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Found 6,072 Collections


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

Climate Change and Alexis Rockman's Manifest Destiny

In preparing to paint his large-scale mural, Manifest Destiny, a commission for the Brooklyn Museum's re-opening in 2004, Alexis Rockman consulted with climate change experts to imagine what Brooklyn might look like several centuries in the future when the glaciers have melted and sea levels have risen.

Teachers can use this painting as a starting point to discussing the issue of climate change, understanding what's at risk, and exploring mitigation strategies coastal cities might take to prevent an outcome like the one Rockman predicts.

Phoebe Hillemann

Climate and Weather

Resourses related to climate and weather.

Nick LeClaire


how weather affects climate
Kathryn Bell

Cleveland Tractor Company - Cletrac

CLETRAC, INC., a manufacturer of tractors for military and civilian use, was organized by Rollin H White as the Cleveland Motor Plow Co. in 1916.

Matthew Chamberlin

Classroom Conversation Opener

Ask students to analyze this image.  This can be used to show multiple interpretations of a text.

What do you see here?

What makes you say that?


Jamie Gillan

Classroom Activity Using Images of Immigration and Identity from the National Portrait Gallery, the New York Times, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Students can use the "What makes you say that?" and the "3 Ys" thinking routines to explore two modern portraits about identity and immigration from the National Portrait Gallery. The first thinking strategy asks students to look at a work of art for several minutes before answering two questions: "What's going on?" and "What do you see that makes you say that?" (See for more information.)

To further and deepen the discussion, I've included a link to a September 2016 New York Times Op-Doc entitled "4.1 Miles," about a coast guard captain on a small Greek island who is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. (If it doesn't show up easily, you can view the original video on Times Video at I've also included two sculptures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an interview with Lisa Sasaki, head of the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center, and resources from the University of Minnesota  Libraries Publishing's Immigration Syllabus - Americans / Immigrants, Weeks 1-4.

You may wish to use the "3 Y's" thinking routine here as well, which asks students to consider the following questions:

1. Why might this [topic, question] matter to me?

2. Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, city, nation]?

3. Why might it matter to the world?

(See for more information.)

#APA2018, #LatinoHAC, #EthnicStudies 

This collection supports Unit 1: Precious Knowledge - Exploring notions of identity and community, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part A course.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. 

Philippa Rappoport

Classification and Treatment of Slaves

There were several ways to classify slaves in Pre-Civil War America, such as plantation slaves, house slaves, or slaves who worked at their owner's business. Slaves were treated as material possessions, rather than actual human beings, therefore leading to their dehumanization and exploitation. White slave owners had numerous ways to classify and identify their slaves, such as the tags that I present in this collection and the slaves had to wear to work in town or to not be mistaken as plantation slaves. Other objects are the shackles that were used to imprison the slaves so they couldn't escape while they were being transported or sold. Also in my collection I present a series of paintings depicting the slaves as they were seen by their owners and by supporters of slavery: as objects. An example of the announcement posted in town by slave traders to alert other slave traders or owners of an upcoming sale is also being included. Finally, I also added one of the posters that were published during this time whenever a slave would escape and the owner would offer a reward to the person who would aid in his recovery.

Isabel Jensen

Classical Period Developing into the Romantic Period

The collection begins with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his masterpiece Symphony No. 40.  Mozart was designed to be the first aspect of this particular collection because he is probably the most famous name to come out of the Classical Period of music.  He is accompanied by a photograph of the composition of his famous Symphony No. 40 because that symphony meant so much to what Mozart brought to the Classical Period in terms of music.  Mozart may have been a master at his craft, but he was not the "Father," which brings me to my next point.

The middle section of the collection contains a painting of Franz Joseph Haydn who was one of the most influential names in music during the Classical Period as he had a lot to do with the transition into the Classical Period from the previous Baroque Period.  Haydn is accompanied by a photograph of one of his more famous piano trio composition as a composer.  Haydn was nicknamed the "Father of Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet."  Symphony and string quartet are two of the few things Haydn brought to music during the time period, as well as chamber music and the piano trio.

The final section of the collection contains a painting of Ludwig van Beethoven who was one of, if not the very most famous composer (as well as being a pianist) from the Classical Period of Music.  Beethoven was the main driving force at the end of this musical era as he was such a pivotal aspect of the transition into the later Romantic Period.  Beethoven's portrait is accompanied with one of his most famous composition of Symphony No. 5.  If someone says they haven't heard Beethoven's 5th Symphony, throw it on your phone's playlist and let them listen, I'm sure they've heard it.  The symphony is wildly famous and so is the deaf man that wrote it.



