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Found 849 Collections

 

Looking at Earth: Seeing Africa from Above

Throughout history we have sought to better understand our world by viewing it from above. We first climbed trees, hills and fortress towers to observe the lay of the land. Today, aircraft and spacecraft look down on Earth to predict the weather, survey the terrain, monitor crops and forests, plan cities, locate resources, and gather intelligence.

This teachers guide and student activity includes an online exhibition, Looking at Earth, with background information on aerial imagery and aerial photographs of towns and cities in Africa. Divide students into small groups and ask each group to examine a different photograph responding to the following statements or questions: 1) Describe the physical (natural) features in the photograph. 2) Describe the human-made characteristics. 3) Identify the ways in which people use the land. 4) Do the streets form a grid or some other pattern? 5) Identify regions within the photograph defined by the ways in which the land is used (residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, transportation).

Ask each group to share their findings with the entire class. Discuss how the African towns and cities are different and the role of geography in defining a place. Locate the different towns and cities on a map of Africa.

Stephanie Norby
17
 

George

Learning resource collection, which includes an iconic portrait of George Washington, filled with symbols that tell a story about early America and its first leader. Explore the ways that the artist uses symbols in the portrait to tell about the subject’s life, personality, and achievements.
Sara Benis
5
 

Innovations in Coffee Cup Lids

Sometimes innovations are about something completely new and sometimes innovations are about small refinements in design. What can we learn about innovation from looking at something as ordinary as a coffee cup lid? Read the article about coffee cup lids and write a description for one of the lids, capturing its unique qualities. How do changes in coffee cup lids reflect larger changes in our society? Predict what will be the next innovation .
Stephanie Norby
57
 

Ancient China

A collection of resources about Ancient China.
Linda Muller
32
 

Powwows

Elizabeth Hoffmeyer
78
 

Creating Landscapes

With the resources in this Collection, students will be able to:
1. Analyze various landscapes presented in a work of art.
2. Understand the relationship between humans and the natural world.
3. Identify ways artists use viewpoint, scale, and detail to communicate ideas.
Linda Muller
17
 

Roman Architecture: Arches and Columns

Roman architecture continued the legacy left by the Greeks. However, the Romans were great innovators and quickly adopted new construction techniques, used new materials, and uniquely combined existing techniques with creative design to create some of the worlds most amazing architectural structures.
Many Roman innovations were created in response to the practical changing needs of Roman society and were designed and built across the Roman world guaranteeing their permanence so that many of these great edifices still exist today.

Source citation: Cartwright, Mark. "Roman Architecture." Ancient History Encyclopedia. 2013. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Linda Muller
21
 

President Portraits

A topical collection of United States presidential portraits. This collection might be best shortened to introduce a specific historical era and the leader(s) of the time, or adapted to show how American leaders wanted to be perceived during their tenure and legacy and how artists depicted them. It includes the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture at a Glance sheet, which offers suggested looking and analyzing questions. It is also includes associated curator and educator talks on the portraits, where possible.
M FUGA
54
 

Investigating a Place: Texas, a U.S. State Collection

This state collection utilizes stamps, artworks, photographs, and videos in the Smithsonian's collection to highlight 65 iconic people, places, events and symbols of Texas' history and culture. Students might explore one resource in depth, or conduct a comparison of multiple resources. Follow-up questions might include: What sub-themes can you identify within this collection? What do these resources as a collection tell you about Texas? What marks someone as a "Texan"--is it birthplace alone? What other resources would you want to include to tell a more complete story of Texas history and culture?
Ashley Naranjo
65
 

Spotting Symbols in the Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington

Learning resource collection, which includes an iconic portrait of George Washington, filled with symbols that tell a story about early America and its first leader. Explore the ways that the artist uses symbols in the portrait to tell about the subject’s life, personality, and achievements.
Ashley Naranjo
7
 

"Water Matters" Online Conference Series: Archive and Illustration Summaries

This online conference series invites educators and students to take an active role in global environmental issues around water. Learn from experts in the field, share ideas, and collaborate with people around the world who, like you, are committed to solving environmental challenges. Includes illustration summaries and the archive of each session, with interdisciplinary connections to water issues . Original Airdates: Spring 2012
Ashley Naranjo
42
 

