Found 543 Learning Lab Collections
Easterners heard many stories about the dangers of traveling to the American west. Accounts of the great American desert as an almost impossible place to cross caused many to rethink leaving home. Albert Bierstadt and painters of the Hudson River School traveled the west and sent back their impressions of the landscape and wildlife.
During the 1830s, George Catlin and his team produced over five hundred images of native American life on the western plains. Nearly half of his work consisted of exquisite portraits of Indians of many different tribes. Some tribes like the Hidatsa disappeared before any other visual representation of them could be made.
Long before the camera went west, artists like George Catlin were preserving the images of the native Americans on the western plains. Catlin's paintings are numerous and divide into two genre: the group activities and portraiture. This learning lab focuses on group activities of many plains indians including hunting, traditional dances, and recreation.
The early years in Virginia's first colony were fraught with starvation and illness. Many of the Jamestown colonists were not "survivors". Most were gentlemen searching for gold and riches and had no experience living in the wilderness. America was a challenge: the forest primeval had never been cut, there was no available farmland, few had experience at fishing or hunting and gathering. Our story about tells about the ultimate in desperation.
Edward Hicks' paintings reflect the same quality and style. More advanced in technique than Grandma Moses but still simple if compared to the work of the Hudson Valley School.
Baskets can be both functional and decorative. Choose an image and make guesses based on what you see:
- What materials were used to make the basket?
- What do you think it was used for?
- What process did the artist use to make the basket?
- Where do you think the basket is from?
Check the info tab to learn more.
This collection is inspired by Cooper Hewitt's 2015 book and exhibition How Posters Work, written by Ellen Lupton, presenting works from the museum's astonishing collection of over 4,000 historic and contemporary posters.
In this student activity, you'll learn the basics of poster and advertisement design: how to tell a story, excite the eye, and use visual language to create emotional, effective design. At the conclusion of the lesson, you'll create a film poster of your own. This collection is perfect for graphic designers, illustrators, and enthusiasts alike. All you need is a passion for design, a curious eye, and love for a visual story.
This collection includes a multi-day lesson plan built around Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York), 1918, and is designed to explore the effect that gender inequality can have on identity. Lessons are designed for an eleventh-grade, American Studies, Humanities-style course, and the historical context is the Gilded Age and the Women's Suffrage Movement. The plan for this mini-unit includes the analysis of visual, literary, and historical texts, and while it has a historical context, the goal is also to make connections to American life today. The essential question for this mini-unit is this: How can unfair gender norms affect what it feels like to be a human being? Included, you will find a lesson plan as well as digital versions of the artistic, literary, and historical texts needed to execute that plan. #SAAMteach
The resources in this collection are assembled to present a range of perspectives on the American Dream. After we have delved into the concept of the American Dream and its evolution over time, you will examine and consider examples of Americans' attempts to accomplish their unique aspirations.
After surveying the collection, choose one of the following assignments to complete and submit it. As you are browsing the resources in the collection, you may want to take notes and/or save images.
1) Compare and Contrast: Write an essay that examines how the images reflect or represent the American Dream. Choose 5 images and for each image, identify the time period, the person/people and place featured, and the American Dream referenced. By describing and analyzing each image, evaluate the American Dream. How do the images reflect the idea of the American Dream? What conclusions can we draw from examining the American Dream through these images? How has the dream changed over time and what does it mean today? Are there any aspects of the American Dream that hasn't changed?
2) Argument: Select a combination of articles, images, and videos (at least 5) to examine. Reflecting on the quote from class consider the extent to which you agree or disagree with the argument presented. To support your claim, use the sources from this collection to write an essay in which you argue whether or not the American Dream still exists.
