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Found 875 Collections

 

A "Family Lessons" Storybook Activity for the Classroom or Home, with examples of student work

This collection includes instructions and ideas for a classroom activity designed to get children and their families talking and creating together. It is suitable for K-5 classrooms, as an art, English, or social studies-based activity. Included here are examples of student work (images and video of students reading their books), as well as images from classroom displays.

In this activity, a 1st grade teacher from a bilingual school in Washington, D.C., used what we called the "Connections" handmade storybook design to have her students share important family lessons. She described how she did the activity: "I loved the book project and found that it was a way to get parents involved in making a book with their child at home. I pre-made the books since I thought the instructions were a little tricky. The instructions were to discuss and write about a Life Lesson that their families taught them. Our students created bilingual Spanish/English books. The format was perfect for this because it could be English on one side and Spanish on the other. Students enjoyed hanging their books up outside of the class for others to read and then sharing them with the class. It really helped them to understand what important life lessons families teach them and it helped to bring students' home knowledge into the classroom. We connected the books to our Life Lessons unit and plan to do the same thing this year."

This project is based on a handmade book design that can be found, along with several others, in another collection: Fun for the Whole Family: Making "Family Memory" Storybooks: http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/1tozk88HXhnFBU6d.

Philippa Rappoport
11
 

A Classroom or Family Project: "Today I Am Here," with examples of student work

This collection contains assets and resources designed to help teachers (art, English, ESOL, social studies, and media technology), museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate their own "Today I Am Here" project, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community. 

The "Today I Am Here" book is a wonderful classroom activity, made from one sheet of paper, in which students can share their family stories. The design of the book works well for a K-5 classroom displays, and helps to show the breadth and diversity of the class and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. The project also works extremely well with ESOL students of any age, although the teacher will need to be prepared for possible difficult issues to surface. 

Included here are instructions to make the book, examples of student work (images and video of students reading), as well as images from classroom displays.

The book design is one of many available in another collection: Fun for the Whole Family: Making "Family Memory" Storybooks: http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/1tozk88HXhnFBU6d.


Philippa Rappoport
9
 

A Cool Lesson on Thermal Expansion

This Smithsonian Science Starter Collection investigates the expansion and contraction of metal due to changes in temperature.

Keywords: #airandspace, NASM, National Air and Space Museum, thermal expansion, space walk, Breznik, 

National Air and Space Museum Smithsonian
6
 

A Long Walk to Water

     This collection is to be used in conjunction with the novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  The lesson concept spans the total of three 55 minute class periods for a middle school ELA course.  

   Students will begin by completing a pre-reading activity where they will analyze the artwork, Iceman Crucified #4through a "See, Think,Wonder" activity.  Students will then discuss the overarching ideas or themes that they observed in the piece.  This lesson will end with students making a prediction about the book, A Long Walk to Water, through previewing the cover/title and using information from the artwork to predict a possible theme of the story.  

   After reading chapters 1-4, students will then begin analyzing their predictions.  They will also be introduced to a new piece of art, The Girl I Left Behind, to analyze in conjunction with another character in the book.  Students will do a collaborative poem with the artwork.  They will then work in pairs to analyze lines of text and draw similarities/differences between the character in the text and the girl in the painting.  

#SAAMteach

SARA LOGAN
8
 

A STEAM Approach to Understanding Bees

Explore bees' behavior and their role in pollination 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 by searching the Learning Lab for #SmithsonianSTEAM.

Keywords: animal, insect, plant adaptation, animal communication, flowers, pollen, honey, hive, engineering, entomologist, pollinator, colony, system


Thank you to our sponsor, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

#SmithsonianSTEAM

Sandra Vilevac
61
 

ABC Easy As 123

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring the alphabet. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they wonder, and compare how they are alike and different. Families can check out alphabets and consider how each of the letters are designed. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers
40
 

About to Forget & Forget the Past

Poetry Presentation by Amanda Kuehn & Sarah Zhang

Amanda Kuehn
8
 

Abstract Sculpture

For younger students, play an "I Spy" or sorting game with sculpture images. Attributes to look for:

  • Geometric shapes/forms
  • Biomorphic shapes/forms
  • Inside/outside sculptures
  • Sculptures that resemble animals or people
  • Sculptures that don't resemble anything
  • Big/little sculptures - explain how you decided this (scale in relation to its surroundings)

With older students, challenge them to construct a definition of abstraction based on what they observe in the sculptures.

