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Found 497 Collections

 

Flashcard Activity: See, Think, Wonder with Science-Related Images

This collection contains illustrations, sketches, paintings, sculpture and photographs representing a variety of science-related concepts, including animal adaptations, the invention process and climate change. 

They may be used for a variety of purposes; here, we use them as a catalyst for discussion.  In small groups or as a classroom, have students select one artwork they find meaningful or interesting and discuss the following:

  1. Why did you pick this image?  
  2. What do you see?  Name specific aspects of the image you notice.
  3. What do you think about what you see?
  4. What does this image make you wonder? 

This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see the resource tile).  You may also replace or pair the above activity with a Project Zero Thinking Routine found in the final section of the collection. 

Keywords: printable, flash card, project zero visible thinking routine, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, NJPSA, arts integration, natural history, animals, invention, patent, portraits, weather

Ashley Naranjo
47
 

Flashcard Activity: Conflict, Identity, and Place in American Art

This collection contains a selection of artworks related to the themes of conflict, identity, and place.  They may be used for a variety of purposes; here, we use them as a catalyst for discussion.  In small groups or as a classroom, have students select one artwork they find meaningful or interesting and discuss the following:

  1. Why did you pick this artwork?  
  2. What do you see?  Name specific aspects of the artwork you notice.
  3. What do you think about what you see?
  4. What does this artwork make you wonder? 
  5. Optional: How might the artwork connect to the themes of conflict, identity, and place?

This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see the resource tile).  You may also replace or pair the above activity with a Project Zero Thinking Routine found in the final section of the collection. 

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection contains artwork selected by Phoebe Hillemann, Teacher Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, to be featured in the 2018 Smithsonian American Art Museum Summer Institute for Teachers, "Teaching the Humanities through Art."  The activity is adapted from Project Zero's See / Think / Wonder routine (see the resource tile).

Keywords: printable, flash card, project zero visible thinking routine, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, NJPSA, saam

Tess Porter
51
 

Flashcard Activity: Asian Pacific American Resources

This collection contains a diverse set of resources related to Asian Pacific Americans that may be used as an introductory activity to spark classroom discussion and prompt students to conduct research about how Asian Pacific American history is American history.  For discussion questions and activity implementation ideas, click "Read More."  A file to print these resources as flashcards is located at the end of the collection; please see the resource's Information (i) tab for printing instructions.

This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for further 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: printable, flash card, think puzzle explore, project zero visible thinking routine, apa

#APA2018

Tess Porter
48
 

Feminist History

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to look Summer Teacher Institute. The activities, which should take 1 hour over two class days, use two photographs for student visual analysis, as well as a short reading on feminist history, to help students investigate context to further their understanding of characterization, theme, and plot elements in Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.  A page of teacher notes is included at the end of the collection, outlining suggested uses of the slides.


TAGS: #NPGteach, portrait, learning to look, National Portrait Gallery

Davina Smith
6
 

Family Pride

This collection contains resources – photographs, paintings, objects, documents, and more – representing familial ideas and themes that a student could be proud of. This collection is part of an activity for Tween Tribune tied to a student reading of the article For Nearly 150 Years, This One House Told a Novel Story About the African-American Experience. A lesson plan is included in "Notes to Other Users," click on the (i) tab in the upper-right to learn more.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
54
 

Facing Genocide: The US Response to the Holocaust

My aunt remembers sitting at the kitchen table as a child while her parents, my grandparents, read the Yiddish newspaper, Der Tag. Often one would start crying, saying, nishta ("gone"), "this one nishta; that one nishta," in response to the paper's lists of towns in Europe overrun by the Nazis. 

This collection examines the US response to the Holocaust, pairing historical documentation with four thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials - "Unveiling Stories," :Think, Feel, Care," "The 3 Y's," and "Circles of Action," - to prompt students to ask important questions about our individual and collective responsibility to humanity. 

Included here are photographs, documentation, and resources from the National Museum of American History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), including a teaching resource and USHMM's online exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, which examines "the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide." Examined with thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials, students will explore complex and deeply troubling issues that continue to have relevance today. 

