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Found 508 Collections

 

Benjamin West: America's First Painter

Benjamin West began painting in America during the late colonial period. His works represented a variety of styles. He was equally good at portraiture which was what most customers wanted and romantic renditions of battle scenes. Later in his career he devoted much of his time to Greek and Roman mythological themes.

Arthur Glaser
25
 

Compare and Contrast: Analyzing Portraits of Significant Individuals

This collection includes a video that presents the question: "What did the artist keep the same and what did he change? Why?" In this collection, there are multiple images of individuals who have made a strong contribution in society. The artists have  placed emphasis on the hands of the sitters. The objective is for students to compare and contrast multiple paintings, with the goal of gaining insights into ways portraitists convey personality with details.

1. Watch the video and write down the similarities between the two paintings that are presented. What are some comments the narrator said about the people in the paintings?

2. The narrator says the hands of the people are given great importance. Why do you think so?

3. Write down the similarities of the people's hands in the portraits.

4. Using that information,  create a T-Chart. On one side of the chart write the overall similarities of the people in the paintings (build upon the findings of the narrator) and on the other side, the differences. 

5. Using that information compare and contrast the second image and third images with the two paintings in the video. Add another column to the T-Chart and write down your findings. 

6. Discuss or write about your conclusions as to what the painters were trying to express about the sitters.  Do you think they were effective?

Tags: una troubridge;  statue; representation; character; photograph; painting; visual.

Samantha Castaneda
4
 

Creative Writing Exercise: Researching Iconic Objects

In this collection, there are multiple images of objects that have been considered to be iconic in society. The objective of this collection is for students to look at the objects and research the significance of those objects.  For this exercise, students will look over the images and write about those objects. This will allow students to use factual information that they look up, process the information, and use it to complete a writing assignment. They could write a fictional story having to do with the object of choice or they could write about a time when they have used the object during their day to day lives. 

Tags: technology; toys; apparel; iconic; 

Samantha Castaneda
10
 

Three Mysterious American Writers: Comparison and Contrast

This collection includes paintings of Harold Hart Crane, Edgar Allan Poe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman that are blurry or undefined, and three photographs to show the actual appearance of these writers. In this student activity, students will be asked to look at the photographs and paintings of these American authors and form hypotheses to explain why the artists chose to blur them.  Students  will explore the commonalities and differences between the  paintings and photographs and use textual information or research to confirm their hypotheses. 

Hart Crane: Known for his poetry, he struggled financially and personally throughout his short life. See more information in the description box. 

Edgar Allan Poe: A poet and story writer of great originality, Poe suffered great poverty as one of the first Americans to try to make a living only as a writer. See more information in the description box. 

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A feminist and social pioneer, Gilman also wrote stories, novels, and poetry. For more information on Gilman, see https://www.radcliffe.harvard....

1. What commonalities and differences do the paintings have? Create a list.

2. What emotions do these commonalities and differences provoke?

3. How do emotions affect the way one perceives an image? Compare and contrast the artworks with their photographic portraits. 

5. What information do photographs provide to deepen understanding of the paintings? 

Tags: poets; authors; mystery; creative writing; memoir; poetry; experimental writing.

Samantha Castaneda
7
 

Projecting a Message through Portraits

Examine your portrait with your partner.  Answer the three questions in your writer's notebook, being sure to write the portrait's name and artist in your notebook for reference!  What OBSERVATIONS have you made?  What INFERENCES have you made?  

Be prepared to courageously share your findings with your classmates!

#SAAMteach

Michelle Streed
15
 

More Perfect: Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer

How did the Supreme Court become so influential? Designed to complement the WNYC Studios podcast More Perfect, this collection explores the history of the Supreme Court and the role of the judicial branch. Starting with Marbury v. Madison, the podcast explores the humble origins of the Court and how Chief Justice John Marshall helped change that.  

Students will listen to the podcast episode to learn about the history of the Supreme Court of the United States. Then, they will learn about key Supreme Court cases Marbury v. Madison, Worcester v. Georgia and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, and the impact of the Court's decisions on the judicial branch & judicial review.

sheishistoric
18
 

More Perfect: The Political Thicket

Baker v. Carr (1962) was a landmark Supreme Court case regarding the political question doctrine. The case decided that the redistricting of state legislative districts is not a political question, and thus justiciable by the federal courts. Designed to complement the WNYC Studios podcast More Perfect, this collection explores the case and the Justices central to its history. 

