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Found 403 Collections


Island of the Blue Dolphins

Animals, places, people, etc. mentioned in the novel, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Asian Pacific American Artists

This topical collection includes resources related to Asian Pacific American artists, including individuals who work in photography, sculpture, painting, installation art, video art, landscape design, furniture design, jewelry and architecture. This collection includes portraits of the artists, artwork, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. 

Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions including biographies of Asian Pacific American artists, art analysis, and historical context. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. 

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

Keywords: Nam June Paik, Korean American, Roger Shimomura, Japanese American, Maya Lin, Vietnamese American, CYJO, Cindy Hwang, Isamu Noguchi, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Akio Takamori, George Nakashima, visual art


Tess Porter

Snowflakes in Wilson A. Bentley's Collection

This topical collection includes images from Wilson A. Bentley's snowflake photography collection, which was donated to the Smithsonian in 1903. Bentley used a bellows camera that had a microscope inside to capture these small and unique natural objects. Also included in the collection is the original correspondence between Bentley and the Smithsonian, as well as ideas for using these sources in the classroom from the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Ashley Naranjo

In the Classroom

Images of teachers, students, classrooms, classroom furniture, desks, lunchboxes, and learning

Darren Milligan

Art and Technology Projects for Museums and Classrooms: From "Today I Am Here" to "Discovering US/Descubriéndonos"

This collection contains assets and resources designed to help teachers (art, English, ESOL, social studies, and media technology), museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate their own "Today I Am Here" project, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community. 

"Today I Am Here" is a project in which students make a handmade book from one piece of paper, that tells the story of how they got to where they are today. This project is wonderful in a classroom to show the breadth and diversity of the class, and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. 

Inside you will find instructions and images for the various components of the project, as well as samples of student work. 


Philippa Rappoport

Inka Architecture: Teaching Resources

This topical collection gathers teaching resources on Inka architecture, focusing on building methods and architectural symbolism in Cusco, capital of the Inka Empire. These resources explore the symbolic layout of Cusco as well as the architecture of five specific structures: Saqsaywaman (upper temple of the sun), Hatunrumiyoc (a wall, once part of the palace of Inka Roca), the Qorichanka (lower temple of the sun), and the Double Jamb Doorway (a sacred entryway). Includes video interviews with archaeologists, interactive 3D models, and the exhibition website for "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire." Resources also explore the continuing importance of these structures in Cusco today, both in terms of environmental stability and continuing cultures.

Keywords: inkan, inca, incan, archaeologist, stonework, continuing legacy, peru, symbol, religion, ancient civilization, world history, culture, cuzco, andes, saksaywaman, qurikancha, archaeology, pre-columbian, latin america, south america, ruins

Tess Porter

Investigating Civil War Uniforms

This topical collection includes resources related to Civil War uniforms.  Investigating these Union and Confederate uniforms - through types, differences, and similarities - helps to understand the different human resources of the Union and Confederacy, as well as the experience of individuals who fought in the Civil War. 

Collection contains two lesson plans (both of which can be adapted using resources in this collection), articles of clothing worn by Union and Confederate soldiers, lithographs, photographs, articles, a website, and a symposium.

Keyword: Zouave

Tess Porter

The Race to Space: Understanding the Cold War Context of the Apollo 11 Mission

By using this collection, learners will . . .

  • Use primary sources to understand a range of perspectives on the Space Race.
  • Understand why the United States was concerned about the Soviet space program.
  • Be able to analyze the Cold War era context of the Space Race and draw their own conclusions about the success of the Space Race.

Mummies: Teaching Resources

This topical collection pulls together resources on mummification in multiple cultures. Resources cover reasons for mummification, different methods, and what can be learned by studying mummies. Includes Smithsonian Channel videos, fact sheets, objects, a student-targeted webcast, and articles. Areas explored include Ancient Egypt, South America, and Europe.

Keywords: egyptian, archaeology

Tess Porter


Images support second grade Stitch a Map lesson.

Jean-Marie Galing


Images support learning in primary grade paper sculpture lessons.

Jean-Marie Galing

Textiles embroidered with plants

Examples of embroidery depicting plants. Supports primary grade stichery lesson.

Jean-Marie Galing

SOB, SOB and Homegoing: Black Representation and Identity in African and African American Art

The collection contains work from an SAAM summer session from 2018 inspired by SOB,SOB by Marshall and is centered around the reading of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It is meant to be a resource for teachers seeking to consider identity critically, incorporate meaningful diversity, and promote the importance of complex representation. #SAAMteach

Loren Lee

Zoology Introduction: Observing Pandas

This lesson plan teaches innate and learned animal behavior by having students watch videos of Bao Bao, the Smithsonian National Zoo's panda, and answer questions about her behavior in the videos. The videos range from Bao Bao as a newborn to her first birthday and have quiz questions connected to them to help students better understand how to observe animal behavior. There is a hand out for students to read while watching the videos to better help them answer questions. There is also a chart attached that can be used by the teacher to write down the behavior of Bao Bao in each video in fifteen second increments. This teacher lesson plan can also be adapted to be used as a class assignment, if needed. 

