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Found 544 Collections

 

Uncovering the Secrets of Queen Kapi’olani’s Canoe

This collection explores the cultural and historical significance of two diplomatic missions by Hawaiian King Kalākaua and Queen Kapi'olani to the United States. These 19th-century diplomatic missions established the first state dinner hosted by U.S. President Grant and included the gifting of a canoe from Queen Kapi'olani to the Smithsonian. Students can watch a video interview about this history and answer guided questions, then look closely  and analyze portraits of the monarchs, read more about the history of U.S. state dinners, and learn about the contemporary collaborations curators have with community members to reveal the history of objects, as described in the film. 

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

#APA2018

Tags: Hawaii, Kapiolani, Kalakaua, outrigger canoe, wa'a, diplomacy

Ashley Naranjo
16
 

Exploring the meaning of "social inclusion" through Digital Storytelling

This collection was made for a hands-on workshop organised by the Dresher Center for the Humanities at UMBC as part of the Inclusion Imperative Program.

During the workshop UMBC faculty and graduate students have the opportunity to learn some of the key elements of digital storytelling focused on questions of inclusion and justice. Some of the contents and tools were inspired by the EU funded project DIST - Digital Integration Storytelling http://www.dist-stories.eu/

Workshop participants will practice storyboarding and editing audio/visual materials as well as discuss how narrative structure and modes of storytelling vary in the diverse culture contexts in which we work and live. 

Antonia Liguori
25
 

Black History Month - Celebrating the Rich Cultural History of our Country

This Learning Lab uses interactive virtual tours, videos, images, and much more to Celebrate the Rich Cultural History of African American History in honor or Black History Month.

Students can explore this Learning Lab independently. Learning exercises and worksheets have been provided to help enhance the exploration of the content for the NMAAHC Black Superheroes 

Wakanda Learning Lab is this? #SJ2019LP

Kara MontgomeryRoa
29
 

Shaping America: Early America to the Civil War Portraits

Meet the politicians, reformers, inventors, authors, soldiers and others who shaped the course of American history from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War. Students will analyze portraits to learn about the diverse and significant contributions to American society made by individuals in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

#NPGteach

Miranda Daniels
25
 

PZ Perspectives Conference

While they may be little, young children are capable of deep thinking, perspective taking, sharing ideas and taking action; all skills necessary to be an active participant in society. Not only should young children be included and respected as citizens of both the local and global community, fostering these skills encourages the next generation to be invested in the betterment of society. Art is an effective and engaging catalyst to build these civic skills with young children. In this collection, educators from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center and the Quaker Valley School District share their use of artwork and thinking routines in their practice with young children. Through hearing stories, seeing examples, and engaging in model lessons, participants will experience relevant thinking routines, have opportunities to reflect on techniques presented and work cooperatively with peers as they create lessons inspired by provided artworks modeled techniques. Participants will leave the session feeling inspired and confident to incorporate art into their practice to build civic skills using demonstrated techniques.


Andrea Croft
49
 

Zoomorphic Creatures in Ancient Chinese Art

What can we learn about ancient China by studying artifacts?  What does the intricate detail of works of art suggest about values and beliefs in ancient China?  In this Learning Lab Collection, students will study ancient Chinese works of art via Project Zero Thinking Routines.  Working in groups, students will be assigned to either research ancient Chinese bronze bells or ancient Chinese bronze vessels and make inferences about ancient Chinese values and beliefs based on their research.  Then, inspired by taotie, mask-like design patterns of ancient Chinese bronze objects, students will etch their own zoomorphic creatures into metal foil.

This Learning Lab Collection contains a lesson plan, images to research, Thinking Routines, design worksheet, and sample final artwork.  Download the pdf Lesson Plan located in the "Teacher Materials and Lesson Plan" section first for instructions and art materials needed.

Tags:  metalwork; etch; repoussé; vessels; bells; ritual; Shang; Zhou; dynasty; China; composite animals

Freer and Sackler Galleries
45
 

What's a Lichen? How a Smithsonian Scientist Studies a Unique Symbiosis

This collection supports the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, "What's a Lichen? How a Smithsonian Scientist Studies a Unique Symbiosis,"  scheduled to air on November 14, 2019. Manu is a scientist at the Smithsonian who studies lichens, a lichenologist. She collects lichens from all over the world, depositing them into the U.S. National Herbarium, which is located at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Manu identifies the lichens she collects with observations of how the lichen looks, their DNA data and where they were found.

Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungus. They have been on earth for millions of years, living on rocks, trees, and soil in all different habitats on all seven continents. Even though lichens are all around us, scientists are still learning about what they are, where they live, and how many different species of lichens there are.