Students will analyze this important Supreme Court decision involving the political question doctrine, and consider the opinions by the majority and the dissent. Students will also study how this case set a precedent for future cases regarding the Equal Protections Clause and the role of the Court.

sheishistoric
16
 

American Revolution

Lesson plan for 5th grade (90 minutes) for use with Mike Wilkins Preamble, Schoolhouse Rock video, etc. #SAAMteach

laurawest200
5
 

Rodman's Guns


The five years of the Civil War are quite rightly considered a period of ordnance and artillery experimentation, development, and transition. The work of one man led, in fact, to the casting of one of the biggest guns ever built, even to the present day--a monstrous 20-inch muzzzleloader that fired a 1000 pound solid shot

Arthur Glaser
16
 

Language, Gender, and Culture: What is the author’s or artist’s role in society?

Introduction. In this unit, students investigate literature and art by individuals who, through their work, reflect on the U.S.-American experience. Is it the role of the artist and the writer to make us more reflective? If so, to what end? If we look at a startling image or read an inspiring story, is it a momentary thing? Do we go on unaffected or are we somehow changed? Are we supposed to do more than reflect? Are we supposed to rethink the ways we interact with others? Revise the way we live? Are we meant to take action? Our answers to these questions help us to understand the role of the author and the artist in a society that is fraught with conflict and, in a sense, put on edge by questions of identity.

David Booth
11
 

Why Move West?

Each resource symbolizes a reason why Americans chose to move west.  For each one, complete the following activity:

1) Source it: Is it a primary or secondary source? Who made it? When was it made? What is the author's purpose (PIE)? Hint- click the i on the left side of the screen to learn more about the source.

2) Identify at least 4 details that you see in the image.

3) Why would this resource motivate people to move West? Use a specific detail that you saw to prove your point.

Michelle Moses
9
 

What is an American?

Context:  A lesson for a U.S. History/American Literature humanities class.  This lesson will come towards the end of our study of the Revolutionary period.

 Essential Question:  What does it mean to be an American in 1782?

Questions:

  • How does Crevecoeur define an American here?  How accurate is his definition for that time period?
  • To whom is Crevecouer making this appeal?  What sort of person would be motivated by these passages?
  • Who is included in Crevecoeur's appeal?  Who is left out?
  • How is "this new man" different?
  • How does Crevecoeur help build the ideals and myths of America?
  • How does this letter build on the idea of American Exceptionalism?  America as the land of "new and improved"?

Activities:

Students will have read Letter III before class.

Using the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the text excerpts below (or the entire text of Letter III), students will identify three key quotes or words  and find artwork that connects to chosen text.  Three total text excerpts and three works of art.  The works of art can support, refute, or simply connect to some aspect of the quote and the idea of what it means to be an American.

Students will share their chosen artworks and quotes via the class Google classroom. 

We will use the images as the basis for a class discussion on what it means to be an American.

After the class discussion, students will write a short paper on "What is an American?" 

----------------------------------

Student instructions:

1.. Using the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the text excerpts below (or the entire text of Letter III),  identify three key quotes or words  and find artwork that connects to chosen text.  You can use the images below as a starting point, but don't feel limited to these.  The Smithsonian has an amazing and extensive collection.  Take time to use the search function and explore the collection.  You have all period to do so.  Be original.

2.  By class tomorrow, post on the google classroom your text excerpts and accompanying three works of art.  The text can be a whole sentence or just a few key words.  The works of art can support, refute, or simply connect to some aspect of the text and the idea of what it means to be an American.  Be sure to include the title, artist, and date for each artwork.  Your artwork doesn't have to come from the Revolutionary time period.  The important thing is that you use your critical reading and thinking skills to make a connection between the text and the art work.

3.  Tomorrow we will have a class discussion based on the images and excerpts.  Be prepared to share your thinking on your choices with the class.


Tips:

As always, remember to consider speaker, audience, and purpose.  Who is speaking? To whom is he appealing? Why? 

Not sure where to start?  Find what you think are the ten most important words in the passage.  Narrow it down to the top three.

Based on our studies so far, what  are the different groups, ethnicities, races, religious affiliations make up the population at this time?  Which of these does Crevecouer include?  Leave out? 

