This Learning Lab complements the National Portrait Gallery's student program, Voices of Social Justice.
Students will learn about some of the major figures who struggled to obtain civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups. They will listen to stories of social justice and analyze portraits of individuals who broke barriers—from key nineteenth-century reformers to modern leaders—and will likely be encouraged to consider how they, too, can become civically engaged.
Explore how portraiture can elevate culturally responsive teaching (CRT)! Discover how art can be integrated into the classroom to create a learning environment that affirms students’ strengths, insights, and experiences.
Components of CRT:
- Having positive perspectives on the parents and families of students
- Communication of high expectations
- Learning within the context of culture
- Student-centered instruction
- Culturally mediated instruction
- Institutional policies and practices that support culturally reflective teaching
- Teacher as facilitator
Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing Co.
This collection works to establish connections between a portrait of LL Cool J and some of his words. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see his work in a new way?
This collection works to establish connections between a portrait of James Baldwin and examples of his writing. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see his writing in a new way?
This collection works to establish connections between a portrait of Gertrude Stein and examples of her writing. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see her writing in a new way?
This collection works to establish connections between a very famous portrait of George Washington and examples of his documents relevant to it. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see our first president in a new way?
This collection works to establish connections between a portrait of the four female justices of the Supreme Court and documents about and by them. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see these women in a new way?
This collection works to establish connections between a portrait of Toni Morrison and examples of her writing. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see her writing in a new way?
This collection works to establish connections between a portrait of Edward O. Wilson and examples of his work. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see his work in a new way?
This collection works to establish connections between a portrait of Alexander Hamilton and examples of his correspondences. How can these excerpts help us to understand this portrait? What layers of meaning and nuance do they add? How can this portrait help us to see Hamilton in a new way?
This Learning Lab collection was made to complement the presentation, "Digital Storytelling with Museum Objects in the Smithsonian Learning Lab," at the RDMF20: RDM and Data Sharing/Openness in the Arts conference on 3 June, 2020. The conference is hosted by the University of Edinburgh's Digital Curation Centre, a world-leading centre of expertise in digital information curation with a focus on building capacity, capability and skills for research data management.
During the workshop, co-facilitated by Dr. Antonia Liguori (Loughborough University, UK) and Dr. Philippa Rappoport (Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access), participants will be introduced to both the Learning Lab and Digital Storytelling (DS) as platforms to explore museum objects in relation to data sharing and openness in the arts. This session will demonstrate a variety of techniques to incorporate personal experiences in the exploration and use of museum resources, and will share how the Smithsonian Learning Lab can be used to access digital resources, build learning experiences, and cultivate collaboration and community over distance.
We will explore artwork from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, Eye to I: Self-Portraiture as an Exploration of Identity), which compels viewers to consider how self-portraits reflect an artist’s identity through what is revealed and concealed. We will look specifically at the Eye to Eye artworks from the context of social distancing and unrest in the time of Covid-19 as a prompt to make personal connections.
After an introduction to the Smithsonian Learning Lab and previous experiences with Digital Storytelling within that environment, participants will be engaged in discussions about:
- how Digital Storytelling can supplement and inform ontologies and metadata to extract meanings from museums' digital collections and therefore activate data to inform curatorial practice in museums;
- how Digital Storytelling can enhance the educational values of museums’ objects and stimulate multiple contexts of understanding and co-creation;
- how digital technology, applied not necessarily in museum spaces, can connect local communities to the museum, and in particular how Digital Storytelling could facilitate this discourse by engaging hard to reach audiences.
You will find in this collection:
- a short icebreaker activity using exhibition images to start shifting from a cognitive appreciation of art to a personal connection to museum objects;
- some examples of annotated objects that demonstrate the functionality of the Learning Lab;
- 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;
- workshop participants' reflections;
- supplemental resources.
This Smithsonian Science Starter collection investigates the path to become an astronaut with NASA. In the accompanying video, astronaut Joe Acaba tells us about his path from starry-eyed young boy, to classroom teacher, to spacebound astronaut. He discusses what inspired him to pursue this career, and imagines what the future might still have in store for him. Students will consider what might motivate them to participate in spaceflight, and what practical steps they would need to take to achieve that goal.
Keywords: #airandspace, NASM, National Air and Space Museum
This collection is built around a waka Māori currently on display in the National Museum of Natural History.
A waka is a traditional canoe. It is designed as a portal to Te Ao Māori - The indigenous worldview Māori are the native people of New Zealand. Its traditional name is Aotearoa meaning Land of the long white cloud.
This waka was made from a single 100-year old Tōtara tree. Tōtara is a large native New Zealand hardwood that grows throughout the North and South Island. It is light weighted and high natural oil content which prevents rotting or deterioration. Waka are extensions of Māori tribal history and are the traditional technology responsible for mobilising navigators across the Pacific Ocean. The infamous explorer Kupe, discovered New Zealand in 925 AD.
The name of the waka is Tuia te here tangata meaning Binding the ties of humanity. It celebrates the connection established in 1840 between the US Exploring expedition and Māori. The name and physical artefact hope to inspire understanding. The collection aims to digitally illustrate the mauri or life force of the waka. We can transform our wounds into wisdom by seeking first to understand, and then to be understood.
In this final History Lab of the 2019-20 school year, we will explore some fun historic images from the History Center's collections. What can we learn from looking carefully at these photographs? What do you think it would have been like to be there? Use the graphic organizer at the end to split a photograph into four parts and look even closer!
