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Found 476 Collections


The 1960s--A Decade Collection

This is a topical collection about American life and politics in the 1960s. Resources in this collection might be helpful to students and teachers working on projects about the decade. It is not meant to be completely comprehensive, but rather includes highlights of the Smithsonian's collection spanning art, popular culture, social trends, leadership, and technology.

Teachers and students might copy and adapt this collection to suit their needs; highlighting a specific aspect of life in the 1960s and adding annotations and additional resources.

tags: Sixties, Kennedy, Camelot, civil rights, Vietnam, politics, decade

Susan Ogilvie

Expressive Self Portrait

Art 3 students will compare the elements and principles in each image and distinguish their aesthetic qualities of expression. 

Jinni Copp

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) The Will to Adorn

The Will to Adorn is a multi-year collaborative folk cultural research and public presentation project initiated by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.This project explores the diversity of African American identities as expressed through the cultural aesthetics and traditional arts of the body, dress, and adornment.

Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, CA was one of the participant museums in the 2017 The Will to Adorn project. Six high school students examined African-American fashion in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Through a combination of street photography, museum visits, field trips and interviews with Bay Area fashion creators and trend setters we took a closer look at the different ways African-American fashion is expressed.

This is a collection of their photographs curated by the program coordinator.

Richard Collins

The Civil War

Examine artifacts from 1861-1865 and use them to help prepare your own scrapbook of the time period.


Destination Moon: Origins of the Space Race

This topical collection introduces events that shaped the origin of the Space Race; its connections to World War II, rocketry, nuclear development, and the Cold War. 

After exploring the collection, students will have a better understanding of how the Space Race evolved from a specific group of geopolitical events. This collection introduces figures from American politics and outlines international events that pushed the United States to  mobilize around the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. 

Students begin by watching the overview video. The resources that follow include metadata summaries, quiz questions, and hotspots to draw attention to details in each resource, and provide an overview of the complex geopolitical situation. This collection is best used as a primer to the space race and could be enhanced by further discussion. 

Christina Ferwerda

Destination Moon: The Mighty Saturn V

The Saturn V is the most powerful rocket flown to date, but how did it actually work? this collection investigates the three stages of the Saturn V rocket, as well as the Instrument Unit. By making comparisons between the engines and computer located on the Saturn V and familiar technologies, students will gain a better understanding of the power and function of the mighty Saturn V. 

This collection also uses and familiarizes students with several Earth and Space science terms. When exploring this collection, discuss and provide students with the following vocabulary list: 

Thrust, stage, orbit, velocity, combustion, vacuum

Christina Ferwerda

Examining Icebergs (MC IERW002 - Our Vulnerable Planet Essay)

What can we learn about global climate change by examining icebergs? This collection includes resources (pictures, articles, and videos)  that give more insight on the effects of global warming on icebergs.  The video and articles will provide you with more background knowledge on the subject.  

tags: climate change, global warming, iceberg, glacier, melt, temperature, environment


Exploring Portraits of African Americans with the Harmon Foundation Collection

The Harmon Foundation Collection, one of the treasures of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection, comprises a group of more than forty portraits of prominent African Americans. The portraits were part of an unprecedented attempt in the 1940s and 1950s to counter racist stereotypes and racial prejudice through portraiture.


Briana White

Conflict and Compromise: People of the Vietnam Era

The Vietnam Era is rife with people of controversy and topics worth studying. This collection aims to introduce individuals who played a role in both conflict and compromise during that era.  It is not a complete list of every person, but rather a diving off point to get the discussion started.  ( #NHD2018 #NHD


Callie Wright


Lesson Prompt: Look at each robot and imagine what it can do. How can it help people? If you were to design your own robot, what would you want it to do to help your family? Sketch your ideas and then draw your robot design.

Jean-Marie Galing

Second Opinion: Immigration in America – Smithsonian Resources

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains interdisciplinary education resources, including videos, images and blogs to complement the Smithsonian's national conversation on immigration and what it means to be an American, highlighted on Second OpinionUse this sample of the Smithsonian's many resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic and spark a conversation. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Ashley Naranjo

From Deer to Dance: How-to Demonstrations and Informational Videos

This collection comes from a family festival at the National Museum of the American Indian that explored uses of leather in Native communities - literally from the hunting and tanning of deer and their hides, to their use in ritual and everyday life. The collection includes demonstrations of deer-hide tanning, moccasin making, bead working, instructions to make a leather pouch and a daisy chain bracelet, and an interview and performance by Lawrence Baker and the White Oak Singers.

