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Found 543 Collections


Compare/Contrast: Faith Ringgold and Jacob Lawrence

This collection includes self-portraits by two different artists: Faith Ringgold and Jacob Lawrence.  Both artists are generally known for their efforts to represent everyday life experiences, struggles, and successes of African Americans.  The purpose of the collection is to prompt a discussion comparing/contrasting each artist's content and media choice in the context of a self-portrait.  Students will be asked to reflect on stages of the artistic process in terms of artist intent, choice of media, and general content of a finished artwork.     

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.  #NPGteach 

Liz List

Dismissing the Dead White Guy

This collection explores the necessity, logic, and fairness of the inclusion and/or exclusion of people of history based on gender and/or race. 

Lessons include

Looking Using the Puzzle Strategy

Looking using several various strategies. 

Easily customization by simply using as an individual or group lesson or by requiring all, some, or one of the additional group portraits.

Researching People and Inventions

Recognizing Bias and Objective Analysis

Understanding the Difference Between Bias and Prejudice

Argumentative Essay Writing (Designed as a timed writing for AP Lang, but the prompt could easily be turned into a formal writing assignment. 


Deborah Eades

New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Arts Integration Planning Tool

Using a sample lesson "The Blues and The Great Depression" provided by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) as a model, this collection demonstrates how the Smithsonian Learning Lab can be a useful tool to curate digital resources that support a lesson for arts integration.

In this lesson, students will learn about the structure and content of the blues using songs from the 1930s and the Great Depression.Students will brainstorm circumstances of the Great Depression and use those ideas to create an original blues song from the point of view of someone living during the Great Depression.

Essential questions: 

● How does blues music reflect the challenges of poverty for the African-American experience during the Great Depression?
● How do images and songs reflect the emotions of the African-American experience during the Great Depression?

The original lesson was created by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) and included in their Arts Integration User Guide for NJ Educators and Practitioners, starting on p. 90 (

Ashley Naranjo

Mini Unit Recognizing the American Dream


Maria Ryan

How Did We Get Here?: Introduction to Flying Machines

This is a  collection designed to introduce students to the history of aviation as told through the lens of the scientific method-design process. Students begin by thinking about why is flight important in our lives, and how did we get to the airplanes we now know? Students look at the many designs that planes have gone through, and discuss why perseverance and problem-solving are important skills to have. They also see that teamwork, cooperation, and a desire to succeed were necessary for the Wright Brothers to do their important work. Feel free to pick and choose from the resources in creating your own collections:

Overall Learning Outcomes:

  • Scientists use trial and error to form conclusions.
  • Scientists test hypotheses using multiple trials in order to get accurate results and form strong conclusions. 
  • Scientists use multiple data and other evidence to  form strong conclusions about a topic.
  • Scientists work together to apply scientific research and knowledge to create new designs that meet human needs. 
  • Scientists help each other persevere through mistakes to learn new ideas.

Guiding Questions for Students to Answer from this collection:

  • Why is flight important?
  • How do scientists solve problems?
  • How do scientists collect data to help them solve problems?


Katherine Dunn

Making the Old New: Rethinking Monuments and Memorials

In this collection, students will work with images, videos, and texts related to Marta Minujín's "Parthenon of Books" to create a series of questions that a creator must ask and answer before designing a memorial or monument. #LearnWithTR

Nicole Clark

Food! Podcasting Module

In this modular, multi-part lesson, learners will focus on a Sidedoor podcast discussing food. Learners will focus on the content the podcast is delivering and then analyze the podcast for production techniques. The content of the podcast will give the team a base understanding for the focus of their own podcast.


Sidedoor for Educators

Biodiversity! Podcasting Module

In this modular, multi-part lesson, learners will focus on a Sidedoor podcast discussing biodiversity. Learners will focus on the content the podcast is delivering and then analyze the podcast for production techniques. The content of the podcast will give the team a base understanding for the focus of their own podcast. 


Sidedoor for Educators

"¡Pleibol!”: Close Looking to Explore One Family’s Story of Latino Baseball

This teaching collection helps students to look closely and think critically by using three Thinking Routines to explore the cultural relevance of one family's baseball-related objects from an exhibition at the National Museum of American History, "¡Pleibol!: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues." The exhibition seeks to document the history of Latino culture through the lens of baseball, and explores baseball not only as a pastime close to the hearts of many people in many communities, but also for Latinos as a place to advocate for rights and social justice. 

