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Found 2,448 Resources

George Washington: A National Treasure Family Guide

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
his webpage uses Gilbert Stuart's 'Lansdowne portrait' of Washington as an entre into the subject of portraiture. Includes background information and an exploration of symbols in the painting.

Scramble

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Game encouraging children to unscramble different images related to the postal service.

Investigating Longitude and Latitude

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan using longitude and latitude to determine locations of expedition sites and viewing sites for the 2004 Transit of Venus. Extension activity includes investigating Global Positioning System (GPS).

Shintaro-san of the Mountain: Mountains, Minyo, and Japanese Culture

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
This tutorial provides an introductory view into Japanese traditional ballads or folksongs, known as minyo, and folktales involving the cultural heritage of Japanese mountains. Basic background of Japanese traditional music and Japanese mountain folklore will be discussed.

Get Behind the Wheel

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which middle-schoolers design a dashboard for a car that will be marketed to the 16- to 23-year-old set.

Viewing Device: New Perspective

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson inspired by a viewing device designed by Albrecht Durer. Students design their own simple device for viewing perspective.

National Museum of the American Indian: Education Publications Order Form

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
PDF order form to obtain the School Program Guide, Pre-Visit Guide for Teachers, Teaching Posters, A Native Place Teaching Guide, Smithsonian in Your Classroom: Native Dolls, and the Family Guide. Can be faxed or e-mailed.

From Smithson to Smithsonian

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibition focusing on James Smithson, the English scientist who bequeathed his fortune to the United States to create the Smithsonian Institution. Traces the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution and its early years. Includes lesson plans.

Inventing Our Way Out of the Climate Change Problem? Innovative Youth Tackle the Issue

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Can new inventions address climate change? In this webinar, Smithsonian educator Tricia Edwards introduces the work of inventors concerned with sustainability issues, as well as to her own work in bringing young inventors and research scientists together on environmental projects.

Photosynthesis: Blinded by the Light

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Photosynthesis: Blinded by the Light – explores student misconceptions about matter and energy in photosynthesis and strategies for eliciting student ideas to address or build on them.

Delicious Peace: Music of the Ugandan Mirembe Kawomera Coffee Cooperative

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
The Mirembe Kawomera Coffee cooperative in Uganda is a movement designed to promote the sale of Ugandan coffee, but also to unite several culture groups, including Christians and Muslims, to promote a common cause of world peace. ‘Mirembe’ means ‘peace’ and ‘kawomera’ refers to the high quality nature of the coffee that this co-op sells. As part of the world peace movement, members of this co-op came together to record a musical album. This lesson explores much of the music that is found on this album.

Great Cats

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webpage about the great cats of the National Zoo at this webpage. Includes information on cat conservation and science and cat fact sheets.

In and Out of Focus: Images from Central Africa, 1885-1960

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibition presenting a portrayal of Central Africa under colonial rule in photographs taken by Euro-American and African photographers.

Eco-Icons That Electrify!

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which students design symbols to remind schoolmates to conserve energy.

Selections from the National Anthropological Archives

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Collection of scanned anthropological images categorized by region and culture group, ranging from Oceania to American Indian to African cultures. Includes photographs, drawings, documents, paintings, and more.

Musical Hooves on the Steppes: The Morin Huur of Mongolia

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Explore rural nomadic life in Mongolia and the highly impressionistic music and arts of the Central Asian steppes. Students learn to imitate sounds of the natural environment through improvised dance, instrumental performance, and throat-singing.

Revitalizing Shashmaqâm: Court Music of Central Asia

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Maqâm-i Râst is one of the six maqâms, or suites, which constitute the systematically organized repertory of Central Asian classical music known as Shashmaqâm (six maqâms). In the Shashmaqâm, instrumental pieces, lyrical song, contemplative poetry, and dance are all bound together in a vast yet integrated artistic conception of great refinement and profound beauty. Produced in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

"M.V. Labadi" by La Drivers Union Por Por Group

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Por por (pronounced paaw paaw) is the name of honking, squeeze-bulb horn music which is unique to the La Drivers Union of Ghana, and which is principally performed at union drivers' funerals. Por por music is played with truck horns, tire pumps, and other everyday objects a truck driver uses. The sound is rooted in Ghanaian tradition and a broad range of musical influences from New Orleans jazz to Highlife. The song performed here honors and praises past drivers. The group then breaks into a jam session. The performance was filmed in Accra, Ghana, during ethnomusicologist Steven Feld's 2006 recording session for Por Por: Honk Horn Music of Ghana.