How did these people come to be in America?   Does that matter in Crevecouer's writing?




--------------------------------

"Letters From An American Farmer"

by J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur

"What then is the American, this new man?...He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. He has become an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all races are melted into a new race of man, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims...

"After a foreigner from any part of Europe is arrived, and become a citizen; let him devoutly listen to the voice of our great parent, which says to him, "Welcome to my shores, distressed European; bless the hour in which thou didst see my verdant fields, my fair navigable rivers, and my green mountains!--If thou wilt work, I have bread for thee; if thou wilt be honest, sober, and industrious, I have greater rewards to confer on thee--ease and independence. I will give thee fields to feed and clothe thee; a comfortable fireside to sit by, and tell thy children by what means thou hast prospered; and a decent bed to repose on. I shall endow thee beside with the immunities of a freeman. If thou wilt carefully educate thy children, teach them gratitude to God, and reverence to that government, that philanthropic government, which has collected here so many men and made them happy. I will also provide for thy progeny; and to every good man this ought to be the most holy, the most powerful, the most earnest wish he can possibly form, as well as the most consolatory prospect when he dies. Go thou and work and till; thou shalt prosper, provided thou be just, grateful, and industrious"  (Letter III, 1782).


Mike Burns
27
 

Portraits of History: Monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii

In this collection, students will explore how portraits can be used to reveal biographical information about a subject and time period. This collection focuses on a few portraits of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii (1795-1893). Students will be asked to think critically about each portrait. This activity is based on the "Reading Portraiture" Guide for Educators created by the National Portrait Gallery. The guide can be found at the end of the collection. The collection also includes an article from Smithsonian magazine that provides a brief history of Hawaii to provide further context for the images.

One of the final activities requires students to compare the monarchs' portraits to contemporary images of Hawaii (after it became a part of the U.S.). Students will also be asked to find an image of a famous person from Hawaii to compare and contrast with the previous images. This assignment tasks the class to think critically about their preconceptions and background knowledge on this part of history.

Resources would work best in a social studies class (either U.S. or World History) in a unit focusing on Hawaii. This collection can also be revised to fit into an Art History class. To learn more about the theory behind this approach of analyzing portraits of a subject before reading their biography, please see the last resource "'Reading' Portraiture Guide for Educators."

Alexander Graves
12
 

Geometry and Islamic Art

This is a collection of artifacts representing geometric motifs in Islamic art. Students will learn why these complex patterns are so prevalent in Islamic art, practice spotting different types of patterns, and begin to create their own, using just a ruler and a compass. They will also have an opportunity to explore the concept of tessellation using an interactive tool.

tags: geometry, circle, angle, star, mosque, mihrab, tile, Muslim, Islam, religion

Kim Sigle
16
 

Analyzing Emotions: An Exercise to Develop Emotional Intelligence

The collection includes a chart that briefly informs the viewer of the main areas of the brain and their functions. Also, it includes an image from the movie "Inside Out," to inspire the ways how a person could visualize emotion. The learning objective is for students to be able to have an understanding of what emotions and to become a more positive person. 

1. Go over the definition of emotion and look at the human brain chart to gain general information of the various parts of the brain.

2. On a piece of paper, write down the various emotions that you know and connect them with a personal daily action that you believe is relevant to that emotion (example: feeling happy when your pet greets you at the door). 

3. Using the response from the previous step, write a journal entry reflecting on how your daily negative actions could change and/or how you can continue the positive actions.

4. Use your responses to draw and cut out different  shapes from construction paper that represents your negative and positive emotions. 

4. After completing these steps, speak with a classmate some of the actions you are going to take to be a more positive person. 


Tags: brain; emotions; psychology; analysis

Samantha Castaneda
3
 

Changing Perspectives on Work in America

This is a collection that allows students to examine the role of the worker in the American Experience and how it has changed over time. #SAAMteach

Anne Marie Hudak
7
 

Braceros - Using Paintings and Photos to Analyze Mexican Immigrant Labor

This lesson will teach students about the bracero guest worker program, as well as painting, photograph, and textual analysis.  Students will use the Domingo Ulloa painting as a jumping off point for an analysis of working and living conditions of migrant Mexican workers in the United States.  Photographs from the American history collection will show workers's lives in America, while a primary source will show the effects of the bracero program on an individual.  Finally, students will connect the bracero program of 1942-1964 to immigration issues of today by analyzing statements made by Donald Trump in the context of the bracero program.