Finally, the prompts aid students in looking closely at a personal object of their choice and teasing out the story it tells.

Included here are the objects themselves, a bilingual video with curator Margaret Salazar-Porzio, three suggested Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder," "The 3 Y's," and "Picture Writing" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and supporting digital content about the exhibition. 

For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, and American History classes

#LatinoHAC #EthnicStudies

Philippa Rappoport

History and Portraiture: Utilizing Art to Teach American History, Colonial America to the Civil War

This Learning Lab contains a five unit curriculum that puts students in conversation with a diverse group of significant Americans from the colonial era to the present. Lessons on the Elements of Portrayal, Symbols, Labels, Letter Writing, and Portrait Pairing prompt students to analyze the lasting impact of remarkable individuals from the Portrait Gallery’s collection. This collection was originally created in collaboration with Alice Deal Middle School in Washington D.C. 


Briana White

Scientific Instrument Collection: Exploring Acoustics

This collection includes videos demonstrating key principles of the science of sound, using some of the Smithsonian's scientific instrument collection. These videos are paired with the Visible Thinking Routine, "What's going on? What do you see (or hear) that makes you say that?" as a way to check for understanding. Learners can select one or more of the videos to watch and then provide their interpretation of what's happening and support it with a justification from the video. Learners can also explore additional short experiments, under the heading "Additional Resources" to further understand these principles in action.  #SmithsonianMusic

Ashley Naranjo

Using Vietnam War art to introduce the novel "Inside Out & Back Again"

This collection is curated to introduce the historical background of the Vietnam War for the free verse novel Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, 2011, based on one year in the life of a Vietnamese refugee who came to America in 1975 after the fall of Saigon. I use these resources for a middle school classroom, but it can be modified for high school as well.


Karen LaVohn

The Artist in the American Landscape

Built or natural, densely populated or sparsely inhabited, the landscape around us always affects us. Artists across the world and throughout all periods of human history have represented or incorporated landscape.

This collection uses artworks from the collection of The Rockwell Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate museum located in Corning, NY. American art is particularly defined by landscapes since the lands America comprises are unique and diverse. In this collection we demonstrate how landscape permeates art by indigenous Americans, Hudson River School artists and contemporary artists. Explore this collection to learn how these varied representations of landscapes compare and contrast. There may be more similarities across different periods of history than you might have imagined. 


Genetics and Stereotypes

This collection uses a print by Enrique Chagoya, “Aliens Sans Frontières (Aliens without borders),” as a starting point to explore our assumptions about certain groups of people and how genetically similar all humans are despite our tendency for 'othering.' "After researching his DNA ancestry, Chagoya learned that his ancestors were Native American (Central Mexico), European, Ashkenazi, Middle Eastern/North African, Sub-Saharan African, and East and South Asian.” In this print, Chagoya presents six self-portraits, “each drawing on a pernicious stereotype of a certain ethnicity". Chagoya “uses his art for activist causes and also uses seemingly cartoonish or naïve imagery as an entryway for discussions of complex cultural and geopolitical issues”. (

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (genetics unit), Theory of Knowledge (to discuss ways of knowing such as language or consider bias), Geography or History. An interesting interdisciplinary exploration could be connecting a science class with a language class where students read written works from some of the same geographic regions as Chagoya's genetic breakdown.

Annotations attached to the print and video resources provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines.


Articles from New York Times: The first article included in the collection is an opinion piece written by David Reich, whose research focuses on population genetics of ancient humans, including their migrations and the mixing of populations, discovered by analysis of genome-wide patterns of mutations. The second article includes a selection of public comments on the original article as well as responses to each comment from David Reich.

Connection with Skin color, race and migration connection (presently working on this collection, will need to link collection before publishing!)

Emily Veres

Climate Change and Human Impact on the Environment

What will the future reveal about the choices we are making and our attitudes toward the natural world? How might future generations judge these choices and attitudes? This collection uses the painting ‘Manifest Destiny’ by Alexis Rockman and two Project Zero routines, ‘See/Think/Wonder’ and ‘Unveiling Stories,’ to start or continue a dialogue about the impact of humans on the environment. 

