This collection explores regional contractors that contributed to the Apollo Program. Union Carbide, North American Aviation, and RCA are just three of the many private firms that contributed goods and services to NASA during the race to put a man on the Moon.
Have students examine the map of NASA contractors. Ask:
- What companies do you know?
- Which are closest? Farthest away?
- What do you wonder about these companies? Their locations?
Have students investigate the images in the collection. Discuss:
- What do you see? What do you think about that?
- What types of products or materials were needed on the Apollo mission?
- How did companies take advantage of their association with Manned Spaceflight?
Using the map, encourage students to find items produced by other manufacturers on this database by searching the manufacturer name. Compare the products associated with different companies - what types of products do they see, and what types of products are missing? Are there advantages to having certain things produced closer to the launch site? What types of items could be produced farther away?
Invite students to find other Apollo-related advertisements from the period using the Internet. What can be said about these advertisements?
Invite students to create their own advertisement based on the items they find here, as well as research about the NASA-contracted company.
This collection is designed to explore the essential question: How do designers understand and experience the needs and wants of stakeholders?
It looks into the design with empathy approach used by Michael Graves to design and test the Prime TC wheelchair for use in a hospital environment.
- Examine methods for developing empathy for your stakeholders
- Gain familiarity with the design process
- Understand what the steps of the design process might look like in application
- What kind of things did the designers research?
- What methods did they use to research and document primary data?
- Who worked with the designers on this project? What value did this add to the project perspective?
- Which stakeholders did the design specifically accommodate?
- How were stakeholder needs prioritised?
- What were the main issues the designer was trying to combat?
- List the steps of the design process evident in the case study.
Follow along to design an expressive letterform inspired by 2017 National Design Award Winner for Communication Design, Jennifer Morla.
Learn to think like a designer by prototyping a solution engineered for a specific user.
Follow along to use elements such as color, line, and composition to design a poster.
Follow along to design a pencil that will be comfortable to hold through a long school day.
A collection of resources related to Thomas Jefferson and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It can be edited or analyzed from a number of POVs.
This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover the complexity behind symbols found in art and artifacts. Curiosity and wonderment are sparked as students use close looking strategies to precisely describe what they see. Students can then apply these findings to reveal a deeper meaning behind the symbols and the identities of the designer and users. Students will be inspired to create their own stamps as they explore how symbols share messages and bridge connections to people and diverse cultures.
This collection is a curated collection of images that can be used with a lesson plan on curation. Each of the images has some possible connection to a social justice theme and the question asked by the creator of the collection is, "How might we approach conversations about curation and social justice?" Each of these images adds a unique and interesting dimension to a conversation about curation, the people whose stories are selected for view, and how those stories are empowered and/or disempowered by the stories that they are surrounded by. How do we make decisions about these topics? What do we do when we are asked to include in a curated collection pieces that change the story we might want to tell? How do we deal with the multi-faceted stories and sometimes contradictory stories of the people we select for our collections?
It is important to ask these questions and have dialogues with students about how we come to our conclusions, make our decisions, and wrestle with these concepts. In a world of tweets and ever expanding stories/information it is important sometimes to talk about how we work with the realities of physical spaces where there isn't always enough wall real estate to highlight everyone all of the time. In those situations, how decisions are made, who is brought to the forefront (and who is not), and how our own beliefs/biases/views of the world play into those decisions all matter.
How might you curate this collection in many ways? Who is still missing and why does it matter that we ask the questions at all?
While this is intended to be a companion collection to a lesson on curation, the questions above may stand on their own. This collection is intended to be the beginning of a conversation, and not a stand alone collection; however, the lesson is also available in the collection as a downloadable PDF.
This collection includes digital museum resources and replicable activities that will serve as a springboard for discussion during the presentation. The collection models how digital museum resources can be leveraged to support critical thinking and deeper learning for high school Ethnic Studies curricula. The collection can be copied and adapted for use in your own classroom.
Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Ignite 19 Conference: Transforming Curriculum with Technology (June 2019)
Smithsonian educators are initiating a collaborative education program with Texas curriculum developers and local museums to develop instructional materials relevant to K-12 Humanities and Ethnic Studies. The Smithsonian Learning Lab platform allows users to create and share locally relevant digital resources both in classrooms and with a growing network of educators across the country. Learn more about how you can leverage digital resources from the Smithsonian and your local museums for increased access and impact.
This collection was co-created with Ashley Naranjo. This program received Federal support from the Latino and Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pools, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
This collection was developed as part of the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program under the theme of “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.” It has been modified by Jodi Halligan to use as a learning activity on observing differences between Soviet and American space suits and related technology and design.
This collection is designed to help teachers build their practice in the areas of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) and global competence. The resources in this collection can be used to lead a professional learning series on culturally responsive teaching as an instructional framework and the Instructional Try-its can be used as an entry point for teachers seeking to embed CRT into their practice. As suggested in the Powerpoint provided, a series on this topic could consist of six 35-60 minute sessions that occur on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Another approach for using this collection is to use the five Instructional Try-its to expand the number of weeks dedicated to this professional learning series.
Additional uses for the resources in this collection include:
1) examining the global competence framework developed by the Asia Society and the role that thinking plays in learning, instruction, and the development of certain dispositions or mindsets.
2) exploring the social action approach of culturally responsive teaching (which matches almost exactly with the “take action” piece of the global competence framework)
3) asking questions in order to understand the students’ lives and world views. Through the instructional try-Its, teachers can develop approaches and understandings that will help them empower their students as they learn to challenge the power structures that create inequities in access to power.