Christina Shepard

How did European colonization affect Native Americans?


Brandon Bates

Allensworth Collection

Allensworth, CA. founded in 1908, represents the only all black township in California; founded, built, governed and populated by African Americans. Located in the great central valley (southern San Joaquin), it was founded to be a agricultural community and center of learning. Where, African Americans only 50 years out of slavery could become economically free. Due to lack of a dependable water supply, the untimely death of the Colonel and other factors the town's future was bleak. By 1918 the town began its demise struggling to survive. The historic portions of the town became a state historic park in the 1970's. It is formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historic Landmark. Here is a link to the park site, where you will find contact information for park ranger Steve Ptomey who developed this collection and manages the Allensworth State Historic Park.

Steven Ptomey

Photograph Analysis: "Moon Man" Image of Buzz Aldrin

This topical collection includes the iconic "Moon Man" image of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a National Air and Space Museum “expert annotation” video featuring a curator highlighting specific details, and other resources about the space suit and the Apollo 11 mission. 

Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions about the mission to the moon, for analysis of photographic details, or in biography projects about the astronauts.  

Ashley Naranjo

Crime Scenes in History

Smithsonian has a number of incredible resources focusing on famous crime scenes across history, techniques, and tools.

Jodi Halligan M.Ed

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" Close-Reading: Making Text-to-Art Connections

The selected artwork and learning lab collection offers a historical approach to the transformation of Native Americans into white culture and society. It serves as a purpose to provoke discussion on the historical context of the Indian Removal Act, and gives students an understanding of the main character’s (from the novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) “modern day” internal conflict of erasing or eliminating his Native American culture to immerse into the lifestyle of a white teenager in a predominately white school.

As an introductory activity, students will engage in the see/think/wonder methodology to infer the artists’ purpose for the artwork. This initial activity will help scaffold students’ prior understanding and knowledge of the historical context of Native American history and the forced immersion into white culture. Therefore, after students have had ample time of using visual understanding skills to interpret the artwork, students can explore a “modern-day version” of Sherman Alexie’s image that showcases a juxtaposition of the main character’s internal identity conflict.Similar to the artwork, students will engage in the "connect, extend, and challenge" thinking activity. Students will make connections to the text and real-world connections as a culminating task. Lastly, students will discuss how it extended their thinking and a remaining challenge or wonder students still have. Using their remaining questions, this could lead to several extension activities.

Students can explore other Native American artwork in the learning lab, students can also use the "unveiling stories" strategy to learn more about the Carlisle school. The history of the Carlisle school connects and relates with the novel by adding historical context. Lastly, students can engage in teacher-made or student-made gallery walks using other Native American artwork or imagery to support the reading process of the paired text.

Jacquie Lapple

Frankenstein 200 RB copy

Collection on Frankenstein related resources for the 200th anniversary of the publication of the novel by Mary Shelley... as a sandbox for getting me acquainted with SLL and this project...

Rebecca Boggs

Electronic Superhighway: The Infrastructure of American Stories

A collection of art about how Americans construct their collective spaces.

John Allen

Depictions of Children

Viewers will consider how images of children have changed over the past 300 years. Artwork selections include a large variety of individual and group portraits of both male and female sitters/subjects in a variety of styles for the purpose of analyzing the elements of portraiture (expression, pose, clothing, hairstyle, setting, objects, etc...) in order to help students gain a better understanding of social norms in the context of place and time. This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2018Learning to look Summer Teacher Institute.


Michelle Zimmerman

Emotions: Expression

Ability to comprehend and express emotions via color -- journeys from the initial discovery and acceptance of multiple emotions to a various selection of emotions itself. People make conscious choices in the creation of art; colors can correlate to emotions and designers make these choices purposely. 


Cooper Hewitt Design Scholars

Fonts and Feelings - Ai Hashimoto

There's a lot you can get out of font design, one of those is feelings. As a reflection on the various design concepts I have explored at Cooper Hewitt with the Design Scholars, I created a Learning Lab on how the fonts in our everyday lives are connected to the feelings that we portray in our writing. I have pulled resources from designers I have met throughout the DesignPrep Program, including designs from Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian, and myself. Below you will see a collection of 10 images (each with a description on the connection to feelings) including a video "Wicked Problems in Type Design" that you can explore.

 ***The descriptions written by me may not depict what the actual designer intended their audience to feel, but they are my interpretation (except for my 2 pieces), so please feel free to build off of or have your own interpretation 


Cooper Hewitt Design Scholars
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