“Alexis Rockman is a contemporary American painter known for his fantastical paintings of dystopian natural environments”. ( He depicts the future where creatures struggle to survive toxic conditions and invasive species. In Rockman’s paintings we see an absence of human beings, only the altered landscapes they have left behind. (

Climate change is expected to cause larger migrations both within and across borders - displacing individuals from their homes. This movement is the result of many complex factors such as: sea level rise, desertification, extreme weather events, etc. There is a direct impact on availability of resources such as food and clean water as well as a crisis of public health. 

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (ecology unit or any units that address human impact on the environment), IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies (many connections with content throughout the course), AP Environmental Science (many connections with content throughout the course), Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge or exploring knowledge claims about evidence), or Geography.

This collection could be used at the start, middle or end of a unit as there are valuable connections possible at any point. An interesting interdisciplinary exploration that I have seen in the middle school Science setting is for students to visit local waterways affected by human impacts and take samples back to their lab to test for pH, phosphorus, etc. Then, students read about the importance of water ways in the spread of humans in their humanities or language class before writing poetry about the human impact on the environment in their second language class (half of the students took French while the other half took Spanish). 

Manifest Destiny could be integrated at any point during the interdisciplinary unit. For example, in the beginning to encourage questions or determine previous knowledge, the middle to spark curiosity, or at the end after students have more information about human impacts on the environment.

In addition to or in place of visiting a local waterway, a link to an interactive map can be found in the additional resources section of this collection. Students can research what communities will be impacted by rising water levels. A scale bar allows users to shift the water levels and observe changes to the area. A possible extension could be to consider how vulnerable communities tend to be the most impacted by water level rise. Two articles included within the additional resource collection provide perspectives from the United States and Australia.

Annotations attached to the painting provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines. Annotations attached to each website include possible questions to consider when using each additional resource. 

Emily Veres

Progress: Who's Affected?

Students often understand that technological innovation makes our lives better, but they do not see the backstory. There are people who lose their livelihoods as machines replace them. What was once a necessary job is now obsolete--even the people themselves might feel obsolete. This lesson is designed to help students understand the drawbacks of progress and, more specifically, how it affects those people who were replaced.


Madison Doss

The Industrial Revolution, changes in consumerism, labor and community.

This lesson will examine how innovation in the distribution of food had a lasting effect on the consumer, the worker and the community.

Students will be invited to study Ralph Fasanella's Iceman Crucified. They will start  by examining the painting with the VTS method: What’s going on in this picture?, What do you see that makes you say that? and What more can we find?

Students will then be introduced to our set of supporting documents. At the conclusion of studying these sources we will revisit Iceman Crucified using the Step Inside: Perceive, Know about, Care about. This will include questions: What can the person or thing perceive? What might the person or thing know about or believe? What might the person or thing care about?

Students will end with a creative assignment that will ask them to give a Eulogy on the iceman


Climate Change and Migration

What will the future reveal about our choices and attitudes toward the natural world? This collection uses the painting 'Mamakadendagwad' by Tom Uttech and two Project Zero routines, ‘Ten Times Two’ and ‘Unveiling Stories,’ to start or continue a dialogue about the impact of humans on the environment. 

“Tom Uttech's visionary paintings emerge from a deep sense of communion with nature. As an accomplished birdwatcher, conservationist, wildlife photographer, and hiker, Uttech (born 1942) has spent his life engaging with the unspoiled wilderness of his native Wisconsin and the neighboring woodlands of northern Minnesota and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Yet while Uttech's experience of the landscape is grounded in firsthand knowledge and close observation, his paintings do not represent specific scenes. Instead, he uses his understanding of the ecosystem's animals, plant life, light, and atmospheres to conjure fantastic reconstructions of the natural world.”. (

Climate change is expected to cause larger migrations both within and across borders - displacing individuals from their homes. This movement is the result of many complex factors such as: sea level rise, desertification, extreme weather events, etc. While humans are certainly impacted by climate change, so are other living organisms.  

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (ecology unit or any units that address human impact on the environment or relationships between living organisms), IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies (many connections with content throughout the course), AP Environmental Science (many connections with content throughout the course), Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge or exploring knowledge claims about evidence), or Geography. 