Philippa Rappoport

How to Make a Ti Leaf Lei: Demonstration video, children's stories, dances, and contextual images

Lei making is an important part of Hawaiian culture. These twisted strands are worn on important occasions and given as gifts of welcome. In this collection you'll find a demonstration video by Mokihana Scalph, as well as performances of children's stories, dance performances, and images of leis and ti leaves, to give context to the performances.

Philippa Rappoport

Native American Beading: Examples, Artist Interview, Demonstration and Printable Instructions for Hands-on Activity

This collection looks at examples of bead work among Native American women, in particular Kiowa artist Teri Greeves, and helps students to consider these works as both expressions of the individual artist and expressions of a cultural tradition.

The collection includes work samples and resources, an interview with Ms. Greeves, demonstration video of how to make a Daisy Chain bracelet, and printable instructions.

Philippa Rappoport

Native American Ledger Art: Informational Video and Classroom Activity

In this collection, Educator Ramsey Weeks (Assiniboine, Lenape, and Hidatsa), from the National Museum of the American Indian, talks about Native American Ledger Art, and shares ideas for family and classroom "winter count" activities. The activities are suitable for English, art, history, and social studies classrooms.

The collection also includes information and resources about Winter Counts from the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Anthropological Archives, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Libraries, and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. 

Philippa Rappoport

The Global Implications of HIV/AIDS - An Interdisciplinary Exploration

This collection includes several images that could be used as starting points for students to engage in a dialogue about the complexities of HIV/AIDS. I would very much encourage students to be given choice when exploring a topic from an interdisciplinary approach, but often it can be helpful to provide a starting point.  Works of art can be used, as there are opportunities for students to engage in conversations in pairs or small/large groups about multifaceted issues such as this.  A painting or photograph can provide a low-risk way of beginning a discussion about challenging topics. 

Students should feel free to use other areas of knowledge beyond what I have included such as Geography and History or more detailed topics such as stigma or virology.  Data from the local Department of Health could also be used in addition to or in place of the Gapminder HIV Chart. To see a sample exploration that could be used in place of a much larger interdisciplinary exploration, please see the collection titled "The Global Implications of HIV/AIDS."

Emily Veres

English and Scottish Ballads from Smithsonian Folkways

Here is a collection of English and Scottish ballads, recorded by Smithsonian Folkways and sung by Ewan MacColl, who is sometimes referred to as the "godfather of British folk revival." These recordings are in the Folkways Records Collection, 1948-1986.

Philippa Rappoport

World War I Stamps

This topical collection features forty international stamps that were issued during the World War I era. These stamps will serve as inspiration and a starting point for teacher-created Smithsonian Learning Lab collections during the National Postal Museum's workshop, "My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I" (July 2017) 


Ashley Naranjo

Highlights Collection: Mystery Learning Resources

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, Without Edgar Allan Poe, we wouldn't have Sherlock Holmes. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Ashley Naranjo

Woodcut Portraits

Jean-Marie Galing


Work with a partner or partners to analyze each object:

  • What do you think the symbols mean?
  • Are there words that help describe it?
  • What patterns can you find?
  • Does the design show bilateral symmetry, radial symmetry, or is it asymmetrical?

ART MAKING CHALLENGE: Design a medallion to commemorate something important to you. Some possibilities:

  • An accomplishment
  • A special event you participated in
  • A family tradition
  • A personal interest

The final artwork could be a drawing, painting, collage, clay slab, or foil repousse.

Jean-Marie Galing

American Indian Heritage Month Resources

These classroom resources from different Smithsonian museums focus on American Indian history and culture. 

Philippa Rappoport

Beautiful Botanicals

This collection represents some of my personal favorites from the digitization project at the United States National Herbarium, at the National Museum of Natural History. This project's goal is to digitize the 4.5 million specimens held in the collection.

There are hundred of thousands (at the time of publishing) botany specimens available here in the Learning Lab. Find your own favorites using this search.

Technical descriptions of the project can be found in a series of articles from the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office:

DPO Mass Digitization at the Smithsonian: Physical Workflow
DPO Mass Digitization at the Smithsonian: Imaging Workflow (Part 1)
DPO Mass Digitization at the Smithsonian Imaging Workflow (Part 2)

Keywords: plant, ferns, algae, flower, moss, stem, green, yellow, red, natural, color, growing

Darren Milligan
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