Found 1,602 Learning Lab Collections
Walrus ivory is a precious sculptural material that for millennia has been carved into a nearly endless variety of forms essential to Arctic life, from harpoon heads to needle cases, handles, ornaments, buckles and many more. Naturalistic and stylized figures of animals and humans were made as charms, amulets and ancestral representations. Carvers today bring this conceptual heritage to new types of work.
During a week-long residency organized by the Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum in 2015, Alaska Native carvers Jerome Saclamana (Iñupiaq), Clifford Apatiki (St. Lawrence Island Yupik) and Levi Tetpon (Iñupiaq) studied historic walrus ivory pieces from the Smithsonian’s Living Our Cultures exhibition and Anchorage Museum collection, and demonstrated how to process, design and shape walrus ivory into artwork. Art students, museum conservators, school groups, local artists and museum visitors participated throughout the week. Also, a two-day community workshop in Nome was taught by Jerome Saclamana and hosted by the Nome-Beltz High School. The video set presented here introduces the artists and document the materials, tools and techniques they use to make walrus-ivory artwork. An educational guide with six lessons is included below pair with the videos, along with links to a selection of Iñupiaq and St. Lawrence Island Yupik objects from the Smithsonian collections that were carved from walrus ivory.
Tags: Iñupiaq, Inupiaq, Eskimo, ivory, walrus, carving, carver, carve, Native art, museum, education, St. Lawrence Island Yupik
What does it take to prepare our youth for a world on the move with quality?
This collection is the first in a series of four created to support the Re-Imagining Migration DC Seminar Series, held between December 2019 to March 2020. The seminar series is led by Verónica Boix Mansilla, Senior Principal Investigator for Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero, and Research Director for Re-Imagining Migration, with in-gallery experiences provided by educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the National Gallery of Art.
This set of collections is designed to be dynamic. We sill continue to add material, including participant-created content, throughout the seminar series so that the collections themselves can be used as a type of textbook, reflecting the content, development, and outputs of the full seminar series. Please check back to the hashtag #ReImaginingMigration to see what we anticipate will be a growing body of materials to support educators as they strive to serve and teach about human migration in relevant and deep ways.
This collection was created to complement a National Art Education Association (NAEA) webinar, "Constructing Curriculum with the Smithsonian" (December 11, 2019) featuring resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Learning Lab.
The webinar features inquiry-based strategies in examining the American experience depicted through portraiture and unpacking the context of historical narratives communicated through art with students.
This collection was created in collaboration with Briana Zavadil White (National Portrait Gallery) and Candra Flanagan (National Museum of African American History and Culture).
The Alaska Office of the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center hosted an Iñupiaq language and culture seminar in January 2011, bringing together eight fluent speakers: Sylvester Ayek, Bernadette Alvanna-Stimpfle, Alvira Downey, Herbert Foster Sr., Willie Goodwin Jr., Jana Harcharek, Faye Ongtowasruk and Rachel Riley. They met for four days to discuss Iñupiaq cultural heritage objects in the Smithsonian exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum.
During the seminar, the Iñupiaq language was documented, including three different dialects, and language and culture teaching materials were written for use in schools and homes throughout Alaska and beyond. Six objects from the Smithsonian collections – with links below – are featured in the guide and lessons presented here. These resources pair with six video lessons that offer teachers, students, parents and lifelong learners access to Iñupiaq language and lifeways.
Tags: Alaska, Native art, museum, education, language, Indigenous, Iñupiaq, Inupiaq
By Beverly Faye Hugo, 2009
Sea, Land, Rivers
There’s ice and snow, the ocean and darkness – darkness in the winter and twenty-four hours of daylight in the summer. Barrow was originally called Utqiaġvik (meaning, “the place where ukpik, the snowy owl, nests”). That’s where my people, the Iñupiat, have survived and lived, and I am doing as they have done. On the Arctic coast you can see vast distances in all directions, out over the ocean and across the land. The country is very flat, with thousands of ponds and lakes, stretching all the way to the Brooks Range in the south. It is often windy, and there are no natural windbreaks, no trees, only shrubs. Beautiful flowers grow during the brief summer season. The ocean is our garden, where we hunt the sea mammals that sustain us. Throughout the year some seasonal activity is going on. We are whaling in the spring and fall, when the bowheads migrate past Barrow, going out for seals and walrus, fishing, or hunting on the land for caribou, geese, and ducks.