This collection could be used at the start, middle or end of a unit as there are valuable connections possible at any point; however, I think this would be a fantastic starting image for a unit. In the absence of any context of what is being learned in class, students may come up with a larger variety of observations and perhaps a more emotional connection with the painting.

Annotations attached to the painting provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines. 

Extension: The first additional resource is a map showing the average direction mammals, birds, and amphibians need to move to track hospitable climates as they shift across the landscape. The following three articles are related to the moving map and should be used along with the map. Teachers could start with this moving map before showing the painting depending on their students’ level of interest and knowledge. Another extension could be analyzing data to draw conclusions about how migration changes biodiversity in various ecosystems. The last article from National Geographic explains that “…as the planet warms, species are shifting where, when, and how they thrive. They are moving up slopes and toward the poles. That is already altering what people can eat; sparking new disease risks; upending key industries; and changing how entire cultures use the land and sea”. ( Each of these articles highlight an aspect of the complexity of climate change and its impacts on the environment. 

Emily Veres

“Futurescapes. Storytelling and Video-Making Workshop: Using Digital Museums Resources to Imagine Our City in 2050”

This Learning Lab collection was made to guide participants  during the Digital Storytelling workshop “Futurescapes. Storytelling and Video-Making Workshop: Using Digital Museums Resources to Imagine Our City in 2050””, a two-day event organised by the Storytelling Research Team at Loughborough University, UK, and hosted in the London campus at Here East on the 6th and the 7th of August as part of the East Education Summer School at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

During the workshop, designed and facilitated by Dr Antonia Liguori, museums objects will be used to trigger stories about a day in East London in 2050.

Participants will 

  • learn how to use the cloud-based video-editing software WeVideo to make their own digital story;
  • explore the variety of museums digital resources available online;
  • experiment with storyboarding techniques for creative writing;
  • learn how to record and edit an audio file;
  • be supported in the selection of images and the production of a short video;
  • reflect on the 5-step Digital Storytelling process;
  • increase visual literacy through close looking at art.

Digital stories work best when there are rewards for both the storyteller and the viewer. Stories are always told from the perspective of the storyteller and for maximum benefit, it is vital to carefully choose the right story to tell.  All necessary information will be given during the workshop, but to maximise opportunities, participants need to bring with them an object or a photo that connects them to the place where they live now and/or to their idea about how this place could change in the future.

This workshop is also the final event of the EOOL project and aims to showcase the methodology applied in this EU funded project to explore its potential in other formal and non-formal education contexts.

Antonia Liguori

Skin color and Race

What is the connection between skin color and race? Historically, science and genetics have been used to support racist world views, yet we know there is no scientific evidence to determine race. This collection uses the painting “Black & White” by Glenn Ligon and Byron Kim and the Project Zero thinking routine “See, Think, Wonder” that has been adapted, making it “See, Wonder, Connect”. Students should not be told of the background of the painting ahead of time, but this can be revealed once they have completed the thinking routine 

Additionally, the collection includes a TedTalk by Angélica Dass called “The Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color”, which students will watch next. “We still live in a world where the color of our skin not only gives a first impression, but a lasting one,” says artist Angélica Dass. She is from Brazil, and her family is “full of colors.” She describes her father’s skin as “deep chocolate.” He was adopted by her grandmother, whose skin is “porcelain,” and her grandfather, whose skin is “somewhere between vanilla and strawberry.” Her mom is “cinnamon.” Her sisters are more “toasted peanut.” ( Students should watch the talk and answer a few questions. While these can be done in small groups or as a class, due to the nature of the questions it may be best to allow students time to reflect individually and perhaps share out using a quiet thinking routine called ‘Chalk Talk’. This routine allows students to move around the room, recording responses on large poster paper or a board without needing to use their name. Students can then rotate through, reading the responses of others. If the teacher wants, comments or questions could be added in a non-verbal discussion through interacting on poster paper.

An optional set of extension discussion questions has been provided, but these are suitable for older students. Also, as an additional resource, a link to Byron Kim’s “Synecdoche” at the National Gallery of Art and the Washington Post article about the piece has been included. Students could engage with this work as an extension or look at both pieces side by side in a comparison before any final class reflection. 

Then students will finish by using the Project Zero thinking routine “The Three Y’s” as a reflection. 