This collection complements chapter 14 ("World War II and America's Ethnic Problem") of Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America, and supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, and Unit 3: Local History and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course. 

#EthnicStudies


Philippa Rappoport
19
 

Eye to I: Self-Portraiture as an Exploration of Identity

This collection serves as a preview for the final 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 Portrait Gallery colleagues Wendy Wick Reaves and Briana Zavadil White will discuss the exhibition, "Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today." They maintain that, as people are confronted each day with “selfies” via social media and as they continue to examine the fluidity of contemporary identity, this is an opportune time to reassess the significance of self-portraiture in relation to the country’s history and culture.

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

#MCteach
Philippa Rappoport
7
 

Express Yourself: Creating a Visual Journal with the Portrait Gallery

This collection was created in conjunction with a professional development workshop for teachers held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017.

How can journaling transform the way your students experience museums and individual artworks? Sean Murphy, the art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, VA and the Portrait Gallery teamed up to introduce ways of incorporate journaling into your classroom. Participants explored the metacognitive benefits of using art journals in both the classroom and the museum. This workshop included both gallery and studio experiences. 

#NPGteach

Gayle Kraus
15
 

Express Yourself: Creating a Visual Journal with the Portrait Gallery

This collection was created in conjunction with a professional development workshop for teachers held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017.

How can journaling transform the way your students experience museums and individual artworks? Sean Murphy, the art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, VA and the Portrait Gallery teamed up to introduce ways of incorporate journaling into your classroom. Participants explored the metacognitive benefits of using art journals in both the classroom and the museum. This workshop included both gallery and studio experiences. 

#NPGteach

Briana White
15
 

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
 

Exploring Works of Art: Parts, Purposes and Puzzles

How does Art shape our knowledge of the world? What is the purpose of Art?  What shapes our ideas about Art?

These are some of the questions students will explore in this collection. The focus of this collection is on visual art, including images drawn from photography, painting and sculpture. The 17 images are drawn from a  variety of Smithsonian museums.

I use two activities, built on Project Zero thinking routines, to guide and scaffold the students' thinking. For more information and resources visit,

 http://www.visiblethinkingpz.o... 

http://www.pz.harvard.edu/sear...

The activities can be done sequentially or individually over two 50-60 minute class periods, depending on how far the teacher would like to extend the follow-up discussion after the first activity or the number of images explored in the second.

 The first activity, “What makes you think that? invites students to identify their own ideas about art,  what they consider “good” art and to reflect on how they arrived at their conclusions. Students are invited to sort the works into two categories, "good" or "bad" art.  Once they have sorted the works, they document the reasons for their choices and then compare with a partner,  followed by whole class sharing.

It is interesting for students to think about where their beliefs come from and the discussion may extend to the influence of culture, perspective, religion, or personal versus public opinion.

 In the second activity “Parts, Purposes, Puzzles students delve deeper into individual works.  Students make careful observations, analyze component parts, consider the purpose of the artists choices, and pose questions.

The activity can be done individually or in groups.

As a concluding activity, students might find it interesting to revisit their initial rankings, and consider what they might now change and why?

Lisa Holden
22
 

Exploring the Science of skin color

What was the role of Science in the construction of race? How can various written works and works of art begin a conversation about race as a social construct? These series of activities allow for a dialogue about this complex issue.

This collection includes a three-part activity that can be modified by choosing to spend more or less time sharing out as a group and whether TED Talks are watched as a class or individually as preparation for class. 

Part I begins with a work of art to stimulate thought using the Project Zero Thinking Routine "See-Think-Wonder."  Students will then read an article and view an advertisement. Another thinking routine is used here to uncover the complexities of this particular advertisement. In the next parts, students view TED Talks followed by different kinds of media. Several Project Zero Thinking Routines can be used to stimulate and record thinking.