Fungus is any group of spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, and include molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools. Algae is a simple, non-flowering plant. Algae contain chlorophyll and produce sugar through photosynthesis, like other plants, but do not have true stems, roots, leaves, or vascular tissue like most other plants. Lichenization is a fungal lifestyle, and therefore the name of lichen is the name of the fungus component.

When you look at a lichen, what you’re looking at is the “house” that the fungus and algae grow together. Scientists call this house a “thallus.” When algae and fungus come together to form this house, we see a lichen. This partnership is called a symbiotic relationship, because it helps both the fungus and algae survive. Research has shown that lichens are not a natural biological group, meaning they do not all come from a single common ancestor, in other words, lichens have many origins. Currently there are almost 20,000 species of lichenized fungi known.

In this symbiotic relationship, the fungus and algae benefit from being associated with each other. The fungus provides the house, its shelter (the thallus). This shelter helps the algae survive in habitats where it would otherwise be exposed to the elements and possibly could not survive. The algae provide food for the fungus, in the form of sugar. The sugar is a byproduct of photosynthesis that occurs within the algae.

Lichens are very important for the environment. They are an important food source for many animals, provide nest materials for birds, and provide habitat and material for biomimicry for insects and other organisms.

Lichens are also important for humans by providing natural dyes, perfumes, litmus paper, and even food. Humans even use lichens as bio-indicators, organisms that help humans monitor the health of the environment. Some species of lichens are sensitive to environmental pollution, so their presence or absence can help us understand more about the health of the environment, like air quality. 

Lichens produce over one thousand different chemical compounds, most of them unique to lichens. These compounds include acids and pigments. Some chemicals may even fluoresce under UV light, making them important components for lichen identification.

Lichens have DNA, which is used to identify lichen and compare relationships amongst and within species. DNA analysis has been an important tool for lichenologists in identifying and understanding the biodiversity of lichens.


Sign up for the Smithsonian Science How webcast to introduce your students to Lichenologist Manuela Dal Forno! The program airs at 11am and 2pm on November 14, 2019. Sign up and view the program here: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/...

Maggy Benson
29
 

Found Poems and Social Justice: Using Rosa Parks and other sources to create found poems about social justice

This collection includes portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, websites, links to Smithsonian Magazine articles, and other news articles all relating to issues of social justice. #NPGteach

Jan Rubenstein
26
 

Imagery and Causes of the American Revolution

Essential Questions:

  1. How can we learn about history through a political cartoon or artifact?
  2. What were the causes and events leading up to the American Revolution?

This lesson is designed as an introduction to the causes of the American Revolution. Students will use primary sources (political cartoons, historical artwork, etc.) to identify some key historical events and the feelings of both the colonists and the British during and as a result of these events. 

Anticipatory set:

Choose either the Claim, Support, Question or the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to begin the discussion of the "Join or Die" political cartoon. Once students have taken the time to look closely at the image, discuss the symbolism, the creator, and the implications of the French and Indian War on the American Revolution. 

Looking Closely:

Explain that students will break into groups to look closely at an image that has to do with an event leading up to the beginning of the American Revolution. Students can either continue to use the thinking routine you modeled in the anticipatory set, or they can use the Reporter's Notebook routine. Give students ample time to look closely at the image and notice the details, looking specifically for clues in titles and symbolism. Alternatively, the students could use the Cartoon Analysis Worksheet developed by the National Archives to notice and name some of the details in the images. If students are using the Reporter's Notebook thinking routine, have them complete only the facts and feelings section at this point. 

Once students have had time to explore their image, create a timeline of events with the images as a class, reading about and discussing each one. Once students have additional information about the event, the should complete the report at the bottom of the Reporter's Notebook organizer using additional details from the text. 

Closing/Assessment:

Students will complete a gallery walk of the images with the reports written by the students. After reading the reports and looking again at each image, students will create a headline for the report, capturing the most important aspect of the event.

Lara Grogan
16
 

Esperanza Spalding: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Esperanza Spalding, a Grammy-winning jazz bassist and singer. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture. Also includes a video of artist Bo Gehring speaking about his portrait of Spalding and a Smithsonian Magazine article about her curation of an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Consider:

  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how she wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.
  • Having read listened to her music, does the portrait capture your image of Esperanza Spalding? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Esperanza Spalding, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: musician, oregon, American, #BecauseOfHerStory, #SmithsonianMusic

Tess Porter
7
 

Selena: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, an American singer known as the "queen of Tejano music." Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture. Also includes videos of educators and curators talking about her life and accomplishments, as well as an outfit she wore during performances.