To talk with us and learn about more historic photographs, join us for the History Lab Debrief! Visit https://www.heinzhistorycenter... and look for the History Lab section to find the registration link. We hope you can join us!
This collection explores quarantine and space germs have been handled in space exploration. and connect what they have learned to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Explore different and diverse perspectives of people who participate in a system and how they think, feel, and care differently about things based on their positions in the system.
Each Easy PZ collection includes an artwork or museum object and a recorded webinar demonstrating how to use it to develop students' skills with a Harvard Project Zero thinking routine. Supplementary resources provide context relevant to understanding the featured artwork or object.
This collection models the routine "Think / Puzzle / Explore" with a museum resource from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to activate prior knowledge, generate ideas and curiosity, and set the stage for deeper inquiry.
This collection was created to support an online class for elementary teachers focusing on STEM individuals as we study "Who Did It First?.
The Learning Lab Collection highlights the ways in which portraiture reveals the past, present, and future of artist, sitters, and the nation. By analyzing portraiture, students will consider how portraiture reflects the past, mirrors the present, and inspires the future. Students will explore a variety of mediums, sitters, and eras of the United States through portraiture of the following individuals:
- Faith Ringgold
- Fred T. Korematsu
- Leonora O'Reilly
- Fisk Jubilee Singers
Objectives: After completing this lesson, students will be better able to:
- Examine how modern and contemporary artists use portraiture to reveal aspects of a sitter’s individual, community/cultural, and national identity.
- Identify key components of a portrait and discuss what one can learn about the sitter through these components.
- Discuss the artistic choices that portrait artists make and consider how such decisions can reveal the artists’ viewpoints and also influence the viewers’ understanding of the sitters’ identity.
- Use the museum’s collection as a gateway to investigating and exploring of the visualization of past, present, and future
Keywords: Faith Ringgold, Fred T. Korematsu, Leonora O'Reilly, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Self-Portrait, Textile Art, Story Quilt, Activism, Japanese Incarceration, Topaz, Korematsu v. United States, Suffrage, Wallace Morgan, Newspaper Sketch, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Music, Choir, Photography, Cabinet Card, Past, Present, Future
This Smithsonian Science Starter collection investigates the history of the International Space Station (ISS), and the lives of the people who have worked on it. How did the ISS come to be? Who are the astronauts who have been chosen to live and work there in microgravity for months at a time?
In the accompanying video, astronaut Paolo Nespoli talks about some of the difficulties of living aboard the ISS. He also discusses some similarities and differences between the United States’ space shuttles and the Russian Soyuz space vehicles, and what keeps astronauts busy during their time on the station.
Keywords: #airandspace, NASM, National Air and Space Museum
I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring the Postal Service. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about the postal service troubles as well as explore videos about how our mail is delivered. Families can learn about a dog that helped deliver the mail. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.
If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.
"Hyphenated Americans": When “Bricklayer Bill” Won the 1917 Boston Marathon, It Was a Victory For All Irish Americans
This collection explores the notion of hyphenated Americans, through the story of one man, William Kennedy, an American of Irish descent, born in New York in the late 19th century, who went on to win the Boston Marathon in 1918. Bill's nephew, in writing about his uncle, said, "When “Bricklayer Bill” Won the 1917 Boston Marathon, It Was a Victory For All Irish Americans." What did he mean?
To aid discussion, included in this collection are images, a cartoon, several articles, a story fro WBUR, and one thinking routine from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking - "Step In, Step Out, Step Back" - to "encourage learners to take other people’s perspectives, recognize that understanding others is an ongoing process, and understand that our efforts to take perspective can reveal as much about ourselves as they can about the people we are seeking to understand."
This collection complements chapter 6 ("The Flight From Ireland") of Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America, and supports Unit 2: What is the history?, and Unit 3: Local History and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.
This collection highlights variations on a theme through works of art: George Washington Crossing the Delaware, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware and Shimomura Crossing the Delaware. Comparisons of these works could serve as springboards for discussions about identity, immigration, "master" or dominant narratives in history, and hero myths.
“History matters because it has contemporary consequence,” declared historian Jennifer Guiliano, explaining to an audience how stereotypes affect children of all races. “In fact, what psychological studies have found, is when you take a small child out to a game and let them look at racist images for two hours at a time they then begin to have racist thoughts.”
The assistant professor affiliated with American Indian Programs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis went on to explain what that means to parents who have taken their kid for a family-oriented excursion to a sporting event with a racist mascot.
“We’re taking children who are very young, exposing them to racist symbology and then saying ‘But don’t be a racist when you grow up,’” Guiliano says. “This is the irony of sort of how we train and educate children. When we think about these issues of bringing children up, of thinking about the impact of these things, this is why history matters.”
Guiliano was among the speakers at a day-long symposium, “Mascots, Myths, Monuments and Memory,” examining racist mascots, the fate of Confederate statues and the politics of memory. The program was held in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian.
Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the African American History museum, says this all came about after a conversation with his counterpart Kevin Gover at the American Indian museum. Bunch says he learned that the creation of Confederate monuments and the rise of racist Indian mascots in sporting events occurred during the same period in American history, between the 1890s and 1915. This gathering was one way to help people understand the how and why between that overlap.
UNSTACKED is a wonderful way to spark inquiry, analysis, and discussion. By visually exploring our images, you can bring the Smithsonian Libraries' collections into your classroom. Use UNSTACKED as a morning exercise, a way to introduce a new topic, or to discover your students' interests. Picture your world, dive into the stacks!
The research and creation of this project was funded by the Gates Foundation Youth Access Grant.