Quote: "People have long held the view that America is a place where everyone can freely and successfully seek their dreams. We are a nation of potential success stories, emerged from simple beginnings. We've been told that within each of us lives the spirit of entrepreneurial or educational achievement. Up until recently, this was widely believed as true. But as a result of current economic conditions, this opportunity has been lost and the American Dream of the past no longer exists." (Levy)
Levy, Ellen. "Pursuing the American Dream." Constructing Meaning Instructional Unit. E. L. Achieve, Inc. 2012
Students will explore issues curators face to keep technology working to display artworks through looking at Nam June Paik’s work. Known as the father of video art, Nam June Paik used Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions as a canvas for this artwork. Students will learn about the properties of the CRT-televisions that are vital for Paik’s work to be shown. Students will use the graphing application Desmos to make predictions on how many CRT TVs are needed to keep Paik’s work on display so people around the world can enjoy it in person.
This activity is designed for students to work in groups of 2-3 people. For the Desmos part of the activity, the teacher will need to make a copy of the activity and share it with his/her students so the teacher can access the students' work. The teacher can decide to use the Desmos portion of the activity with the students working in groups or individually.
After looking at Nam June Paik's work students will explore Bill Viola's work with Plasma screens TVs as a canvas and problem solve how to adapt his work of the technology to keep it on display for years to come.
Day 1: Slides 1-7
Day 2 (or extension): Slides 8-10
Extra resources: Slides 11-13
|Student Instructions||Teacher instructions|
Slide 1: Nam June Paik Archive
Read the background information on Nam June Paik and the curator John G. Hanhadt
Slide 2: Thinking Routine description of Parts, Purpose, Complexities.
Make sure that the students choose one of the pieces to answer questions on slide 4
Slide 3: Electronic Superhighway
In groups of 2-3 students will go through the Thinking routine
Parts, Purposes, Complexity
See Instructions allow students to share their observations.
Slide 4: Megatron/Matrix
In groups of 2-3 students will go through the Thinking routine
Parts, Purposes, Complexity
See Instructions allow students to share their observations.
Slide 5: Cathode Ray Tube for Television
Go through the hotspots on the CRT, and watch the 5 min video on CRT, explaining the science behind
You can also have the students read more history on the inventors.
Slide 6: First TV RCA 630-TS
Data on the life span of RCA televisions, possibly looking at the amount of Samsung TVs that are needed for Nam June’s artwork.
“Life span and time that it can be used.
Back up CRTs
20k working hours”
Slide 7: Desmos activity
Students can go to the interactive desmos link, the teacher will have to provide a class code to record the student work.
Teachers will have to make a copy of this activity and sign into desmos using google or creating an account.
|Slide 8: Bill Viola||Read information on Bill Viola and watch videos of his work.|
|Slide 9: Thinking routine instructions||Look at his work, students can also look up the video versions of the work. Imagine if… in the context of how the technology might be altered or the artwork will have to altered to keep the art on display at museums.||Agency by Design Imagine if Thinking Routine|
|Slide 10: Bill VIola's Fall into Paradise|
|Video "Nam June Paik: Art & Process- presented by John G Hanhardt"|
|Slide 12:||Video on "Conserving and Exhibiting the Works of Nam June Paik: Joanna Phillips"|
|Slide 13:||Desmos teacher guide|
The last two slides are extra material for the teacher or the students if they are interested in more of the conservation efforts involving Nam June Paik's work.
Students could do research on emerging television technology to make a mathematical function that will predict when the plasma TV will be obsolete.
Students can design an art project that will be displayed using technology. They will have to write installation instructions and possible adaptations to their work for changing or aging technology.
What does your hair reveal about your identity? This guided lesson and image gallery invites students to explore their identity and to interrogate the role that hair plays in the presentation of self. Using artful looking techniques, students can think critically about the dynamic between the subject and the artist.
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
#NPGTeach #Hair #History #SocialStudies #Afros #Identity
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.
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.
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;
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.
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!
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.
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.
Lesson plan for 5th grade (90 minutes) for use with Mike Wilkins Preamble, Schoolhouse Rock video, etc. #SAAMteach
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
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.
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.
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?
- 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"?
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?"
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.
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?
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
"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).