Jean-Marie Galing
23
 

Abstraction Methods

Artists can abstract people and objects in many ways. Which methods of abstraction can you identify in these artworks?

  • Simplify
  • Fragment (or explode; break into pieces)
  • Multiply 
  • Rearrange (move the parts around)
  • Magnify (change the scale)
  • Distort (change the shape) 
  • Morph (change into something else)
  • Arbitrary Colors

Art making prompt: arrange some objects to draw. Then choose an abstraction method to create an artwork based on the objects you see.

Jean-Marie Galing
21
 

ACCESS SERIES | Galaxy Quest

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

Have you ever wondered what's going on out there in the universe? Would you like to discover exciting things about planets, stars, and galaxies? Today, we will go on a GALAXY QUEST to EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE!

RATIONALE | Digital technology has transformed how we explore the Universe. We now have the ability to peer into space right from our homes and laptop computers. Telescopes, photography, and spectroscopy remain the basic tools that scientists—astronomers and cosmologists—use to explore the universe, but digital light detectors and powerful computer processors have enhanced these tools. Observatories in space—like the Hubble Space Telescope—have shown us further into space then we have ever seen before.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Galaxy Quest" << CLICK HERE >>

Lesson Objectives:
1. Process and save at least one digital image of a galaxy or space image (with caption)
2. Create a three-dimensional astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
3. Create a digital astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
4. Visit the Explore the Universe exhibition at NASM and identify Hubble parts (mirror, lens, spectroscope)

Learning Objectives:
1.     What a galaxy is
2.     What a space telescope is
3.     Learn how to open an image on the computer and process it
4.     Socialize well in the museum setting


Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program 


Jessica Radovich
77
 

ACCESS SERIES | Galaxy Quest

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

Have you ever wondered what's going on out there in the universe? Would you like to discover exciting things about planets, stars, and galaxies? Today, we will go on a GALAXY QUEST to EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE!

RATIONALE | Digital technology has transformed how we explore the Universe. We now have the ability to peer into space right from our homes and laptop computers. Telescopes, photography, and spectroscopy remain the basic tools that scientists—astronomers and cosmologists—use to explore the universe, but digital light detectors and powerful computer processors have enhanced these tools. Observatories in space—like the Hubble Space Telescope—have shown us further into space then we have ever seen before.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Galaxy Quest" << CLICK HERE >>

Lesson Objectives:
1. Process and save at least one digital image of a galaxy or space image (with caption)
2. Create a three-dimensional astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
3. Create a digital astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
4. Visit the Explore the Universe exhibition at NASM and identify Hubble parts (mirror, lens, spectroscope)

Learning Objectives:
1.     What a galaxy is
2.     What a space telescope is
3.     Learn how to open an image on the computer and process it
4.     Socialize well in the museum setting


Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program 


Tracie Spinale
77
 

ACCESS SERIES | Nile, Nile Crocodile

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

Exploring: Ancient Egypt, the Nile River, and glass museum objects, papercraft, and sand art

Rationale for Instruction:

  • Through the introduction, museum visit, and activities, students connect with an ancient and diverse culture in ways both conceptual and concrete. The ancient Egyptians shaped our modern civilization in fundamental ways and left legacies that are still present today. 

Objectives:

  • Explain features of the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian living on the Nile River, including boat transportation, dress, and animal life. 
  • Explore the ancient origins of glass making in Egypt.
  • Examine how glass making relates to object making, animal representation, and the desert environment of Egypt
  • Plan, create, and share digital and physical works of art that represent ancient (sand art) and modern art forms (digital photography with filters) as well as representational art (papercraft) landscape.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Nile, Nile Crocodile" << CLICK HERE >>

SET THE STAGE:

  • Maps - Look at the maps in the Smithsonian collection; Where do you think you'll journey to in this collection?
  • "This is Sand" App - an tablet app that changes the pixels on the screen into digital sand.
  • Video about The Nile (for learners who prefer a concrete example)
  • Thought journey down the Nile River; Ask questions about observations along the way. If you are able to transform the furniture to reflect a boat, do so. 
  • Glass making video as well as a primary source text from 1904 (for learners who prefer a concrete example); Help make the connection between the desert sand environment and glass making. 

