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Found 480 Collections


Holiday Celebrations: Highlights Collection

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, Why Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol". Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Ryan Maxey

La Lotería: A Mexican Bingo Game

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

Arizona State Museum


This is my digital story of my experience visiting the American History Museum in Washington D.C. 


Stephanie Palencia

Artifact Analysis

In this collection we explore the definition of an artifact and analyze various artifacts from multiple cultural periods.

Idaho State Museum

Dorothea Lange

A photographic study of the Great Depression.

Sarah Dahl

Sites Unseen: Navigating Complexity and Grappling with Uncertainty

Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen combines the disciplines of art, science, and investigative journalism to bring unseen and, at times, unsettling elements of our contemporary world to light. Zooming outward from personal, to local, and finally global implications of this work, participants will work collaboratively to identify extensions and troubleshoot any challenges of this content for the classroom.

All Grade Levels

Elizabeth Dale-Deines

Express Yourself: Creating a Graphic Novel Exploring Identity with the National Portrait Gallery

Considering the growing popularity of the graphic novel, could they be a venue for your students to explore and express identity? This collection offers interactive activities that incorporate building the structure of comic book and graphic novel pages. Utilizing the special exhibition Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today, this workshop takes a close look at self-portraiture as a means of exploring identity. The ideas here were presented by Sean Murphy, art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School, in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. 


Briana White

Women in Baseball and the Post Office

This collection explores this essential question: How was the changing status of women in American society during the late 19th and early 20th century represented in professional baseball and the United States Postal Service. In small groups, students will discuss this underlying question through the variety of resources in this collection, examining the historical access women have had to these institutions, their divergent experiences compared to their male counterparts, and how women have historically been depicted on USPS stamps. Some supporting questions to scaffold inquiry can be found in the “Notes to Other Users” section.

Jessica Rosenberry



Tonya O'Brien



Tonya O'Brien

Colors of the World

This collections will help Early Learners with identifying colors in a new way!
Shakia Bonds

4 Forces of Flight

Photos and Articles that are supplemental learning to the forces of flight. All artifacts are interactive for student engagement and assessment.

Dalton Alatan

The Things I Carry

These three objects are filled with some of the best memories I can think of. All three of these were gifts to me by different family members. It shows that I like to be prepared for anything and that I highly value family and the things they give me. Each item could be replaced but wouldn't have the same sentimental value if they were. These three objects might not be in the best condition but all the rips and scratches they have each hold a different memory that can't be replaced. I can't go more than a few days without using or wearing these items because they are such a big part of my life.

Griffin Landers

Pottery: Pots & Jars #latinoHAC

This collection focuses on pottery from various cultures. Students can use the Art Elements and the Principles of Design to critique these works of art. 

Nadia Earl

Resources List: Asian Americans in Cleveland

This collection includes resources presented at the November 16, 2018 Educator Workshop at the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society.


Mary Manning

Mochi Barrel - Japanese Cultural Traditions in Cleveland

This collection begins with one object from the collections of the Cleveland History Center - a usu, or stamp mill, that is used to make mochi, a type of Japanese rice cake.  Building from that one object, this collection also explores the history of the family who owned and used this item, the cultural traditions associated with the mochi-making ceremony that the family maintained years after their arrival in the United States, and how the Japanese-American population in Cleveland grew considerably during and after World War II.  


Mary Manning

Digital Storytelling to Explore Latinx History, Arts and Culture

This Learning Lab collection was made to support teachers and educators participating in the "Exploring Latinx Artists from the Frost Art Museum Collection" Workshop, to reflect on their experience. This program received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

This workshops is organised by the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and aims at sharing digital resources and tools for the classroom available from the Smithsonian Learning Lab ( During the workshop,  co-facilitated by Dr Antonia Liguori (Loughborugh University, UK) and Dr Philippa Rappoport (SCLDA), participants will learn how to create a lesson plan using digital resources and how to enhance their students' learning experience through Digital Storytelling.

In particular this collection represents an introduction on how to apply Digital Storytelling within the Learning Lab as a teaching strategy and a self-reflective tool to stimulate active and deep learning.