La Sardina de Naiguatá Discusses The Burial of the Sardine at Naiguatá Carnival

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
The Burial of the Sardine is a carnival tradition celebrated in the Venezuelan coastal town of Naiguatá featuring street theater and parranda music.

Música vallenata: Ivo Díaz interprets "Paseo" by Leandro Díaz

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Música vallenata, music from a small valley region of northeastern Colombia enjoys international popularity. Yet, the lives of many of its finest living practitioners are rooted firmly in their regional way of life, performing a repertoire of landmark compositions, delivered in their own signature style. Here Ivo Díaz's prodigious voice interprets his father Leandro's famous paseo. Blind composer Leandro Díaz wrote this piece when he fell in love with a woman named Matilde Lina, who sat next to him on a town plaza bench one Sunday. Leandro commented that the love faded, but the song stayed. It was filmed during recording sessions with Smithsonian Folkways in Valledupar, Cesar, Colombia for ¡Ayombe!: The Heart of Colombia's Música Vallenata.

Lakota Drumming

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Among the Lakota people the drum occupies a position of great cultural and symbolic power. Regarded as a living entity, the drum is viewed simultaneously as a spiritual guardian and a musical instrument, a living tradition and a reference to a past way of life. Sissy Goodhouse of the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota calls the drum the heartbeat of their nation and their oral history. This performance is played on a drum envisioned by Eagle Tail Woman, an ancestor who dreamed of unity among tribes.

Imagine If…: Project Zero Agency by Design Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A Project Zero “Agency by Design” thinking routine for finding opportunity. This routine encourages both divergent and convergent thinking to brainstorm new possibilities for an object or system and effective approaches to build, tinker, re/design, or hack that object or system. After students choose an object or system to consider, students answer: “In what ways could it be made to be more effective?”, “In what ways could it be made to be more efficient?”, “In what ways could it be made to be more ethical?”, and “In what ways could it be made to be more beautiful?”

IMAGINE IF…

A routine for finding opportunity

Choose an object or system: (Consider the parts, purposes, and people who interact with your object or system, and then ask:)

1. In what ways could it be made to be more effective?

2. In what ways could it be made to be more efficient?

3. In what ways could it be made to be more ethical?

4. In what ways could it be made to be more beautiful?

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine first encourages divergent thinking, as students think of new possibilities for an object or system, and then encourages convergent thinking, as students decide upon an effective approach to build, tinker, re/design, or hack an object or a system. Ultimately, this thinking routine is about finding opportunity and pursuing new ideas.

Application: When and where can it be used?

This thinking routine can be used to explore the possibilities of improving, tinkering with, or tweaking any object or system. Though this routine can be used on its own, we strongly suggest that it be used in combination with other Agency by Design thinking routines in order to best inform students of the ways in which they may improve upon a particular object or system.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

This thinking routine asks students to imagine new ways to improve an object or system by looking at the possibility space around an object or system through four different lenses. While we find these four lenses helpful to consider, you and your students are encouraged to come up with others. When engaging with this thinking routine, one’s instinct may be to say to her students “the sky’s the limit.” While it is important for students to generate ideas within a wide-open possibility space, we’ve also found it helpful to place creative constraints on people’s thinking. You may do this by limiting the variety of tools and materials students have access to, presenting certain functionality criteria, or identifying a particular population or user group. For example, in a chair re/design activity, students may be told they can only use cardboard and document fasteners, their new chair models have to be able to hold the instructor’s weight, and their chairs have to be designed for people who commute to work on the subway each day. When considering how to redesign or hack an object or system, it is exciting to see students generate a list of wild, blue-sky ideas, but it is also important for students to be sensitive to the design of their objects or systems. To do this, we recommend educators have their students circle back to the other Agency by Design thinking routines as they search for new opportunities and brainstorm new possibilities. Likewise, if students get stuck and struggle to generate new ideas, circling back to the other Agency by Design thinking routines may help them find opportunity and see new possibilities for their objects or systems.

Then, Now and Tomorrow

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Activity in which students will use photographs to research the history of the New York's Lower East Side and to predict the future of the neighborhood.

Archives Alive!: Learning from Landscapes Past, Cultivating Garden Memories for the Future Glossary

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Interpretive and educational package of resources. Students learn about the importance of nature, landscapes, and environment in their everyday lives, and use an expanded notion of 'literacy' that encourages collaborative and critical thinking, writing, reading and observation.
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