Whaling crews are made up of family members and relatives, and everyone takes part. The spring is an exciting time when the whole community is focused on the whales, hoping to catch one. The number we are permitted to take each year is set by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the International Whaling Commission. Whaling is not for the faint of heart. It can be dangerous and takes an incredible amount of effort – getting ready, waiting for the whales, striking and pulling and towing them. But the men go out and do it because they want to feed the community. Everyone has to work hard throughout the whaling season. People who aren’t able to go out on the ice help in other ways, such as buying supplies and gas or preparing food. You have to make clothing for them; they need warm parkas, boots, and snow pants.
We believe that a whale gives itself to a captain and crew who are worthy people, who have integrity – that is the gift of the whale. Caring for whales, even after you’ve caught them, is important. After a whale is caught and divided up, everyone can glean meat from the bones. Each gets his share, even those who don’t belong to a crew. No one is left out.
We are really noticing the effects of global warming. The shorefast ice is much thinner in spring than it used to be, and in a strong wind it will sometimes break away. If you are out on the ice, you have to be extremely conscious of changes in the wind and current so that you will not be carried off on a broken floe. We are concerned as well about the effects of offshore drilling and seismic testing by the oil companies. They try to work with the community to avoid problems, but those activities could frighten the whales and be detrimental to hunting.
Community and Family
Iñupiaq residents of Barrow, Wales, Point Hope, Wainwright, and other coastal communities, are the Taġiuqmiut, “people of the salt.” People who live in the interior are the Nunamiut, “people of the land.” The Nunamiut used to be nomadic, moving from camp to camp with their dog teams, hunting and fishing to take care of their families. They packed light and lived in skin tents, tracking the caribou and mountain sheep. My husband, Patrick Hugo, was one of them. For the first six years of his life his family traveled like that, but when the government built a school at Anaktuvuk Pass in 1959 they settled there.
My parents, Charlie and Mary Edwardson, were my foremost educators. They taught me my life skills and language. When I came to awareness as a young child, all the people who took care of me spoke Iñupiaq, so that was my first language. Our father would trap and hunt. We never went hungry and had the best furs for our parkas. Our mother was a fine seamstress, and we learned to sew by helping her. My mother and grandmother taught us to how to care for a family and to do things in a spirit of cooperation and harmony.
I was a child during the Bureau of Indian Affairs era, when we were punished for speaking Iñupiaq in school. My first day in class was the saddest one of my young life. I had to learn English, and that was important, but my own language is something that I value dearly and have always guarded. It is a gift from my parents and ancestors, and I want to pass it on to my children and grandchildren and anyone who wants to learn.
Ceremony and Celebration
Nalukataq (blanket toss) is a time of celebration when spring whaling has been successful. It is a kind of all-day picnic. People visit with friends and family at the windbreaks that the crews set up by tipping the whale boats onto their sides. At noon they serve niġliq (goose) soup, dinner rolls, and tea. At around 3:00 P.M. we have mikigaq,made of fermented whale meat, tongue, and skin. At 5:00 they serve frozen maktak (whale skin and blubber) and quaq (raw frozen fish). It’s wonderful to enjoy these foods, to talk, and catch up with everyone at the end of the busy whaling season.
Kivgik, the Messenger Feast, was held in the qargi (ceremonial house). The umialgich (whaling captains) in one community sent messengers to the leaders of another, inviting them and their families to come for days of feasting, dances, and gift giving. They exchanged great quantities of valuable things – piles of furs, sealskins filled with oil, weapons, boats, and sleds. That took place until the early years of the twentieth century, when Presbyterian missionaries suppressed our traditional ceremonies, and many of the communal qargich in the villages were closed down.
In 1988, Mayor George Ahmaogak Sr. thought it was important to revitalize some of the traditions from before the Christian era, and Kivgik was started again. Today it is held in the high school gymnasium. People come to Barrow from many different communities to take part in the dancing and maġgalak, the exchange of gifts. You give presents to people who may have helped you or to those whom you want to honor. Kivgiq brings us together as one people, just as it did in the time of our ancestors.
The Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center hosted a language and culture seminar at the Anchorage Museum in 2011, bringing together eight fluent Iñupiaq speakers for four days to discuss cultural heritage objects from their region in the Smithsonian exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum. This video set presents a range of information about life in northwest Alaska for the Iñupiaq people: hunting tools used for living from the land and sea to ceremonial items used at celebrations and gatherings to everyday clothing to cultural traditions and values. The videos are in Iñupiaq with subtitles in English and Iñupiaq, for following along in both languages. An educational guide with six lessons is included below, along with links to objects discussed from the Smithsonian collections.
Tags: Alaska, Native art, museum, education, language, Indigenous, Iñupiaq, Inupiaq
These resources provide examples of the role of traditions in the American Indian Movement and how American Indians have attempted to keep their traditional way of life viable. #ethnicstudies
Primary sources and cultural artifacts related to the African-American experience.