 

Part I: Identifying the focus and beginning a conversation

Starting with an artwork by Byron Kim and Glenn Ligon, students use the "See-Think-Wonder" Project Zero Thinking Routine to try and make sense of the image. After a class discussion, students should be guided to read a short article about skin-colored ballet shoes that would be more representative of the skin tones of actual ballet dancers. Teachers could choose to help students digest this article or move directly into the Ivory soap advertisement. Using the "Beauty and Truth" Project Zero Thinking Routine, students can uncover the underlying complexity of this image.

 

Part II: The evolution of skin color and telling the story of a work of art

After viewing the TEDTalk by Nina Jablonski about the illusion of skin color, students can reflect individually by answering the question "Why is it problematic to view race as a biological concept and categorize individuals based on skin color?" Then, using Project Zero’s "The Story Routine," students can create meaning for a work of art. Students can share out in pairs first or simply share out to the whole group depending on class size, etc.

 

Part III: Photography, an essay on color and race and a work of art from that essay

  Angelica Dass’s photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. The TEDTalk describes her Humanae project and allows for further dialogue about the complexity of skin color. Teachers could choose to help students identify important aspects of the talk or move directly into silent reading of Zora Neale Hurston’s essay "How It Feels to be Colored Me." Students can use the "Step inside-step out-step back" Project Zero Thinking Routine to identify perspectives addressed in this essay. Glenn Ligon created a work of art using this essay and students can use this piece to further the conversation with the same thinking routine or simply as part of the reflection.  A final reflection about skin color and the social construct of race can be completed either as a group or individually using the "I Used to think…; But Now I Think…" thinking routine. Teachers should consider providing a more focused prompt that suits the goals/objectives of their lesson.

Emily Veres
12
 

Exploring the National Portrait Gallery's Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute

The Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute takes a broad look at the Portrait Gallery's collection. During the institute, the museum's curators and historians provide in-gallery content lectures, introducing the collection. Utilizing an interactive approach, NPG educators model a variety of "learning to look" strategies—unique ways to hook and engage students when they look closely at portraits.

This collection represents portraits the museum has highlighted during past institutes. 

The Portrait Gallery hosts two week-long institutes each summer:

-the first, the last week in June

-the second, the week after 4th of July.  

To learn more and apply, visit http://npg.si.edu/teacher-work....

#NPGteach

Briana White
17
 

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
 

Exploring the Concept of Identity / ELA

This collection is comprised of resources for introducing middle school ELA students to the concept of identity in art and literature. This was planned for use as an introduction to The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, so a special focus is given to Latinx culture and experience, but the resources could be used for any literature that addresses the topic of identity.

The resources in this collection can be used in whatever order you wish, but I have included my general plan and sequence for a three-day mini-unit. Each lesson is intended for a 45-minute class period for middle school English students, but could be extended or combined for longer periods or older students.

Day 1: Exploring the Concept of Identity

We begin with the painting Braceros by Domingo Ulloa, using the See/Think/Wonder visual thinking routine as a jumping-off point to lead the class to the topic of identity. The ideas recorded could remain as an anchor chart in the classroom as the class reads and discusses the novel. It would be interesting for students to revisit their initial ideas to assess how their concept of identity expands and changes through the reading. As an alternative or addition to the lesson, depending on the needs of your students, you could also use the Identity Worksheet handout provided as a metacognitive tool to assist your students in tracking the ways their thinking evolves and expands. This worksheet also encourages them to make connections with other works of art, literature and music from their past experiences; this can be done independently or in small groups.

Day 2: What Comprises Our Identity?

The goal today is for students to begin considering what factors determine or influence our identities. To begin class, students will be introduced to "Tenement Flats" using the "What Makes You Say That?" thinking routine. This will provide practice for students to make claims about the painting and provide evidence to support their claims. This will be the warm up for the day, but to extend time with the visual art, students could create a T-Chart or Venn Diagram for comparison and contrast with "Braceros."

Students will next listen to the poem, "Latino-Americanos: The Children of an Oscuro Pasado" by Xochitl (SOH-chee) Morales. After reading the poem, students will be invited to consider the stories they hear in the poem. Xochitl's voice tells one story, but what other stories do we hear? What stories are missing? IF the discussion does not naturally move toward identity, students should be invited to consider what comprises the poet's identity  (for example, sense of self, sense of family, societal expectations, gender roles, home, community). Again, ideas could remain on an anchor chart for reference.

