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Colonial Toys

During the settlement of the North American colonies, children developed fun ways to pass time. Unlike today, where we simply log onto our phone, computer, or another electronic device, Colonial children were forced to be a bit more creative. Common toys that are still used today were used, such as dolls and "action figures" (soldiers). However, many of their games involved a more "hands on" approach such as ring toss and Battledores, which is similar to Badminton that is still played today. Many of their toys consisted of materials and objects you would find around the house.

Miranda Daniels

Bacon's Rebellion

This series of images and documents show how the events of Bacon’s Rebellion are like that of the American Revolution. Like the American Revolution, Bacon’s Rebellion was caused by grievances that colonists had with the colonial government, spurred various tales about events that supposedly happened during the conflicts, and changed the way that Virginians thought about the country around them. These connections can be found through documents containing information about Bacon’s Rebellion, paintings that present images of people and romanticized tales about the events of the conflict, and inside a place known as Bacon’s Castle, a place that is still standing today.

The two conflicts had a similar structure from each other. Both rebellions started as a series of complaints that escalated into a conflict as the people protesting became more extreme. The American Revolution and Bacon’s Rebellion also had lasting impacts on the country (or colonies) because Virginia obtained a new government due to their revised charter after the rebellion and then obtained an entirely new constitution after the Revolution. The two events also contained their sets of war heroes on both sides as well as fictional tales that are set during the events of the previously mentioned conflicts.

Miranda Daniels

Revolutionary War Boston Massacre

Weapons were extremely useful to 18th Century colonists. Some used them to keep their families safe, while others used them to show off their wealth. On the other hand, there were a multitude of wars and skirmishes that occurred in America in the 18th century, from the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary to the Whiskey Rebellion. This armed colonists across America, and affected how the Revolutionary War would be fought.

The French and Indian War in particular played a massive role in the Americans' aquiring of weapons. Many colonists fought alongside the British in the French and Indian War just 13 years earlier. In effect, many colonists used the same weapons they used to fight alongside the British, to fight against them in the Revolutionary War. The large quantity of British weapons in America eventually led to American emulation of British weapons. American weaponsmiths created plenty of weapons for the Revolutionary War after a period where most weapons entering the Americas where from Britain. Weaponsmiths made low tier imitations of British weapons such as different variations of muskets, rifles, bayonets, swords, and tomahawks. These weapons were very useful and vital with regard to the war effort. In effect, The Americans used a mixture of British and American-made weapons that eventually led to American victory at Yorktown in 1781.

This collection should show the progression of weaponry in Colonial America during the Revolutionary War. The British shot Americans in the Boston Massacre with their muskets, and the colonists fought back during the Revolutionary War with old British weapons from the French and Indian War. This collection should also show how Americans even began imitating British weapons and eventually won the war with their lower tier weapons.

Miranda Daniels

Who Was to Blame for World War 1


Elizabeth Evans

New Realism



Abstract Expressionism


Makayla Curry


#CIETeachArt .Learn about the uniqueness of  graffiti art. 

Adrian Rodriguez

Our World By Design

Our World by Design highlights objects from Cooper Hewitt's 2018 ad campaign. Each object brings awareness to the critical role design plays in enabling people to engage and interact in the world.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department

Smithsonian "Super" Bowls

A collection of bowls from around the Smithsonian


Presidents Day

Items that I can show during President's Day observational activities
Eileen Winfrey

"Birdland"~The Inspiration Behind the Song

Are you playing "Birdland" in your jazz band?  If so, this collection brings the piece, and the inspiration behind it, to life.  

~Listen to one of the original "Birdland" performances

~Read about one perspective of Weather Report and their lead musician

~See how the Jazz Club and Charlie Parker tie in 

~See portraits of the Jazz Musicians who have a connection with this piece 

~Learn how Bebop was created and about the men who made it happen

Angela Berger






Eddie Soto-Ramirez

War of 1812

Kerry Heath

Puerto Rico Movie Posters

Movie Posters from Puerto Rico

Introduction to feature film’s narrative stories

Arch of the story – Beginning, middle, & end  

Introduction to the Lesson Plan  

Constant scrolling through social media platforms and click bait headlines, many of us uncritically consume vast amount of visual media every day. This lesson plan asks student participants to make observations of visual media and to transform those impressions through the creative medium of cinematography. The goal of the lesson plan is to help develop a more nuanced, informed visual literacy among young learners.   