Nathan Renaud

Classical Art Styles

Utilizing from the text of Janetta Rebold Benton and Robert DiYanni’s Arts & Culture, An Introduction to the Humanities (Prentice Hall, 2012), Smithsonian Learning Labs and other resources, the focus of this collection will be on the classical art styles, particularly in sculpture.  

Let's begin this journey with a glimpse of Classical Greece.  Greek values included a pursuit of perfection and the love of beauty.  Also known for their philosophical impact today, the Greek philosopher Plato's beliefs are reflected in the sculpture of this time.  "Plato postulated that ideal Goodness, Truth and Beauty were all One, in the realm of Ideal Forms.  Thus, all actions can be measured against an ideal, and that ideal standard can be used as a goal toward which human beings might strive.  According to Plato, human beings should be less concerned with the material world of impermanence and change and more concerned with the spiritual realm of Perfect Forms."  (Benton & DiYanni, Arts & Culture, Prentice Hall, 2012, Pg. 73).  Increasingly lifelike, sculpture in the Classical Greek period reflects these ideals.  

Changes came about during this time in the function and style of sculpture.  The rigid form of years past was replaced with more natural, realistic form.  The sculptures/statues began to reflect what the human body can look like at its peak.  The technical skills of the sculptors evolved greatly as well, showing the human form in various poses.  These poses, which came to be known as the contrapposto pose, included characteristics such as the head slightly turned and a shift in weight onto one leg.  Some sculptors also utilized mathematical calculations to achieve these perfectly portioned forms.  

The first sculpture to utilize the contrapposto pose was the Kritios Boy (Sculptor Kritios) with his weight slightly shifted to one leg raising one hip causing an "S" curve at the spine.  The head was also slightly turned.  This piece shows a more natural form and mirrors the Greek's growing knowledge of how bone, muscle, flesh, etc. work together in the anatomy.  This was considered the transition from the Archaic to Classical periods.  The contrapposto pose achieved a perspective of fluidity in movement and a more relaxed appearance. 

Doryphoros or Spear-Bearer, by the sculptor Polykleitos, shows the ideal of perfection better still.  It was while working on this statue that Polykleitos created a set of written rules instructing how to sculpt the perfect human form.  Each part of the body was taken into consideration allowing the sculpture to be fashioned in perfect proportion.  There is also the likes of Discobolus (Discus Thrower) by Myron of Athens.  A sculpture reflective of the perfect human form that incorporates the physical stature of the sporting contest that is still known today in the Olympic games.  Another great sculptor of this period, Praxiteles, is best known for the Aphrodite of Knidos.  Aphrodite is born from the sea and is known as the goddess of love.  While common for the male form to be nude, this piece illustrating Aphrodite in the nude, was rare for its time.  The art of the female nude became a more prominent theme for the Hellenistic period artists that followed.   

Sculpture was secondary to mosaic and painting in the Early Christian era due to their rejection of idol worship.  Sculpture of this time was found on stone, typically coffins, and small ivory panels or plaques.  The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus is one of the most famous pieces from this era.  The Islamic civilizations' greatest contribution was architecture while the Romanesque periods' focus was in architectural sculpture.  "Romanesque architectural sculpture is concentrated on church portals, especially on tympana (the tympanum is a semicircular section above the doorway, with a horizontal lintel at the bottom, supported by a central trumeau, or post) and column capitals."  (Benton & DiYanni, Arts & Culture, Prentice Hall, 2012, Pg. 246).  One phenomenal example is the Mission of the Apostles at the church of Sainte-Madeleine in Vezelay.  As in the Early Christian civilization, Romanesque era sculptors also carved in stone.  Included in these stone sculptures was a book of pictures created for use in sermons for those who were illiterate.   

The Gothic era, like the Romanesque, also incorporated sculpture in their architecture.  Unlike Romanesque sculpture; however, their column figures, as they were called, were peaceful and calm looking.  It mirrored the intensified idealism and realism of the era, thoroughly illustrated in the Annunciation and Visitation at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Reims.  As we move toward the Renaissance, a time in which there was an urgent desire to seek truth in life and to know every detail of the world as it existed, sculpture came back with a classical elegance engaging naturalism.  The human anatomy was extremely important to them, they essentially picked up where the ancient Greeks and Romans left off with the look of fluidity and movement in their sculpture.  "Sculpture in Italy differs from that of the rest of Gothic Europe.  Nicola Pisano (ca. 1220/25 or before-1284) reintroduced a classical style, as demonstrated by the marble pulpit he made for the baptistery in Pisa, 1259-1260."  (Benton & DiYanni, Arts & Culture, Prentice Hall, 2012, Pg. 278).