You will find here:

- a short ice-breaker activity to start shifting from a cognitive appreciation of art to a personal connection to museum objects;

- some examples of digital stories made by other educators during previous Digital Storytelling workshops 'embedded' in the Learning Lab;

- a description of the Digital Storytelling process, with templates for storyboarding and a few tips for audio and video editing;

- some prompts to start drafting a script for the Digital Story that will be made in a following workshop.


Antonia Liguori

Historical Chinese Apothecary Exhibit of California Gold Rush Mining Town, at Columbia State Historic Park.

The population of California grew from 14,000 to 223,000 between the years of 1848 to 1852. During the California Gold Rush, people from different cultures migrated from all over the world, all sharing the same hopes of creating better lives for themselves and their families. The rich cultural diversity we find in California today can be traced back to many families from the earliest days of the State of California, through cultural artifacts. Columbia State Historic Park has the largest collection of gold rush brick buildings in California. This collection of 1850s gold rush era brick buildings is a living museum of cultural artifacts dated back to the diverse merchant economy that once thrived in Columbia, CA. During the gold rush, Columbia became one of the fifth largest cities in California, with one hundred and fifty businesses during the peak of Columbia's success. The Chinese population in Columbia owned a variety of different businesses; such as dry goods, boarding houses, laundry services, restaurants, and more. Originally, the Chinese population was located on the Western edge of town. In the late 1850s and 1860s, the Chinese began purchasing buildings from French merchants. The town's history of destructive fires and the rise and fall of the merchant economy shaped the reduction of the architectural landscape visitors find today, at Columbia State Historic Park. Many of the brick buildings survived it all and have been restored for visitors to enjoy today. Visitors of Columbia State Historic Park may view the Chinese Store exhibit through windows that display a large collection of Chinese artifacts. This collection of photos provides a closer look at the inside of the Chinese exhibit. Fong Yue Po, from the Yee Phong Herb Company, Sacramento, CA, donated many artifacts used in this exhibit.

Columbia State Historic Park

The Great Gatsby

Show how each of the these paintings relates to characters, themes, and ideas in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Anne Ruka

America in the 1960's

To be used to delve into setting for S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders."

Sarah Parham-Giannitti

Latino Family Stories through Art

Student activity collection analyzing the work of two very different Mexican American artists, identifying aspects of culture and exploring expressions about Latino experiences in art. Included in this collection, are five paintings highlighting Latino families, paired with observation and analysis questions and interviews with the artists, Carmen Lomas Garza and Jesse Treviño, as well as podcast analyses of the paintings from the museum's director. As a supplement, students could read a book by Garza depicting her childhood memories of growing up in a traditional Mexican American community, or lead a discussion comparing this artwork with other images of families found in the Smithsonian collections. #LatinoHAC

Victor Vega

Exploration of Different Gold Mining Tools and Techniques, at Columbia State Historic Park

Historical images of placer gold mining tools and techniques used, in Columbia, CA may be used for learning different placer gold mining techniques. These visual aids may provide a better understanding of how the types of mining tools changed over time, in Columbia, CA. As the California Gold Rush began miners traveled throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills, in search for gold. These miners traveled with very few items; some which included a gold pan, pick and shovel for easier travel. As more gold was discovered, mining parties established mining camps or tent towns; and, the cradle or rocker box was used to wash gold. Further development of mining camps brought in the use of long toms, sluice boxes and water diversions created for mining. The history of Columbia State Historic Park follows this storyline, but evolved into a full-scale mining town. Eighty-Seven Million dollars worth of gold, in the 1860s prices (Twelve to Sixteen dollars per ounce vs. current price of gold is over One Thousand dollars) was extracted from Columbia, CA. The amount of gold not only attracted miners, but business people, as well. In the mid 1850s, brick buildings with iron doors were built to provide more stable structures for the strong merchant economy. Today Columbia State Historic Park is home to the largest collection of gold rush era brick buildings, in California; whereas, structures of other mining camps of the California Gold Rush no longer exist.    

Columbia State Historic Park

California Gold Rush Era Mining Technique Photos

Mining techniques evolved over time with development of larger mining companies. These photos also show cultural diversity during the California Gold Rush. 

Columbia State Historic Park

Using Visual Images to Determine What it Means to Be Human

Theme, Human Nature, Short Stories, ELA

Ellen Fisher
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