Day 3: What is the Author's Message about Identity?

On the final day, we will explore an excerpt from Cisneros' book ("My Name"). I have provided a handout with this excerpt. This could be an opportunity to guide students through close-reading techniques like intentional text marking, or students could do this work independently. After reading and annotating the text, students will be coached through the "Claim/Support/Question" reasoning routine to (1) provide an interpretation of the author's message or theme as it relates to identity; (2) provide support for the claim; and (3) extend their thinking by generating a question about what isn't explained or what information is missing, or what alternative points of view might exist.

Further Resources

I have provided some additional resources that could be added in to extend the time spent on this topic or used as journal or warm-up activities as the class continues Mango Street. These include an additional poem ("We" by Nathan M. Richardson) as a handout as well as a Youtube link to Richardson reading his poem, and a visual (typographic) prompt to use for the topic of identity. I have also included a video interview of Xochil Morales that might be useful for adding context, particularly because she is a very young poet and relatable.



Gina Miller
12
 

Exploring Systems - for teachers

Systems can be vast or miniscule. They can be man-made or occur in nature. A system can be simple or complex but all systems are have various parts. Each of the parts have functions within the system and each system has its own function (what a part or system is used for is called its function)

In this collection, students investigate a variety of systems by viewing and reading about them. 

This collection can be used in the classroom as students explore the crosscutting concept of systems and system models across a variety of science disciplines. The collection can also be used in a design thinking course or unit or as students undertake engineering projects and explore processes and systems.

This collection is designed for students to use independently either in class or on their own. The collection can also be used as a small group or whole class activity driven by discussion instead of writing.

The task is provided in the first slide in the collection. Extension activities can be applied to the task. One extension is included in the task slide and prompts students to use the Learning Lab to seek out their own example of a system and explain its parts and functions. A more interactive class based extension might be for students to circulate and look for a partner/partners who chose the same system or can find a way to make connections between two or more different systems that they chose. Partnerships/teams can then compare the parts/functions that they have identified and prepare to share with the larger class community.



sara gottlieb
36
 

Exploring Systems

Systems can be vast or miniscule. They can be man-made or occur in nature. A system can be simple or complex but all systems are have various parts. Each of the parts have functions within the system and each system has its own function (what a part or system is used for is called its function)

In this collection, you will investigate a variety of systems by viewing and reading about them. 

The task is provided in the first slide in the collection. The second slide includes a checklist/rubric for student self-assessment and for teacher use in guiding assessment of the task.

sara gottlieb
36
 

Exploring Systems

Systems can be vast or miniscule. They can be man-made or occur in nature. A system can be simple or complex but all systems are have various parts. Each of the parts have functions within the system and each system has its own function (what a part or system is used for is called its function)

In this collection, students investigate a variety of systems by viewing and reading about them. 

This collection can be used in the classroom as students explore the crosscutting concept of systems and system models across a variety of science disciplines. The collection can also be used in a design thinking course or unit or as students undertake engineering projects and explore processes and systems.

This collection is designed for students to use independently either in class or on their own. The collection can also be used as a small group or whole class activity driven by discussion instead of writing.

The task is provided in the first slide in the collection. Extension activities can be applied to the task. One extension is included in the task slide and prompts students to use the Learning Lab to seek out their own example of a system and explain its parts and functions. A more interactive class based extension might be for students to circulate and look for a partner/partners who chose the same system or can find a way to make connections between two or more different systems that they chose. Partnerships/teams can then compare the parts/functions that they have identified and prepare to share with the larger class community.



Sue Pike
36
 

Exploring Simple Machines and the Complexities of Rube Goldberg Inventions

This collection explores the concept of Rube Goldberg inventions and their use of multi-step processes to complete an action. Often Rube Goldberg inventions utilize a series of simple machines to cause a chain reaction for a task. Using an image of a comic that features one such invention, students can analyze the parts, purposes and complexities of the object and its processes. Additional resources are included to support the further exploration of these inventions and the identification of the simple machines (levers, pulleys, wedges, screws, wheels, axles and inclined planes). 