Note for users: To find detailed information on applicability and use of each thinking routine included in the collection, be sure to click on the tab marked with a paperclip.
Featuring postage stamps from the National Postal Museum's collection, Cultivating Communication: Famous Gardeners was created in conjunction with Smithsonian Gardens. Each stamp relates to either a historic or fictional famous gardener, or garden-lover. Teacher participants in the professional development seminar, "Cultivating Communication" (July 10, 2018) were encouraged to use this collection as a launching pad for a classroom activity related to the Smithsonian Gardens' program, Community of Gardens. #NPMteacherprograms
Keywords: gardener, garden, garden-lover, nature-lover, naturalist, botany, botanist, horticulture, landscape architect, outdoor adventurer, wilderness explorer, national parks, environmentalist, American artist, American author, American poet, children's literature, pop culture, Hollywood icon, American president, First Lady.
This collection highlights the Creative Questioning thinking routine from Project Zero. Students will watch a video clip about the Great Wall of China and generate questions they have about the topic. Then, they will use the question starters to improve and expand upon their questions. Finally, they will choose one of their questions as the starting point for further research.
tag: Great Wall, China, military, inquiry
In this activity, you'll explore the vibrant world of coral reefs through videos, an online game, and hands-on activities. You'll learn about what coral is, how groups of them can grow into a reef, and what threats they face with climate changing the ocean temperatures. You'll also meet Smithsonian experts in the field, using cutting-edge technology to combat climate change.
Explore coral reefs and climate change through real-world sources and data and meet Smithsonian experts in the field. This collection includes instructional strategy, student activities, assessment, and extension ideas. Organization is made visible by divider tabs indicating such components as concept understanding, Project Zero thinking routines, and calls to action.
This collection was developed by Sandra Vilevac, STEAM Specialist, Washington International School. See Sandra's other collections.
Thank you to our sponsor, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.
This unit explores different historical artifacts and the stories they tell. Students will investigate a range of objects, ranging from prescriptions to buffalo hides sourced from different Smithsonian collections.
Guiding Questions: How do humans shape the narrative of History? Whose History is being told? Is it possible to have multiple versions of the “past”?
The collection consists of 5 sets of artifacts, connected by some aspect such as culture, time period, event or movement. However, these objects each tell a very different story.
Working individually, in pairs or in small groups, students choose a set to explore. The students spend time quietly and carefully looking at the sources and investigate what they can tell us about our world, both locally and globally. This activity encourages students to reveal the multiple layers of meaning in an artifact from the most visible story to what it helps us to understand about the lives of our fellow human beings.
Students can share their ideas in pairs, or small groups, before coming together as whole class to share their findings.
Time: 40-60 minutes
As a follow up activity, students reflect on what new connections and information they discovered, new ideas that came to light, and what they found puzzling.
Students can complete the handout individually, in pairs or groups.
Time: 30-50 minutes depending on the length of the follow up discussion.
It might be interesting for students to watch the brief video included, where anthropologist Candace Green and curator Emil Her Many Horses, discuss the Lakota Winter Count as a form of historical record.
The duration of the video is just under 5 minutes.
For more information about the thinking routines visit:
This collection contains a selection of artworks related to the themes of conflict, identity, and place. Teachers can use these artworks for a variety of purposes; here, we use them as a catalyst for discussion, with an extended version of Project Zero's See, Think, Wonder thinking routine. In small groups or as a classroom, have students select one artwork they find meaningful or interesting and discuss the following:
- Why did you pick this artwork?
- What do you see? Name specific aspects of the artwork you notice.
- What do you think about what you see?
- What does this artwork make you wonder?
- Optional: How might the artwork connect to the themes of conflict, identity, and place?
This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection contains artwork selected by Phoebe Hillemann, Teacher Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, featured in the 2019 Smithsonian American Art Museum Summer Institute for Teachers, "Teaching the Humanities through Art."
These artworks serve as foundational museum resources in lesson concepts that are accessible by searching the Smithsonian Learning Lab with the hashtag: #SAAMTeach.
This Learning Lab collection has been created to support the 2018 National History Day theme, Conflict and Compromise. Utilizing portraits and other resources from the National Portrait Gallery, this collection is organized by Topics within the Conflict and Compromise theme.
Be sure to check out the following at the end of the collection:
-Reading Portraiture Guide for Educators highlights close looking strategies that can be used with the portraits listed
-Conflict and Compromise In History Theme Book from National History Day 2018
Oral history is a technique for generating and preserving original, historically interesting information – primary source material – from personal recollections through planned recorded interviews. This collection includes tips for conducting your own oral history from a student journalist and a historian, guides with suggestions for setting up your own interview, and recorded oral histories from key moments documenting a range of events in 20th century history.
Recommended questions to consider with this collection of resources: What is the purpose and value of oral histories in relation to understanding historic events? How do oral histories compare to other sources of information? How can what we learn in school help us understand and process the experience of today, in the context of history? What is our responsibility to document, reflect, and advocate?
This collection examines artwork paired with both primary and secondary sources that illustrates the complications of mobilizing the American homefront between 1942-1945.
In this collection, students will be able to explore the skill of comparing and contrasting across similar texts with a focus on fairy tales using the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine. This collection would be used best after first reading several different fairy tales with students.
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
Columbus as explorer. Contains activity for focusing on and finding details that tell a story, a formative assessment using a portrait, and a summative assessment for the end of unit.