This collection is a curated collection of images that can be used with a lesson plan on curation. Each of the images has some possible connection to a social justice theme and the question asked by the creator of the collection is, "How might we approach conversations about curation and social justice?" Each of these images adds a unique and interesting dimension to a conversation about curation, the people whose stories are selected for view, and how those stories are empowered and/or disempowered by the stories that they are surrounded by. How do we make decisions about these topics? What do we do when we are asked to include in a curated collection pieces that change the story we might want to tell? How do we deal with the multi-faceted stories and sometimes contradictory stories of the people we select for our collections?
It is important to ask these questions and have dialogues with students about how we come to our conclusions, make our decisions, and wrestle with these concepts. In a world of tweets and ever expanding stories/information it is important sometimes to talk about how we work with the realities of physical spaces where there isn't always enough wall real estate to highlight everyone all of the time. In those situations, how decisions are made, who is brought to the forefront (and who is not), and how our own beliefs/biases/views of the world play into those decisions all matter.
How might you curate this collection in many ways? Who is still missing and why does it matter that we ask the questions at all?
While this is intended to be a companion collection to a lesson on curation, the questions above may stand on their own. This collection is intended to be the beginning of a conversation, and not a stand alone collection; however, the lesson is also available in the collection as a downloadable PDF.
For decades humans have depicted art in various forms that consist of monsters. This made me ask myself; what exactly is a monster? These pieces of art consist of images that their creators describe as monsters. I am going to delve in to the history behind these objects and symbols to figure out if they are really monsters or if our ideas of what makes an object or a person a monster skewed.
This topical collection includes resources related to featured women activists. This collection includes portraits of the activists, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the life stories of activists, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study.
Keywords: Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Edith Windsor, Wilma Mankiller, Grace Lee Boggs, Pauli Murray, Shirley Chisholm, Rachel Carson, Zitkala-Sa, #BecauseOfHerStory
A collection depicting and describing different African Drums and their significance in African culture as well as the African diaspora. Please enjoy a look at the heartbeat of our culture.
By Zuri Houston and Malik Miller
Who has access to the American Dream? How do groups fight for access? How is the fight for access reflected in art and culture?
TEKS US.24B describe the impacts of cultural movements in art, music, and literature such as Tin Pan Alley, the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat Generation, rock and roll, the Chicano Mural Movement, and country and western music on American society #ethnicstudies
This collection is meant to build on two earlier collections, "Asian American Art: Emerging from the Shadows" and "Asian American Artists and World War II" and to introduce the viewer to artists of Asian ancestry in America using Chang, Johnson & Karlstrom's text, Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (2008), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco's exhibition catalog "Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970" (2008),the vast resources of the Smithsonian Learning Lab, Project Zero's Global Thinking Routines and other resources. This collection is part two of four that I have organized, chronologically, on Asian American Art. The other three collections are "Asian American Art: Emerging from the Shadows", "Asian American Artists and World War II" and "Asian American Contemporary Art". It is my hope that these collections will serve as entry points to understanding the many contributions of Asian American artists in the U.S. from 1850 until the present time.
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 cultural intelligence.
Other purposes of these collections are to explore tangible and intangible cultural heritage; as well as jumpstart brave conversations about race, identity and immigration in the U.S. with teachers, tutors of English Language Learners and others who are interested in becoming cultural leaders in our public schools.
As Gordon H. Chang and Mark Dean Johnson state in the introduction of the exhibition catalog, "Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970" (2008):
"Forty years ago there were no Asian Americans. There were Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, and others of Asian ancestry in the United States, but no 'Asian Americans,' as that term was coined only in 1968. This population was commonly seen as foreign, alien, not of America. Their lives and experiences were not generally accepted as part of the fabric of the country, even though Asians had begun settling here steadily in the mid-nineteenth century.
Then, in the late 1960s, as part of the upsurge in the self-assertion of marginalized communities, 'Asian America' emerged to challenge the stigma of perpetual foreignness. 'Asian American' was a claim of belonging, of rootedness, of pride and identity, and of history and community; it was also a recognition of distinctive cultural achievement" (Chang, Johnson, 2008).
A profound result of the vast employment of traqueros in the transportation industry was the railroads' corporate strategy to establish means for "chain migration." Chain migration refers to the process of immigrants from a particular region or town following the path of prior immigrants (from their same region or town) to the same destination.
As the agricultural, petroleum, and cattle ranching industries of the Southwest expanded to a vast scale in the early 20th century, the demand for traquero labor grew as well. To meet this demand, companies like the Santa Fe Railroad incentivized traqueros to bring along their families, including wives and children, to live on sites by the rail yards rent-free.