Daniel Sawyer
26
 

Arguments to meditate: an introduction through American Art

This collection is for use with an introductory lesson for a 12th-grade rhetoric course's unit on "arguments to meditate," which are defined in the text "Everything's an Argument" by Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz as, to paraphrase, those arguments which are abstract and/or which lack a clear, explicitly stated thesis and that therefore depend on thoughtful meditation by the audience to arrive at an understanding of the rhetorician's intent. The purpose of this lesson is to (1) establish students' understanding of the definition of an argument to meditate and (2) provide students with a beginning ability to assess the thesis and supporting ideas that comprise arguments to meditate in the form of American Art. The details of the lesson itself are included in a document within the collection.

#SAAMteach

Marshall Harris
10
 

Do I Terrify? Sylvia Plath and Katharine Hepburn in Self-Portrait

Although they are primarily known for their other artistic pursuits, both Sylvia Plath and Katharine Hepburn were avid amateur artists. Despite differences in their ages and professions, the two share other similarities as well: both women were born into privilege in New England, both had formative experiences with death in their childhoods, both attended prestigious women's colleges, and both have come to be viewed in popular culture as feminist icons. This collection includes portraits and self-portraits of both women, examples of some of their professional successes, and information on how those successes were defined by the demands of others. How do their self-portraits allow us to understand them beyond their mythology? How can they help us to unpack their various images - public, private, historical, fabled? 

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute. 

#NPGTeach

Haley Potter
18
 

Portraits

Pick two objects. Compare/Contrast the two objects you chose.

 Why are they in a collection together? Why is the title of this collection "portraits"?

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

#NPGteach

Mei-Ye Wong
52
 

What's Your Style?

This collection and extension assignment explores artistic styles, style evolution and asks students to reflect on their own style  preferences.


Elizabeth McKemy
16
 

Self-Portrait - Katie O'Hagan

This collection is designed to help students learn and understand the idea, artistic approach, decision making and creative processes that come to play when one creates a self-portrait.

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute. 

TAGS: #NPGteach, learning to look, National Portrait Gallery, self-portrait, portrait, figurative painting

Elena Murphy
8
 

Understanding Opera

A learning resource for students about opera. The images in this collection focus on different portrayals of opera singers and different types of spaces. As you look through them and complete the activities, think about how they change your viewpoint and understanding of opera.

Alexander Graves
12
 

Gertrude Stein: Compare and Contrast

This collection has students compare and contrast two artistic representations of American writer Gertrude Stein, a sculpture and a lithograph/collage.  Included for the teacher is the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading Portraiture Guide for Educators" from which the questions here were adapted.

Resources providing background information for students include a video about the importance of body position and an article revealing philosophical influences on Stein.

Use strategies suggested in the Guide, or the following questions, after students have read and reviewed the provided resources:

1. Look at the first image (titled "Gertrude") and the second image (titled "Daibutsu Great Buddha") in this collection and write down observations.

2. How are "Gertrude" and "Daibutsu Great Buddha" similar and different?

3. Watch the video and take note of the ways how the statue (titled "Gertrude Stein") represents Gertrude Stein. In what ways are "Gertrude Stein" similar and different to "Gertrude"? 

4. In the article "A Sort of Modern Buddha: The Influence of of Yogic Philosophies on Gertrude Stein's Method of Writing" Marcie Bianco suggests in the second paragraph starting with, "What these philosopher's show..." that a statue of Stein was necessary to capture her character and personality. How do the ideas in this paragraph reflect how Stein is depicted in the "Gertrude"? 

5. In the article paragraph eleven starting with "What these philosophers show..." the writer suggests how Gertrude Stein wrote poetry utilizing a mind-body connection. How does this idea connect to how she is depicted in "Gertrude"?

6. After completing these steps, type in "Gertrude Stein" in the Learning Lab search engine and look at other portraits of her. How is she represented in other portraits? 

7. How are the portraits alike and different? Compare these portraits with "Gertrude," "Gertrude Stein," and "Daibutsu Great Buddha". 

Tags: Gertrude Stein; poetry; American novelist; literature; Buddha; sculpture; visual art; portrait; analysis

Samantha Castaneda
5
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