uses seemingly cartoonish or naïve imagery as an entryway for discussions of complex cultural and geopolitical issues”. (https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/aliens-sans-fronti%C3%A8res/ywEBemoMJCIUFQ)
This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (genetics unit), Theory of Knowledge (to discuss ways of knowing such as language or consider bias), Geography or History. An interesting interdisciplinary exploration could be connecting a science class with a language class where students read written works from some of the same geographic regions as Chagoya's genetic breakdown.
Annotations attached to the print and video resources provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines.
Articles from New York Times: The first article included in the collection is an opinion piece written by David Reich, whose research focuses on population genetics of ancient humans, including their migrations and the mixing of populations, discovered by analysis of genome-wide patterns of mutations. The second article includes a selection of public comments on the original article as well as responses to each comment from David Reich.
Connection with Skin color, race and migration connection (presently working on this collection, will need to link collection before publishing!)
This collection is designed to extend students' thinking about acting to overcome systems of oppression after they read a memoir that focuses on social justice and activism. In our English program, students in 6th grade read I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousazai; in 7th grade, students read March: Book One by John Lewis; and in 8th grade, students read Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi. All use the Project Zero thinking routine "Think, Feel, Care" to explore Malala's, John Lewis's, or Marjane's reaction to the system of oppression they face in their story. To engage with the thinking routine, we ask the following questions:
Think: How does the character understand the system and her/his role within it?
Feel: What is the character's emotional response to this system and her/his position within it?
Care: What are her/his values, priorities, and motivations with regard to this system? What is important to her/him?
From there, students analyze the question: How does the character act on what is important to her/him in response to this system?
We use this collection and the "Think, Feel, Care" routine to look at how others have responded to and acted against different systems of oppression. After spending time with this collection, we end with the "Circle of Action" thinking routine to help us think about the potential for our own action against systems of oppression.
This collection could be used in conjunction with any unit that focuses on social justice or activism.
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 our research.
Begin by looking closely at an artifact, Lone Dog Winter Count, using a Project Zero Routine, See, Think, Wonder. 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 See, Think, Wonder 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 influencing design process. Examples: materials/natural resources, 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 mini-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.
Using "See, Think, Wonder" and "Parts, Perspective, me", this collection explores how cultural shock influences the way artists see themselves or are perceived by others. The careful analysis of 100 Pounds of Rice by the artist Saeri Kiritani provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the similarities and differences with the novel Fear and Trembling by the Belgian author Amelie Nothomb. It also invites students to reflect on their own cultural identity.
Time- 1 or 2 class periods with optional homework and extension activities
- How do art and literature shape our understanding of cultures?
- What kind of knowledge about a literary text and about art do we gain when we compare and contrast them?
- How does language in art and literature represent cultural distinctions and identities?
In Fear and trembling, Amélie, who is the main character of this autobiographical novel, shares her struggles as a foreign employee in a big Japanese corporation where she is confronted with Japanese protocols and habits that are culturally new to her. In her story, Japanese culture is exposed through a foreign perspective. The aim of the collection is to bring a different perspective to our study, these of a Japanese women living in the US, in order to build a better intercultural understanding of the Japanese culture.
Students have read the novel Fear and Trembling and analysed the way Western and Japanese cultures are perceived by the different characters. They have explored how the autobiographical novel offers insights on the Japanese workplace culture and reflected on its limitations (a single story embedded in fiction). This teaching unit can be done without the comparative component of literature. It can also be adapted to any other literary work that explores the topic of identity.
Step 1: Have them do "See, Think, Wonder"individually with 100 Pounds of Rice by Saeri Kiritani. Do not show the caption to students yet. The "See, Think, Wonder" routine is good to help students pay attention to details and unveil the artist's choices. It also encourages them to initiate a first interpretation.
Step 2: Debrief as a whole group- Discuss the self portrait of Saeri Kiritani.
Step 3: Show the Saeri Kiritani 's youtube video
Once students have discussed the sculpture, show them the video and ask them to take notes on the new information the artist provides.
Next, go back and look at the sculpture and see how their understanding has shifted from their initial interpretation.
Step 4: Read the caption
Have students read the caption and answer the questions of the Design Thinking routine "Parts, Perspectives, Me". The routine encourages students to consider the various viewpoints of an object, its users, and stakeholders, and reflect on their own connections and involvement with it. It helps them connect with the perspectives taken in the novel as they are complementary, yet different. It also lead them to reflect on their own identity and prepares them for possible extensions to the activity.