The period of the early Renaissance, which means rebirth, brought forth the interest in the person as an individual and a new intrigue with nature.  The Italians thought it "marked a radical break from the past and a reinvention of the civilization and ideals of classical Greece and Rome."  (Benton & DiYanni, Arts & Culture, Prentice Hall, 2012, Pg. 289).  Renaissance culture fostered the idea of individual creativity and supported competition amongst artists.  Sculptors of this time include Donatello and Lorenzo Ghiberti, then some years later in the High Renaissance period, Michelangelo.

Over time, through the course of centuries, the art of sculpture continued to evolve.  The contrapposto pose of Classical Greece led the way to the more elaborate, almost theatrical Baroque sculpture.  What was initially made in bronze came to be made in materials such as stone, marble, wood and a variety of metals.  Some sculptors go back to the earliest forms of the art in their productions.  In the Sleeping Faun, 19th century Harriet Goodhue Hosmer captures the beautiful curves and perfect physical proportions of Greek Hellenistic sculpture in her marble creation.

Come the 20th century, while utilizing these various materials, sculpture became more diversified and ornate.  Some pieces, such as Noguchi’s Kouros, incorporated elements of both carved and ‘constructed’ components while Calder's Mobiles physically moved.  The utilization of blown glass, although previously used as an art medium in ancient Roman times, became a fine art with the likes of sculptor Dale Chihuly.  Time shall tell what new, innovative twists in sculpture will emerge.  



Pauline Kalil

Classic American Stories: Moby Dick

This Collection was created to support reading the novel, Moby Dick by American author Herman Melville. It includes resources in the form of online texts, videos, artwork, and photographic images.
Linda Muller

Clarice Jessie Daley-WWI Nurse

Clarice Daley served as a nurse in the First World War (1914-1918) with the Australian Army Nursing Service. 

Keywords: women, history, military, 

Jodie Smith

Clarice Jessie Daley-WWI Nurse

Clarice Daley served as a nurse in the First World War (1914-1918) with the Australian Army Nursing Service. 

Keywords: women, history, military, 

Jessica Rosenberry

Claims, Support and Reasoning

Introduction to the science concept of claims, support and reasoning.

Jamie Weber

Claim-Support-Question: A Sharecropper's Shack

Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "Claim Support Question," a routine for clarifying truth claims, students will examine a photograph taken by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration. This exercise could be used as a warm up for a lesson about the Great Depression's impact on farmers, sharecropping, or the New Deal.

Tags: Roosevelt, New Deal, Farm Security Administration, Great Depression, tenant farmer, sharecropper, migrant farmer, Okie, Missouri, Oklahoma, Dust Bowl, Resettlement Administration.
Kate Harris

CJ Bacorro: 1920s and 1930s Artifacts

there will be five artifacts from each decade describing how the decades were

CJ Bacorro


Kirra Lent

Civil War visuals - Montes


Matthew Montes

Civil War Photography

Examine the ways that photographers captured history during the American Civil War.
Thomas Gray

Civil War Letters

A collection of letters written during the Civil War.
Stephanie Norby

Civil War Era Literature: Brother Against Brother (Realism/Psychological Realism/Naturalism/Impressionism)

This collection of paintings and photos are used in conjunction with a variety of Civil War era works of literature, specifically those featuring elements of the following literary movements:

* Realism

* Psychological Realism

* Naturalism

* Impressionism

Works to be used in conjunction with artistic examples include:

1. Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce

2. An Upturned Face, by Stephen Crane

3. An Episode of War, by Stephen Crane

The first two works ("The Girl I Left Behind" and "Departure for the War")  will be used to launch/introduce "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." As a class, we'll complete a "See/Think/Wonder" and then read the short story. After completing the story, we'll return to both pictures and discuss how we could imagine such works of art illustrating this particular work.

We will then look through the small collection of photos from the Civil War, and discuss how such images would inspire a writer. I'll then introduce students to the Naturalism and Impressionism literary styles. We'll then read two Stephen Crane short stories, noting his "artistic" use of color, for example, and the despair evident in his naturalistic stories - - which could also be reflected in the photographs. 


Annette Spahr

Civil War Diary: Homefront Perspectives

Diary entries from Mary Henry and Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas during the Civil War.
Nicole Gilbertson

Civil War Diary

Diary entries from Mary Henry during the Civil War.
Stephanie Norby
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