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Found 2,021 Collections


#NPGteach The Ladies In and Out of the White House: Not Just A Pretty Face

Looking closely at the women married to our President's. Learn more about the individuals and the contributions they themselves made. Using Learning to Look Strategies to go beyond the pretty faces.

Nancy Gavrish

A Country Divided or United?

This collection will include artifacts that both show how wars can bring a country together, but also, how they can divide them. Through conscription, internment and racism, wars divide a countries people. However, through patriotism, volunteers and working together, it can bring people together. Where do you stand?

Compelling Question: Does war divide or unite a country? #TeachingInquiry
Kimberley Dymond

Leonidas at Thermopylae

This 2-resource collection is intended to introduce students to the Battle of Thermopylae through an artistic interpretation and a map and graph rendering. It could be used as a short bellringer, warm-up, or homework activity prior to in-class discussion of the battle.

Tags: Sparta, Greece, Greek, Persia, Xerxes

Kate Harris

Practice Reading Portraits--Black History Month

This collection was created for a brief warm-up activity where students practiced analyzing portraits of recognizable figures as a group, prior to working on their own portrait analysis. Portraits of Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Rosa Parks, and Booker T. Washington are included and they vary in detail and medium.

The last resource, a PDF file, is a teacher's guide created by the National Portrait Gallery. Teachers should lead discussion about the portraits using suggested questions in the guide, and then let students search for a portrait of someone of their own choosing to analyze.

tags: civil rights, sports, tennis, boxing, African-American, black history, analysis, comparison

Kate Harris

Vikings--Myths and Mysteries

The Vikings have inspired many artists, writers, and filmmakers with their bravery and unique way of life. However, many misconceptions have developed and many facts are still unknown. In this collection, students will explore the website for the Vikings exhibit while taking notes on the included worksheet. Then, they'll evaluate three works of art (and a team logo) based on the Vikings to gauge how accurately they represent Viking life. Finally, they will be asked to create their own 2-D or 3-D object representing Viking life.

Tags: Norse, inquiry, Viking, Norway, Greenland, Iceland

Amy Kennedy

What makes an astronomer?

Compare and Contrast the careers of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Neil Armstrong.

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2016 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

Tags: #NPGteach; portrait; National Portrait Gallery
Sheri Fisher

Puerto Rico - Vejigantes

This collection provides a brief introduction to the Vejigante tradition practiced during the month of February in Puerto Rico, in observance/celebration of Carnival.

Maureen Leary

Guatemalan Weaving

This collection provides an introduction to the art of weaving practiced in Guatemala.

Maureen Leary

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass photographs and interview w/ Professor John Stauffer (Harvard) on the prevalence of Douglass photos in the 19th century.

Amy Kerr

See/Think/Wonder: Progressive Era Women Seek Equal Political Rights (Geography)


Students will use primary sources to understand the ways that women advocated for the right to vote.

Students will Explain actions taken during the Progressive era to expand opportunities for women, including the right to vote.

Essential Question: Why was the use of geography a persuasive tactic on the part of the Suffrage movement?

Scott Karavlan

Aspects of the New Deal

Each item in this collection matches a part of the New Deal. Students must justify their answer using evidence in the image.

Michelle Moses

What's in a name?

This collection is based on a lesson in Bruce Lesh's "Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer?" and on a Smithsonian National Museum of American History lesson (both cited fully below). In this lesson, students will evaluate primary source material in order to develop an appropriate name for the site of the 1876 battle at Little Bighorn River. This collection allows students to explore the following questions:

  • Why do different interpretations of history develop? How do they change over time?
  • When thinking about conflicts in history, whose perspectives are valued and remembered?

tags: Custer, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Little Big Horn, continuity, change over time, perspective, historiography, point of view, Native American, indigenous, American Indian, Sioux, Greasy Grass

Kate Harris

Historic Iditarod Trail

This collection explores the timeline of Alaska's Historic Iditarod Trail.
Jen Reiter

Gettysburg Address

Why was the Gettysburg Address one of the most famous speeches in American history? This Collection contains images that illustrate how President Abraham Lincoln looked during this period in history; information that explains how Lincoln came to be in Gettysburg and images of where he delivered his famous speech; the Nicolay copy of the Gettysburg Address along with a video recitation of the speech; and, an image of the statue that memorializes the event that occurred at Gettysburg National Military Park, PA.
Catlyn Kriston

Weikers Family Collection Class Warm-Up

This is a single document with hot spots and questions used to model primary source analysis for a sixth grade class. It is drawn from a collection of archival records and photographs documenting the Weikers family's experience in Nazi Germany and their persistent efforts to seek asylum in the United States. You can find the full collection here:

Questions to consider are:

a. Who are the Weikers?

b. Where did they live?

c. When did they live? What can they tell us about this time in history?

d. How were they affected by Nazi Germany?

e. What did they feel about the Nazis?

