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Found 546 Collections

 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

Social Change in the Archives: ACC-PARC Records

First formed in 1951, the Allegheny County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (ACC-PARC) was established as a grassroots organization comprised of the parents of people with disabilities. The aspect of ACC-PARC’s daily activities most represented in these records are the efforts of the association to investigate the treatment of people with disabilities at residential care facilities in Western Pennsylvania during the 1960s and 1970s.

This Learning Lab collection is designed to highlight the specific steps taken by the parents and members of ACC-PARC as they advocated for change in residential care facilities in this region. Each document illuminates a specific step or tactic used by the parents as they attempted to raise awareness of poor treatment of people with disabilities, stop overcrowding and under-staffing in facilities, and push for legislation to ensure the well-being of residents.

This archival collection and the materials presented in this Learning Lab collection are housed at the Detre Library and Archives at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA:

Title: Bob Nelkin Collection of Allegheny County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (ACC-PARC) Records

Dates: 1953-2000

Creator: Nelkin, Bob

Catalog Number: MSS 1002


HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
34
 

Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend

These resources were developed for use with the Smithsonian's exhibition Narwhal; Revealing an Arctic Legend. For more information about this traveling exhibition, please visit the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
50
 

Planets of the Solar System

Through this collection, students will deepen their understanding of each planet in our solar system.  Pairing the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine with an embroidered quilt of the solar system will pique students' interest in the dwarf planet, Pluto.  After discovering the year that the quilt was made, students can explore the website to learn the history of Pluto.

Using the provided websites, students will work in groups to research a planet.  They will use the obtained information to write a headline that captures the most interesting aspect of the planet and to create a model of the planet.

#PZPGH

Jamie Bonacorso
21
 

The Impact of the Civil War on Society

Students will explore these sources to spark inquiry and investigation about how the Civil War impacted American society. 

  • Students can complete the sorting activity to categorize the images. 
  • Students should select one source they find most intriguing and generate questions  about the source and its related topic by completing the quiz question. 
Tiferet Ani
30
 

Rethinking Americans

This collection serves as a preview for the second of six seminar sessions in the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.”

National Museum of American Indian colleagues Paul Chaat Smith, Cecile R. Ganteaume, Colleen Call Smith, and Mandy Van Heuvelen will provide a behind the scenes look at the most daring exhibition the National Museum of the American Indian has ever staged. The exhibition argues that Native American imagery is everywhere in American life, and rather than being merely kitsch, stereotype, and cultural appropriation, it is evidence of the centrality of Indians in both history and 21st century life in the United States.

Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.

#MCteach
Philippa Rappoport
8
 

Investigating Clean Water

In this collection, originally used with 4th graders, students investigate how people access clean water both globally and locally. Students will use Agency by Design thinking routines to explore watersheds as a system, focusing on the Anacostia Watershed & the larger Chesapeake Bay Watershed. They will then use observational drawings and make their own model watershed to deepen their understanding. 

Students will use Project Zero Thinking Routines to take the perspective of those who live in water scarce areas and be invited to conduct their own research of a region that faces physical or economic water scarcity. Students will be encouraged to take action by creating a public service announcement explaining an issue related to clean water or by designing their own solution.

This collection contains 10 images of showing the gathering, carrying, filtering of, and lack of clean water. It has maps that show water scarcity on a global scale, and maps and diagrams of local (to Washington, D.C.) watersheds. It contains several thinking routines that can be used to examine the works as well as guide students to notice complexity. It also contains links to several articles, videos and an interactive game that students can use to  conduct research on issues of water scarcity. 


#GoGlobal 


Marissa Werner
36
 

NMAAHC Sound Bytes: James Reese Europe

In celebration of Smithsonian's Year of Music, let us look back a century to an early jazz classic that detailed the experience of African American soldiers on the front lines in Europe during the First World War.

Amid the First World War (1914 - 1918), a new musical genre called jazz would take the world by storm. Jazz was the product of the African American experience, history, and culture. James Reese Europe contributed to the music form by bringing jazz overseas while fighting with the 369th Infantry Regiment (also known as the Harlem Hellfighters) during the war. Furthermore, James Reese Europe composed tunes that reflected the African American experience on the front lines of the war in Europe. In this Learning Lab, you will explore the life and contributions of James Reese Europe, and consider what influenced him when he composed his 1919 classic, On Patrol In No Man's Land.

The Smithsonian Year of Music is an Institution-wide initiative to increase public engagement, advance understanding, and connect communities in Washington, D.C., across the nation, and around the globe. The Smithsonian Year of Music highlights and shares our vast musical holdings, bringing together our resources in history, art, culture, science, and education.

National Museum of African American History and Culture
23
 

Weather and Climate (Earth and Space Systems)-- Lesson Plans and Information

What does the weather do to the ocean currents?

Ocean water and currents affect the climate. It takes a greater amount of energy to change the temperature of water than land or air; water warms up and cools off much slower than land or air does. As a result, inland climates are subject to more extreme temperature ranges than coastal climates, which are insulated by nearby water. Over half the heat that reaches the earth from the sun is absorbed by the ocean's surface layer, so surface currents move a lot of heat. Currents that originate near the equator are warm; currents that flow from the poles are cold.

The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt

The great ocean conveyor belt is an example of a density-driven current. These are also called thermohaline currents, because they are forced by differences in temperature or salinity, which affect the density of the water.

The great ocean conveyor belt begins as the coolest of all currents - literally. At the beginning of the conveyor belt:

The Gulf Stream delivers warm, and relatively salty, surface waters north to the Norwegian Sea. There the water gives up its heat to the atmosphere, especially during the frigidly cold winters. The surface waters cool to near freezing temperatures, at which time they become denser than the waters below them and sink. This process continues making cold water so dense that it sinks all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

During this time, the Gulf Stream continues to deliver warm water to the Norwegian Sea on the surface. The water can't very well pile up in the Norwegian Sea, so the deep cold water flows southward. It continues to flow southward, passing the Equator, until it enters the bottom of the Antarctic Circumpolar current. It then drifts around Africa and Australia, until it seeps northward into the bottom of the Pacific.


Jamie Mauldin
10
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