Early Alphabet Books

A collection of alphabet books to inspire students to create their own. Alphabet books can be created using any subject and completed with any grade. They can be completed individually (one student makes a page for each letter of the alphabet) or as a group or class (each student takes one letter). Here are some ideas for topics or use with your students:
Kindergarden-1st--Pick a letter, write a sentence using that letter and illustrate.
2nd-4th--The class takes a topic such as insects and each student takes a page, researches and illustrates it.
5th-12th--Students take a topic (biography, historical topic, memoir about themselves, book that they've read) and creates an alphabet book with each page telling the story or giving information about the subject.
Annette Hibbert Nelson
13
 

Visual Thinking Strategies

The goal of teaching visual thinking strategies is to encourage students to observe independently and back up their responses with evidence.
Annotations for each image contain key questions to help students practice visual thinking.
Linda Muller
5
 

Great Ideas, Modern Art, and Advertising

This collection consists of advertisements created for the Container Corporation of America in the 1950s. Each advertisement pairs a quote from a "Great Idea of Western Man" with a work of original art. After reviewing the collection, students will create their own art work to reflect a "Great Idea" that they think is important and meaningful in the world today.
Kate Harris
11
 

The Art of Writing and Calligraphy

This collection includes a variety of resources representing styles of writing from around the world. It encourages viewers to consider writing not only for its ability to communicate through letters and symbols, but also for its artistic value. The collection includes a video on Sumerian writing, a website on African writing systems and art, and artifacts that are examples of the writing of East Asian, Arabic, Cherokee, Hebrew, and Modern European alphabets. In addition, a few tools used for writing are included. There is some background material on each type of writing as you read through the collection.

Questions for classroom discussion and research might include:
-What is the purpose of writing? Why use hand-writing or calligraphy instead of using a computer?
-How do alphabets differ?
-How can a style of calligraphy (or font change) the interpretation of a written work?
Kate Harris
29
 

Proud Publisher: Heritage Bookmaking Activity

The Smithsonian has joined with book artist Sushmita Mazumdar to create a series of easy-to-do book projects designed to get families talking and creating together. In the "Today I am Here" storybook, students explore their heritage by identifying a person, place, and object to tell the story of their own personal history. Included here is a video demonstration and accompanying downloadable instructions to make your own “Today I am Here” storybook!
Ashley Naranjo
13
 

Writing Inspiration: Using Art to Spark Narrative Story Elements

The Smithsonian museum collection inspires many to research the history behind artifacts, but this collection explores the use of art and artifacts to spark creative story writing. Students will choose artifacts to craft characters, a setting, and a plot conflict to create and write a narrative story.

Targeted Vocabulary: Narrative, protagonist , antagonist, character, character traits, setting, plot, climax, and conflict.

After reading and analyzing several narrative stories for story elements such as character, setting, plot, climax, and conflict, students will use this collection to begin planning their own narrative stories.
Individuals or partners will first view the portraits and discuss possible stories behind each face before choosing a protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters. They may begin to discuss and imagine character traits for each subject.
Next, the student will select a landscape setting in which the story may take place. The writer will describe the landscape, imagine a time period, and name the location.
Finally, the student will either choose an action artifact around which to build a major plot event, or have that slide as a minor scene in their story.
Students may use the Question Formulation Technique to garner ideas for background stories behind the faces. http://rightquestion.org/
Once the story elements are in place, the students may begin to draft narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

With the artifacts selected as the major story elements, the students may begin crafting their narrative story. The artifacts can then be displayed as illustrations in the published narratives.
Kathy Powers
66
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 1

Set 1 of 4
Jeff Holliday
42
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 2

Set 2 of 4
Jeff Holliday
44
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 3

Set 3 of 4
Jeff Holliday
32
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 4

Set 4 of 4
Jeff Holliday
38
 

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years in Forty Portraits

This collection includes a unique series of portraits of four sisters. Every year, for forty years, one of the sisters' husbands captured the four women in a black and white photograph. A New York Times article introduces the project, paired with the forty photographs and some discussion questions considering elements of portraiture that are captured in these images.
Ashley Naranjo
43
 

The Process of Invention

This collection uses objects from the National Museum of American History to describe the process of invention--from the "think it" step, when inventors come up with a great idea, to the prototyping or "create it" step, all the way through the "sell it" or marketing stage.

This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Tricia Edwards
7
 

Artful Thinking About America's Capital City

What do you think you know about Washington, D.C.? This collection is designed to help students develop and practice their skills for examining and thinking about art that was created to represent America's Capital City.
Linda Muller
9
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