Tags: Nazi Germany, Holocaust era, primary sources, Pittsburgh

Kate Harris

When did women achived equal rigths in North America? #TeachingInquiry

This collection pretends to show how women fought for equal rigths and the importance in history

Mariana Silveira

Women in World War II

This collection teaches students about the changing role of women during World War II: their role in the workplace, increasing presence in the military, and participation in voluntary organizations that supported the war. Students should think about how these activities reinforced traditional notions of gender divisions while they also allowed women to experience new activities.
Maeve Nolan

Should President Truman have dropped the Atomic Bomb(s) on Japan during World War II?

The following pieces in this collection look at the Pacific Theater of World War II and President Truman's decision to use the world's first atomic weapons on Japan. As students work through this collection, they should take their outside knowledge to form an opinion on whether the decision to drop the atomic bombs were justifiable with military necessitiy.

Matthew Stagl

Prohibition Political Cartoons 'Wets' vs "Drys' (Sorting Activity)

This collection of political cartoons examines Prohibition from the perspectives of both "drys and wets'.

First, review the images in the collection, second, determine whether the cartoonist has a 'wet' or 'dry' perspective.

When you are done you will be asked to sort the images into one of two categories.

Scott Karavlan

Use of Items as a means of slave control

This collection will show the various items that were prominent during slavery in early America. Additionally, this collection will show the means of control that slave owners would use along with various materials that were in the possession of slaves. These means of control that the masters have can vary from physical violence to psychological manipulation, any and all means were considered and used in order to control and force the slave population into a submissive position. You will see the conditions of the slaves, their living quarters, means of control (both physical and psychological), and the slave codes that allowed the masters to treat and punish their slaves any way they see fit. Control over the slaves was the most important thing to the masters. There needed to be ways to keep the slave population in check, preventing them from retaliating. The images shows how each of the items and methodologies were used in order to keep the slaves in check and maintain the relationship between slave and master.


Historical Representation of Pocahontas in North America from 1614-2010

Pocahontas is a name well known to many due to her vast representation in everyday culture and society. She is the daughter of the chief of the Powhatan tribe and is well known for her relationship with John Smith and the early settlers of Virginia.This is a collection showing how Pocahontas has been depicted by different people across the time period 0f 1614-2010. These different depictions show how various cultures viewed Native American society and specifically Pocahontas. Through these various depictions one can see how the traditional view of Pocahontas evolved over time. Differences can also be seen in the depiction across different cultures and different mediums. Particularly the contrasting images of Pocahontas in native clothing and Pocahontas in Colonial-style clothing. The representation of Pocahontas is important because she is a crucial figure in the development of early Colonial America, specifically Jamestown in Virgina. Although, her name is known throughout the United States today in connection with John Smith and the Establishment of the Virginian colony of Jamestown.

Kelly Northcraft

Native American Musical Instruments

Music was an important element in the life of Native Americans. It was created through voice and instruments. The combination of voice and sound was quite elaborate and was created to be used for ceremonies, entertainment, relaxation, and healing. Featured within this collection are musical instruments of several Native American groups. The groups featured are the Cheyenne, Seneca, Hopi, Sioux, and Iroquois. The instruments span from the 18th-20th century. Three different classifications of instruments are featured within the collection. The classifications are idiophones(rattles), Membranophones(drums), and aerophones (flutes) and are organized respectively. The purpose of this collection is to provide a visual comparison of similar instruments among tribes in different geographical regions. The instruments display the similarities in craftsmanship and use of natural material among the various groups. Most of the materials are organic in origin (composed of carbon) and include seeds, wood and animal components. The instruments vary to some degree as far as adornment, but the instruments within their classification serve a similar function and produce a similar sound. As previously mentioned, the music produced by these instruments in combination with voice was intricate. Although the sounds created with the instruments were similar, each of the Native Americans groups created a sound that was unique to their region.

Logan Downs

Women's Rights

This collection explores the key components and changes that have occurred during the struggle for Women's rights.

It is meant to spark discussion about the movement and it's long term impact on history and the issues that still face women in their fight for gender equality.

Patrica King

Weikers Family Collection

A collection of archival records and photographs documenting the Weikers family's experience in Nazi Germany and their persistent efforts to seek asylum in the United States.

For more information about the Weiker family story, see their profile on Generation to Generation: Family Stories Drawn from the Rauh Jewish Archives at

Tags: Nazi Germany, Holocaust era, primary sources

Molly Long
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