A key tactic in this strategy was the practice of housing traqueros in converted boxcars. These converted boxcars would be grouped together into settlements, which tended to be of two types: one was a species of "mobile villages" that moved along the train tracks, whereas the other type was comprised by taking boxcar quarters off the rails and grouping them together on the outskirts of rail yards in areas usually saved for section gangs. Historian Al Camarillo, in his book Chicanos in a Changing Society: From Mexican Pueblos to American Barrios in Santa Barbara and Southern California, 1848-1930 (1979) has termed the process of establishing boxcar settlements as "barrioization," because these family-centered communities demonstrated the sustainability of Mexican American communities, as well as familiarized Mexican immigrants with different parts of the U.S. that would become significant Mexican immigrant destinations.
Mexican boxcar communities existed all over the country and in major cities including Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
On April 18th, 2016, Dr. Antonio Delgado, a former Smithsonian Institution Visiting Scholar (1998), presented his research on Mexican boxcar communities in Chicago at the McHenry County Historical Society Museum. Illinois Humanities sponsored the event, publishing the Daily Herald's notice of the program on the Illinois Humanities' news blog. The online story includes a trailer for local station WTVP's documentary, Boxcar People, for which the now adult children of traqueros were interviewed.
#EthnicStudies #MexicanAmericans #Traqueros #Railroads #BoxcarCommunities #ChainMigration #Latinos #Chicanos
This collection will provide an opportunity for students to analyze artwork, read background information, and connect art with historical events. At the heart of this activity is artwork created by Latino artist Carmen Lomas Garza. These paintings reflect the experiences of Garza's family and Latino life in 1980s America. In addition to image analysis, teachers could extend an opportunity for students to identify and discuss connections between Garza's art and the Mexican American experience from the 1960s to the present. This collection includes:
- A timeline of U.S.-Mexican American relations
- Video/audio of Reagan signing the 1986 Immigration Reform Control Act
- And an overview of immigration reform via ABC-CLIO (requires subscription).
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Connections #TEKS
- 24A describe how the characteristics of and issues in U.S. history have been reflected in various genres of art, music, film, and literature;
In this activity, students will examine photographs documenting the Bracero Program, the largest guest-worker program in US history. Started in 1942 as a temporary war measure to address labor demands in agriculture and railroads, the program allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and 24 other states. By the time the program ended in 1964, over 4.6 million contracts were awarded.
Using two Project Zero Global Thinking Routines - "Unveiling Stories" and "The 3 Ys" - students will analyze the stories these photographs tell about the experiences of braceros in this program, and the impact of these stories in multiple contexts. Additional resources (primary sources, a digital exhibition, and an article) and information on how to use these routines in the classroom can by found by clicking Read More ».
Keywords: mexican, immigration, work, migration, migrant workers, agriculture, reform, politics, government, leonard nadel, photojournalism, activity, inquiry strategy, global competency, global competence, latino, chicano, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, 1940s, 40s, 1950s, 50s, 1960s, 60s
This teaching collection helps students to look closely and think critically by examining Domigo Ulloa's painting, Braceros, and historical documentation related to the bracero program, a series of short-term labor contracts from 1942-1964 in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the US to work on farms and roads. The collection prompts students to consider the program from a variety of perspectives, including individual, collective, social, economic, and political.
Included here are the painting, a bilingual video with Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) curator E. Carmen Ramos, four suggested Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder," "Step In, Step Out, Step Back," "The 3 Y's," and "Think, Feel, Care" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, supporting digital content from the National Museum of American History, and a blogpost from SAAM of two DC student's written responses to the prompt, "What Domingo Ulloa's Braceros Means to Me."
For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, and American History classes
This collection supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.
This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day. While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.
These resources - including objects, documents, websites, and articles - reveal challenges and opportunities experienced by American immigrants in the 19th to mid-20th centuries. Resources highlight hardships that compelled people to leave their homelands, difficulties immigrants faced upon arrival, and ways they overcame obstacles to build new lives and communities in America. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources.
The history of immigration in America is an immense topic, and this collection addresses only aspects of it. Use this collection to brainstorm project topics, find connected resources, and as a launching point for further research.
This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2019. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2019 in the description!
Tags: 1800s, 1900s angel island, ellis island, immigration test, community, prejudice, irish, jewish, syrian, lebanese, arab, italian, mexican, german, greek, bohemian, czech, slovenian, know nothing, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, swedish, chinese exclusion act, japanese american incarceration, internment, bracero program, stories project, #NHD
The theme of my collection is Chicano farm workers fighting for their rights.
Resources used during a session at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) annual conference in Austin, TX on November 23, 2019.
Essential Question: How can visual art nurture students' capacities to take informed action as citizens in a complex, interconnected world?