The use of visual impressions in this lesson plan allows the student to construct cinematic narrative stories based on Puerto Rican culture and daily life. The images printed on these posters relate to themes that explored art and exhibitions, medical education and prevention of diseases, natural disaster awareness and relief actions, community engagement in medical campaigns, as well as rural life in Puerto Rico. In order to write this narrative story, the student will interact heavily with the poster visuals and the stories they represent in order to awaken the student’s imagination and intellect as they engage in an exercise of writing fiction, allowing them to learn about Puerto Rican culture and cinematic history.  

Lesson Goals

-Exposure to film archival material

-Development of writing skills for film narratives

-Analyses and comprehension of the screenwriting process and structure

-Exposure to Puerto Rican culture and daily life activities

-Teamwork and ability to multitask  

Concluding Questions to Students

  • What did you know about Puerto Rico and its culture before the lesson plan, and what are new things that you learned about it after engaging in this exercise?
  • What visuals impacted you the most and why?
  • After completing step # 3, how did you initially envision the characters of your story to be or to behave?
  • Do you feel confident about using the beginning-middle-end structure to write a screenplay?
  • What are a few things that you can take from this exercise and how do you see implementing them in future–artistic, cinematic, writing–projects?  

The following seven images are screen printings of movie posters from Puerto Rico. These screen-prints are housed at the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.  

The purpose of this lesson plan is to help you create a narrative story (aided by the poster’s images and scenarios) following a movie scrip sequence of “beginning, middle, and an end.” Then compare your story with others in your classroom and see how close or far were you from the stories–of the films–these posters represent.  

Here are the steps you need to follow:  

  • Choose 3 (out of the 7) posters.
  • Once you have selected your posters, assign them a place in your narrative story as follow;
    • Poster # 1 - Beginning
    • Poster # 2 - Middle
    • Poster # 3 - End
  • Look at the characters, the setting (place and/or type of surroundings), objects, symbols, and the text on your posters (we will provide attendees with Spanish to English translation for this lesson plan).
  • Give Names to the characters in the posters. Names can repeat if you want a character in one poster to be the same character in another poster (this might be helpful to write your narrative story). Or! each character in a poster can be unique and have its own story.
  • Go to the lesson plan images and read the description and keywords for each of your 3 choices.
  • Combine your text from step # 4 and incorporate it into your narrative (in your own words) with your observations from step # 5
  • Arrange your narrative, shuffle the order of your posters (beginning, middle, end), move characters around, change names, etc. Have fun.

You will have the option of shuffling the order of your posters at any time in order to re-arrange your narrative.            

Your narrative does not have to be perfect or make any sense. The purpose of this lesson plan is to put you in the mindset of the writer and director of a feature film. Using as inspiration movies made in Puerto Rico as you analyze the meaning and stories behind the posters you chose in order to make your own Puerto Rican movie. 

This lesson plan was an assignment completed as part of University of California, Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program with PhD candidate, Amanda Guzman.

Raul Varela


Some of my favorite pigs, hogs, and boars from across the Smithsonian collection.

Darren Milligan

Latino American Experience


Nadyia Duff

Ya Basta

This is a compilation of resources gathered at La Plaza De Culture Y Artes


Douglas Hoffman

Chicano(a) Americans #2J2019LP

A History Through Images 

John Phan

American Author Research Paper

Introduction to American Author Research Paper. #sj2019lp

Eric Contreras

Zoot Suit U.S History B

To be used in Mr. Chaffino U.S History B class.


Erik Chaffino

Black History Month - Celebrating the Rich Cultural History of our Country

This Learning Lab uses interactive virtual tours, videos, images, and much more to Celebrate the Rich Cultural History of African American History in honor or Black History Month.

Students can explore this Learning Lab independently. Learning exercises and worksheets have been provided to help enhance the exploration of the content for the NMAAHC Black Superheroes 

Wakanda Learning Lab is this? #SJ2019LP

Kara MontgomeryRoa

La Plaza De Cultura y Artes

This is a collection of images around protests on display at La Plaza De Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, California.


Chrystal Maggiore
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