Connection with genetics:

From an evolutionary perspective, skin color evolved as a mechanism to protect against UV radiation. UV radiation stimulates skin cells to produce melanin, a pigment that can be found in skin, hair and eyes. People living closer to the equator experience a greater exposure to UV A and UV B radiation and therefore need more protection from the sun – hence, more melanin and darker pigmentation. People living in areas farther away from the equator experience less exposure and need far less melanin to protect, so have lighter skin tones.  Skin color is an example of a polygenic trait, a characteristic that is controlled by more than one gene, which allows for continuous variation depending on what collection of genes are inherited from parents. If this collection is used within a genetics unit where students learn about these kinds of genes, then students may already have some previous knowledge about the subject. If more information about the science of skin color is needed, I have included a TedTalk by Nina Jablonski entitled “Skin Color is an Illusion” within the collection. Also, more information about the science of skin color can be found in the Discover Magazine article provided. 

Advances in genetics have proven that we are all very closely related and differ in our genes by only a very small percent (0.1% on average). With this in mind, we must consider why daily rhetoric continues to perpetuate racist ideas. This collection can be used in several classroom settings, including: Biology (genetics or human evolution unit), Human Anatomy, History (when studying slavery, apartheid or colonialism in general), or Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge, language as a way of knowing, or making knowledge claims about evidence). 

Emily Veres

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

Climates of Inequality: Design Interventions

Humanities Action Lab (HAL), currently hosted by Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N), is a coalition of universities, issue organizations, and public spaces, that collaborate to produce community-curated public humanities projects on urgent social issues. HAL’s current project, Climates of Inequality, explores climate and environmental justice in 23 localities around the world. RU-N's Graphic Design | Senior Seminar I partners with the Newark iteration, focusing on the (current) Newark Water Crisis.

Student are asked to respond to the escalating public health crisis— elevated levels of lead in Newark’s water. How can we, as designers, assist in this conversation? Teams design participatory experiences to engage Newark residents and RU-N students in order to create awareness about the crisis. Projects may include collecting and visualizing data, an action (prompted by elements of a campaign), a toolkit, among other design tactics. These projects are prototyped in support of the Climates of Inequalities exhibition at Express Newark, opening October 3, 2019.

This learning labs collection focuses on the design process and research components, that introduce the public rhetoric surrounding the 2019 Newark Water Crisis. Design students, investigate the social, historic and political contexts surrounding the crisis, study various sources of news media coverage and focus their research and engagement approaches based on conversations with Newark residents affected by the lead contamination, the RU-N student body, as well as community individuals and organizations working to manage the crises, raise awareness and proposing solutions.

In addition to media coverage and community insights, student investigate creative methods for public engagement, participatory and experience design examples, public art intervention to reference materials/media, communication strategies, language, a visual expression/solutions. 

The design process focuses on the human-centered design (HCD) model, but is rooted in self-reflection, to sensibly define the designer’s role in this conversation before proposing design interventions. The process also considers the "launch" of the project part of the "testing" phase, and involves reflection, before refining and re-packaging their design approaches.

Additional resources in this collection offer design project examples, ethnographic research approaches/definitions (ways to engage the audience), HCD & Design-Thinking resources, and more. 


FORMULATE: Frame the challenge. Research and Ideate.
+ Understand the challenge based on the project brief, scope, timeline and initial information provided. Ideate and research further to explore directions/angles of the challenge. 
+ Involve self reflection. What is the designer’s role in this conversation. From where you stand (your background, affiliations, skills) what can you do/make? How can you help? 
+ (RE)Frame the challenge.  

EMPATHIZE & DEFINE: Understand the User/Audience
+ Observe the Audience/Stakeholders/Community. 
+ Collect stories. 
+ Examine the larger picture: human needs, barriers & constraints. Define and shape your approach to the challenge.

BRAINSTORM: Diverge and Converge
The design thinking process is ultimately a divergent and convergent thinking process. Through the exercises of evaluation, comparison, and consolidation, a limited number of solutions are selected for prototyping and testing. The final solution sometimes merges the merits of several alternatives.” —Jasper Liu
+ Based on intellectual & experiential understanding of the challenge (Divergence), map the problem and define approach for your intervention (convergence). What is the right solution? 
+ Ideate forms of engagement. Create valuable, compelling and educational experiences for others. How is the medium relevant and accessible, to best communicate-with, educate and/or empower the audience? 