Consider:

  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how she wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.
  • Having listened to her music, does the portrait capture your image of Selena? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Selena, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: singer, musician, texas, model, fashion designer, entertainer, #BecauseOfHerStory, #SmithsonianMusic

Tess Porter
8
 

Bessie Smith: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Bessie Smith, the "Empress of the Blues" and one of the most influential blues singers in history. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture. Also includes a video clip of Bessie Smith performing "St. Louis Blues" in 1929 and a post from the National Museum of African American History and Culture discussing her and other LGBTQ African Americans of the Harlem Renaissance.

Consider:

  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how she wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.
  • Having listened her music, does the portrait capture your image of Bessie Smith? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Bessie Smith, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: singer, musician, 20s, 30s, American, Tennessee, #BecauseOfHerStory, #SmithsonianMusic

Tess Porter
11
 

Woody Guthrie: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Woody Guthrie, one of the most important folk composers in American history. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture. Also includes multiple music recordings, a Smithsonian Magazine article about his legacy, and a podcast episode about his music and relationship with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Consider:

  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how he wanted to be seen, or how others wanted him to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.
  • Having listened to his music, does the portrait capture your image of Woody Guthrie? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Guthrie, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: singer, musician, songwriter, oklahoma, protest, #SmithsonianMusic

Tess Porter
12
 

Smithsonian Pioneer: Solomon G. Brown

In 1852, Solomon G. Brown of Washington D.C. became the first African American employed by the Smithsonian Institution. He was an unusual man of his time, as he was a literate free person of color in Washington D.C., where slavery was legal until 1862. Additionally, Mr. Brown was an influential member of the African American community in Washington D.C, before and after the Civil War. For 54 years, Mr. Brown worked at the Smithsonian Institution in a variety of positions. He saw the institution change and grow. In 1902, the Smithsonian honored Mr. Brown for his time and service.

 This Learning Lab explores the experience of Solomon G. Brown and his work at the Smithsonian Institution. Exploring his career can highlight the complexities of slavery, freedom, race, and citizenship that African Americans experienced in Washington D.C. through the latter half of the nineteenth century, which included the late Antebellum Period, the Civil War, the Gilded Age and the beginnings of the Jim Crow Era. His life poses an interesting contrast to the more normative narratives of African Americans during the mid to late nineteenth century.

Discussion questions are included at the beginning of the Learning Lab.

 

Keywords: nmaahc, African American, Smithsonian, Institution, museum, castle, secretary, freedom, slavery, Washington D.C. DC, district, Columbia, research, pioneer, Solomon, Brown, first, civil war, antebellum, reconstruction, Jim Crow, 19th century, 20th century

National Museum of African American History and Culture
23
 

Exploring Fossil Ammonoids

This collection can be used as a pre- and post-resource to support the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, Exploring Fossil Ammonoids with Paleobiologist Lucy Chang. During the 30-minute program, your students will have an opportunity to interact with the scientist through live Q&A and polls. 

This collection contains objects from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Many of the specimens in this collection are fossil ammonoids, but other mollusks are included for comparison. Also included in the collection is a companion worksheet for students (with teacher key) to express their newly gained knowledge about ammonoids.  

Ammonoids are an extinct group of marine mollusks that belong to the subclass Ammnoidea and the class Cephalopoda. A popular and well-known subgroup of ammonoids are ammonites. The closest living relatives of ammonoids are also cephalopods like squids, octopods, and cuttlefish, while the modern nautilus is more distantly related.   

Ammonoids had shells made of calcium carbonate just like today’s snails, clams, oysters, and other shelled mollusks. Ammonoid shells varied in shape and size. Some ammonoids had tightly coiled shells (planispiral), while others had uncoiled, irregularly shaped shells (heteromorphs). Regardless of shape or size, the shell provided the ammonoid with protection and possibly camouflage. 


Ammonoid shells had interior walls (septa) that created chambers inside of the shell. These chambers were connected by a narrow tube structure called a siphuncle. The ammonoid could use the siphuncle to control the amount of gas and fluid in each chamber, giving it the ability to achieve neutral buoyancy and move about in the marine environment.  


Although ammonoid shells are abundant in the fossil record, there is an extremely poor record of their soft parts being preserved or fossilized. Based off of their relationships to mollusks alive today, ammonoids likely had bodies that were soft. The animal would have lived exclusively in the last chamber of its shell with numerous arms extending in a ring around its mouth, eating plankton and detritus, dead or decaying matter. Scientists study the shapes and patterns of ammonoid shells and related species, fossil and modern, to learn about the extinct animal.  


Ammonoids lived around the globe and were present on earth for a very long time, about 350 million years. The entire group went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, about 66 million years ago, along with the dinosaurs.  