This collection complements an in-person visit to the Rube Goldberg™: The World of Hilarious Invention! Exhibit at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

#PZPGH

Ashley Naranjo
15
 

Exploring Scientific Innovation: Process, Product and Impact.

This collection consists of  three activities exploring different aspects of invention.  Students are invited to examine how inventions are linked, the impact of innovation on society, and the ethical implications of innovation.  Although designed to work as a unit, the lessons can be used individually.

Guiding Questions: What factors influence innovation in science? How do humans use science ? To what extent is science a group or individual process? Are all discoveries good or can they have a potentially negative effect?

In the first activity, students consider the process of invention by looking closely at images of inventions and exploring the connections between them. Students might consider which object was invented first, the microscope or the spectacles or investigate the relationship between glass, the telephone and the computer.

Students then view the short video on the manufacture of fiberglass, which looks at the process of innovating the glass manufacturing industry and the social and economic factors that propelled the invention of fiberglass. 

Time: 50 minutes.

Building on the student’s earlier thinking about innovation, in this activity they explore how new inventions shape our understanding of our world and their impact on our daily life.  Students are invited to explore images from artwork, advertisements, and leaflets and explain what each reveals about our changing world in both positive and negative ways.

This activity can be done individually, in pairs or in small groups followed by whole class sharing.

Time: 50 minutes, depending on the number of images explored.

The final activity delves into the ethics of invention and innovation, taking a broader look at the purposes and intended/unintended consequences of progress. This activity could also form  the basis for further research into other inventions and their implications.

 Time: 30-minutes

 

 

 

Lisa Holden
28
 

Exploring Identity: How can portraiture conceal or reveal?

What is identity? How is it constructed? These activities investigate how portraits can conceal or reveal aspects of identity. How does the artist choose to portray an individual? How does the sitter choose to be shown?

This collection includes a three-part activity that can be modified by choosing to spend more or less time sharing out as a group. It begins with a discussion about identity, using the Chalk Talk Thinking Routine and a comparison of two portraits to further push students' thinking on how portraiture can both conceal and reveal aspects of identity. In the next parts of the activity, students are able to choose from a variety of portraits for individual reflection and then come together as a group to discuss a larger work to about culture and identity. Several Project Zero Thinking Routines can be used to stimulate and record thinking. 


Part I: Chalk Talk and comparing portraits

Students participate in the Chalk Talk Thinking Routine using the questions provided. A quick gallery walk where students circulate and read all responses can allow the class to get a feel for the many (or singular) perspective(s) of identity. Using the See-Think-Wonder Thinking Routine, students compare and contrast two portraits: LL Cool J by Kehinde Wiley and John D. Rockefeller by John Singer Sargent. Students can share with a neighbor and then out to the larger group or simply share out as a large group depending on class size, etc. 

 

Part II: Portraiture and Identity

Using the Individual Exploration of Portraiture worksheet, students can choose one image from the fifteen provided and spend some time exploring their selected portrait. Students can be given 5-10 minutes to interact with their chosen image. Using one of Roger Shimomura’s portraits, students will use the Unveiling Stories Thinking Routine to better understand the many layers to this work of art. Again, students can share out in pairs first or simply share out to the whole group depending on class size, etc.

 

Part III: Returning to chosen portrait and final reflection

Students will once again return to their selected portrait and complete the "second look" section of the Individual Exploration of Portraiture worksheet. A final reflection about identity and portraiture can be completed either as a group or individually using the I Used to think…; But Now I Think… Thinking Routine.

#NPGteach

Emily Veres
23
 

Exploring identity - Japan and the Western culture

Using "See, Think, Wonder" and "Parts, Perspective, me", this collection explores how cultural shock influences the way artists see themselves or are perceived by others. The careful analysis of 100 Pounds of Rice by the artist Saeri Kiritani provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the similarities and differences with the novel Fear and Trembling by the Belgian author Amelie Nothomb. It also invites students to reflect on their own cultural identity.