PROTOTYPE: Bring Ideas to Life
There are no perfect solutions, only trade-offs. Iterations are indispensable.”  —Jasper Liu
+ Generate an abundance of rough and rapid visuals to test, transform, and polish. 
+ Gauge final design directions based on feedback.
+ Produce well executed/functional prototypes for soft launch.

TEST/LAUNCH: Learn and Refine – Share with User
+ Produce all required artwork (prepped for print and/or digital formats). 
+ Test design & document interactions.
+ Gather findings and articulate effectiveness or non-fulfillment.

+ Revise project, perfect, re-produce for travel.  
+ Measure Impact


Chantal Fischzang
Assistant Professor
Department of Arts, Culture & Media
Rutgers University-Newark

Design Consortium
Visual Means


Rebecca Pauline Jampol
Visiting Professor
Department of Arts, Culture & Media
Rutgers University-Newark

Co-Founder & Co-Director
Project for Empty Space


Chantal Fischzang

Lactase Persistence and Human Migration

How can genetics help us to understand human migration? In this collection, students will use maps, articles, and videos to analyze genetics research about lactase persistence before building their own maps to understand the co-evolution of genes and culture. 

This collection can be used in a Biology classroom with units on enzymes, genetics and/or human evolution, in an interdisciplinary unit to link Math with Biology (students to use ratios, statistics, and data to build a map) or in a Geography course.

Students should be either given a color copy of the lactase persistence map or it could be projected. Once students have been given the time and opportunity to look at the map, the following questions should be asked.

  1. What do you notice about this map?
  2. What questions do you have about this map?
  3. What can this map show us about human migration?

Next, ask students to work in groups, each choose one of the following three articles to read, then share a brief summary of their article with those in their group. These articles are excellent resources that provide different perspectives on lactase persistence and evolution. The first article (the source of the lactase persistence map) provides a clear explanation of what we can learn from milk fats found on ancient pottery shards and the link between lactase persistence and migration. The second article focuses on animal domestication and the third on the nutritional benefits of being able to digest lactase as a selective advantage.

The third article also connects lactase persistence, the shift to agricultural communities, and human migration with the genetics of human skin color. This could provide an opportunity for students to discuss the inheritance of skin color and perhaps skin color and race. A separate collection has been made to help discuss this and can be found here.

In the activity section, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute BioInteractive (HHMI) video summarizes some key aspects about the genetics of lactase persistence as well as some of the history. If students have already read and shared out to show understanding, the video could be used to meet the needs of students who tend to be more auditory learners. The activity “Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence,” also from HHMI, guides students though an understanding of the co-evolution of genes and culture. “Students analyze data obtained from published lactase-persistence studies involving many populations sampled around the world. The activity involves calculating percentages, drawing pie charts, plotting the pie charts on a world map, and analyzing the data. This lesson provides an interdisciplinary approach to studying lactase persistence, connecting biological concepts and data analysis to world geography and culture”. (

The map the students create can be compared to the initial image provided (a map of lactase persistence) as well as the information provided by the Smithsonian Magazine articles to predict the path of human migration. Based on the initial map, reading and activity, students can show their understanding of the connection between genetics and human migration by using the Project Zero thinking routine ‘Claim, Support, Question’. Claims can be made based on their new knowledge and then supported with evidence from the map, reading or activity. Then, students can pose questions for further research or discussion.

In the additional resource section, a YouTube clip has been provided to further extend the conversation. Sarah Tishkoff, from the earlier HHMI video, does an excellent job explaining the co-evolution of culture and the gene for lactase persistence.

Emily Veres

Art, Creative Writing, and Public Speaking: A Portraiture Workshop for the ELL Classroom

Art, Creative Writing, and Public Speaking: A Portraiture Workshop for the ELL Classroom

This collection includes instructions and documentation of a replicable art-based program for English Language Learners (ELLs). The information included can be adapted for high school students and speakers of any language, including native English speakers. Activities were designed to foster in participants important skills such as visual literacy, public speaking, creative writing, art appreciation, collaborative learning, and advocacy, and also to develop empathy, confidence, and self-esteem. 

Keywords: ESL, ESOL, portraits, migration, immigration, stories, identity, monologues


Philippa Rappoport
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