The abundance of ammonoids in the fossil record and their long history on earth make them good fossils to study. Geologists use ammonoid fossils as guide or index fossils, helping to date the rock layers from which the fossils were found. Paleobiologists can use fossil ammonoids to learn about patterns of extinction and glean information about the group's evolutionary history.

Maggy Benson
28
 

AFRICAN COSMOS

Put the ARTS in STEM - From Egypt to South Africa, take a brief tour of the African Cosmos  and have your students discover the intersection of Art and Astronomy in the southern hemisphere.   Explore constellations only seen on the African continent.  See why the Goliath beetle became a symbol of rebirth for the Egyptian scarab.  Learn about celestial navigation by people and animals. 

Create Your Own Constellation!  Request Activity sheets for your classroom.

Submit your class constellations to our Student Gallery and be a part of your own school's online exhibition!


Deborah Stokes
73
 

Becoming a Historian: Historical Context

Historical thinking skills allow historians to better practice and interpret history. This series teaches students how to develop these skills to become better historians themselves.

This Learning Lab will guide students through the process of defining historical context and practicing employing strategies from an example dealing with the 1968 Poor People's Campaign. 

 Historical context is the background information that informs a deeper understanding of a historical individual, group or event. Historical context is important because it allows historians to better understand history in the ways a historical individual or group understood the world around them, which leads historians to analyze the past more accurately. 

 Keywords: nmaahc, African, American, historical, thinking, skills, context, historical, contextualization, background, 1968, Poor People's Campaign, history, interpret, analyze

National Museum of African American History and Culture
16
 

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
15
 

Examining the Transcontinental Railroad - Nn

Railroads started well before 1869, but it was not until that year that the nation was bound together by a commitment to build the first transcontinental system. On May 10, 1869, the driving of a golden spike, signaled the ceremonial end to a process that had been going on for 6 years of construction, engineering, and human toil. Two companies, one starting in Omaha, Nebraska and the other in Sacramento, California competed to lay track towards each other to join the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads. Their reward for each mile was government money and lots of it. By the time that they met at Promontory Summit, Utah, vast sums of money and untold human labor and sacrifice had been expended on this incredible technical endeavor. A single track united the continent's Wester and Eastern regions. Travel from East to West used to take months by wagon train, could now be measured in mere days. This collection utilizes Primary Source student review strategies from the Library of Congress' Primary Source Analysis Tools

Brian Ausland
14
 

Black Panther and Black Superheroes

Wakanda Learning Lab is this? 

This Learning Lab explores the importance of representation in popular media. How are people portrayed? Why are they portrayed? What does this say about a people in a society and the society itself? How do these messages affect and inform us about others and ourselves?

First, how are African Americans represented in popular media. Second, how African, the African Diaspora, and African American culture are represented in Black Panther (both as a comic book character and as part of the modern Marvel cinematic universe) and through other superhero lore. 

The National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates the museum's acquirement of the movie costume of the iconic and groundbreaking Marvel comic book character Black Panther. The character of Black Panther (King T'Challa of Wakanda), and his iconic suit, debuted in the Marvel cinematic universe in the 2015 film Captain America: Civil War, and featured in his self-titled movie Black Panther in 2018. Since the debut of Black Panther (King T'Challa of Wakanda) in the Fantastic Four #52 in July 1966, Black Panther has been a trailblazer for the black superheroes that have followed him in print and on screen. 

Students can explore this Learning Lab independently. Learning exercises and worksheets have been provided to help enhance the exploration of the content. 

Keyword: nmaahc, African, American, Black, Panther, Marvel, T'Challa, Wakanda, suit, comic, superhero, super, hero, civil war, Falcon, Bumblebee, Vixen, Storm, Nick Fury, Luke Cage, DC, universe, Green Lantern, Misty

National Museum of African American History and Culture
26
 

Industrial Revolution

  • Industrial Revolution, in modern history, the process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. This process began in Britain in the 18th century and from there spread to other parts of the world. Although used earlier by French writers, the term Industrial Revolution was first popularized by the English economic historian Arnold Toynbee (1852–83) to describe Britain’s economic development from 1760 to 1840. Since Toynbee’s time the term has been more broadly applied.
Alejandra Diaz
2
 

World War II: artifacts / Pacific Aviation Museum

Is the best picture for me

Lucia Sanipatin
7
 

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. 

#NPGteach

Briana White
21
 

Clarice Jessie Daley-WWI Nurse

Clarice Daley served as a nurse in the First World War (1914-1918) with the Australian Army Nursing Service. 

Keywords: women, history, military, 

Jessica Rosenberry
8
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