Time- 1 or 2 class periods with optional homework and extension activities

Guiding Questions:

  • How do art and literature shape our understanding of cultures?
  • What kind of knowledge about a literary text and about art do we gain when we compare and contrast them?
  • How does language in art and literature represent cultural distinctions and identities?

Context:

In Fear and trembling, Amélie, who is the main character of this autobiographical novel, shares her struggles as a foreign employee in a big Japanese corporation where she is confronted with Japanese protocols and habits that are culturally new to her. In her story, Japanese culture is exposed through a foreign perspective. The aim of the collection is to bring a different perspective to our study, these of a Japanese women living in the US, in order to build a better intercultural understanding of the Japanese culture.

Prior knowledge:

Students have read the novel Fear and Trembling and analysed the way Western and Japanese cultures are perceived by the different characters. They have explored how the autobiographical novel offers insights on the Japanese workplace culture and reflected on its limitations (a single story embedded in fiction). This teaching unit can be done without the comparative component of literature. It can also be adapted to any other literary work that explores the topic of identity. 

Day 1:

Step 1: Have them do "See, Think, Wonder"individually with 100 Pounds of Rice by Saeri Kiritani. Do not show the caption to students yet. The "See, Think, Wonder" routine is good to help students pay attention to details and unveil the artist's choices. It also encourages them to initiate a first interpretation.

Step 2: Debrief as a whole group- Discuss the self portrait of  Saeri Kiritani. 

Step 3: Show the Saeri Kiritani 's youtube video

Once students have discussed the sculpture, show them the video and ask them to take notes on the new information the artist provides.

Next, go back and look at the sculpture and see how their understanding has shifted from their initial interpretation.

Step 4: Read the caption

Have students read the caption and answer the questions of the Design Thinking routine "Parts, Perspectives, Me". The routine encourages students to consider the various viewpoints of an object, its users, and stakeholders, and reflect on their own connections and involvement with it. It helps them connect with the perspectives taken in the novel as they are complementary, yet different. It also lead them to reflect on their own identity and prepares them for possible extensions to the activity. 

Step 5: Debrief the questions as a group

Day 2 or Homework

Step 6: Have them write an individual synthesis:

  • What did I learn about Saeri Kiritani self-portrait? Fear and trembling? Me?
  • How do Saeri Kiritani and Amelie Nothomb express how they experience cultural differences?
  • What are the similarity and differences between them? How does it impact your understanding?

Step 7: Debrief in pair or small group, then as a whole group

Extensions

Creative project: 

Step 1 - Once they have completed these activities, ask them:

  • What material or fabric would better represent who you are? Why?
  • What part of you would better represent who you are? Why?

Step 2 - Debrief in group - reflect on the idea of cultural stereotypes: what role do cultural stereotypes play in the construction of self-identity? To what extent do cultural stereotypes limit or facilitate self-identification? Identification of others?

Step 3 - Have them sculpt their self-representation with the material of their choice.

Step 4 - Exhibition and presentation of the creative process.




Anne Leflot
7
 

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
 

Exploring Ava DuVernay's "Selma": History as Visual Culture

The guiding questions of this Learning Lab are

  • What is visual art’s connection to historical events? Why is it important that we recognize these connections?
  • What does studying art add to our understanding of historical events and time periods?

The goals of this Learning Lab are

  • Bridge the gap in understanding between art analysis and historical analysis
  • Explore the inherent ties between art pieces and their surrounding historical context
  • Introduce the foundations of formal art analysis and develop close looking skills for visual art pieces

If you are new to Learning Lab, visit https://learninglab.si.edu/help/getting-started to learn how to get started!

#NPGTeach


Special thanks to National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Folkways, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) for inspiring this learning lab and for their resources.

Keywords: Portraiture, African American, American, Selma, Alabama, visual art, Civil Rights Movement, United States, visual literacy

Ashleigh Coren
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