Step 5: Debrief the questions as a group
Day 2 or Homework
Step 6: Have them write an individual synthesis:
- What did I learn about Saeri Kiritani self-portrait? Fear and trembling? Me?
- How do Saeri Kiritani and Amelie Nothomb express how they experience cultural differences?
- What are the similarity and differences between them? How does it impact your understanding?
Step 7: Debrief in pair or small group, then as a whole group
Step 1 - Once they have completed these activities, ask them:
- What material or fabric would better represent who you are? Why?
- What part of you would better represent who you are? Why?
Step 2 - Debrief in group - reflect on the idea of cultural stereotypes: what role do cultural stereotypes play in the construction of self-identity? To what extent do cultural stereotypes limit or facilitate self-identification? Identification of others?
Step 3 - Have them sculpt their self-representation with the material of their choice.
Step 4 - Exhibition and presentation of the creative process.
Beginning with Roger Shimomura's "Diary: December 12, 1941," students will engage with a variety of primary and secondary documents, works of art, and interviews as an entry point into Mohsin Hamid's contemporary work of magical realism, Exit, West.
This collection complements teaching The Great Gatsby using the lens of economics. Informational texts provide foundation for questions like: why should we care about economic inequality?
This collection is curated to introduce the historical background of the Vietnam War for the free verse novel Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, 2011, based on one year in the life of a Vietnamese refugee who came to America in 1975 after the fall of Saigon. I use these resources for a middle school classroom, but it can be modified for high school as well.
Students often understand that technological innovation makes our lives better, but they do not see the backstory. There are people who lose their livelihoods as machines replace them. What was once a necessary job is now obsolete--even the people themselves might feel obsolete. This lesson is designed to help students understand the drawbacks of progress and, more specifically, how it affects those people who were replaced.
A teacher's guide to the painting Achelous and Hercules, by Thomas Hart Benton. This 1947 mural retells an Ancient Greek myth in the context of the American Midwest. Includes the painting, a pdf of the myth "Achelous and Hercules", a supplemental picture guide to the story, a non-fiction article about fresh water from Readworks, and a supplemental worksheet.
Tags: greece, #SAAMTeach , water
This collection will support students in identifying and creating effective literary devices, as a review, in preparation for an upcoming poetry unit. Students will begin with a See-Think-Wonder activity, followed by a quick write, a review of five literary devices (diction, imagery, metaphor, simile, and tone), and ending with a small group See-Think-Wonder activity and the creation of sentences based on the images using the literary devices listed above.
- Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1872
- Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1893-1901
- Thomas Moran, The Chasm of the Colorado, 1873-1874
- Thomas Moran, Mist in Kanab Canyon, Utah, 1892
- Thomas Doughty, River View with Hunters and Dogs, ca. 1850
- Asher B. Durand, Woodland Glen, ca. 1850-1855
- Frederic Edwin Church, Aurora Borealis, 1865
Suggestions for teachers regarding visual clues for this image are in the "Notes to Other Users" section.
Tags: Civil War, Women's Roles in Civil War, Barbara Frietchie (Fritchie), John Greenleaf Whittier
In this modular, multi-part lesson, learners will focus on a Sidedoor podcast discussing mosquitoes. Learners will focus on the content the podcast is delivering and then analyze the podcast for production techniques. The content of the podcast will give the team a base understanding for the focus of their own podcast.
This collection uses the Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking routine for interpretation with justification. This routine helps students describe what they see or know and asks them to build explanations. The strategy is paired with photographs from the National Museum of American History, an artwork from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a video from the Smithsonian Music initiative, featuring a curator from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Using guided questions, students will look at a single event through multiple media formats.
Tags: William H. Johnson, Robert Scurlock, Marian Anderson, Easter 1939 concert, Lincoln Memorial
#visiblethinking #BecauseOfHerStory #SmithsonianMusic
In this collection, students will explore an artwork by El Anatsui, a contemporary artist whose recent work addresses global ideas about the environment, consumerism, and the social history and memory of the "stuff" of our lives. After looking closely and exploring the artwork using an adapted version of Project Zero's "Parts, Purposes, and Complexities" routine, students will create a "diamante" poem using their observations of the artwork and knowledge they gained about El Anatsui's artistic influences. Additional resources about El Anatsui, how to look at African Art, and Project Zero Thinking Routines are located at the end of the collection.
This collection was created for the "Smithsonian Learning Lab, Focus on Global Arts and Humanities" session at the 2019 New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Arts Integration Leadership Institute.
Keywords: nigeria, african art, textile, poetry, creative writing, analysis