MUSEUM "VISIT"

  • Go to the gallery; read the panels and explore the objects. The gallery has been re-created in the Learning Lab collection
  • Explore the glass vessels-->What do you notice?
  • Observe the glass animals-->Take turns reading the informational texts; What do the animals represent?

~ BREAK ~

ACTIVITY STATIONS (rotate between activity stations)

  • SAND ART - Create your own ancient Egyptian glass vessel through a sand art design similar to the decorated glass in the museum.
  • "ANCIENT" PHOTOS - Use digital tablets to take photos in a museum gallery and use the built-in filters to create 'ancient-looking' photos like the ones that document historic museum excavations. 
  • PAPERCRAFT LANDSCAPE - Create a three-dimensional landscape of ancient Egypt based on the animals and structures observed in the museum gallery and in the introductory materials. Templates and examples are included. Document your results using photography.

Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
119
 

ACCESS SERIES | Through the Lens of Curiosity

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

All Access Club Explores the Microscopic World. If you cannot see something, does that mean that it is not there? Nope! Just lurking under the surface of common, everyday objects is an entire world that we normally cannot see. People just like you can use microscopes to discover things that need magnification in order to view.  The collection is part of an activity series that explores this mysterious microscopic world.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Through the Lens of Curiosity"  << CLICK HERE >>

In this collection you will:

  • Find out about the world through the use of microscopes and magnifiers
  • Take on the role of detective as you embark on a quest to solve 5 mysteries -- by making observations about up-close objects and reading clues, can you figure out what the whole object is?
  • In the game A Part of the Whole, use your power of observation to consider the structures and functions of up-close objects to guess what they might be. Again, you will look at part of an object--photographed up-close--to guess at the whole.

If it is possible to set-up a hand's-on experience with microscopes along with the online activities -- the tactile portion will enhance the online activity. Teens can also view a video about scanning electron microscopes by a young scientist in the 'extension section'.

Keywords: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program 

Tracie Spinale
64
 

Access Series: Great Face! Portraits and Photo Composition

Taking a great portrait is more than just taking a quick snap of a face. It requires thoughtful contemplation and a variety of choices by the photographer. This is a collection of photographs that illustrate various principles of portrait photography: angles (eye-level, high angle, low angle, and bird's eye), light and shadow, framing, and shot length (long-shot, medium-shot, close-up, & extreme close-up); As well as mood--capturing a feeling or emotion in a photograph; scale--how big or small subjects look; and sense of place--capturing the feeling of a place. Click into each photo and on the "paper clip" annotation icon to read more information and complete challenges.

Tags: portrait photography, decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
56
 

Access Series: Photo Quest in a Sculpture Garden

Get out on a sunny day and enjoy an art sculpture garden with friends...Wander with a purpose. In this teen group quest, teams use close-up photo prompts to find artworks in a sculpture garden, and then use tablet devices to take team photos with the sculptures. This activity was originally used in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. with the All Access Digital Arts Program as a photo scavenger hunt. Example PDFs of photo details are provided. To turn the photo hunt into a more formal learning experience, the answer section shows the entire sculpture with information and discussion prompts to elicit questions about teen identity and self-expression.

Tags: decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
33
 

Access Series: Places "Real" and "Imagined"

This topical collection of artworks is based upon a wide variety of places and travel spots, both "real" and "imagined." It features castles, mountains, beaches, forests, capital cities, and fantasy movie landscapes. It was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials); and as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program. Students were asked about famous places they have visited or would want to visit, as well as favorite vacation or travel spots. Other suggested uses beyond collage and discussion prompts would be a writing exercise, "If you could travel anywhere, where would you go, and who would you travel with, etc...?" Use the visible thinking routine "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for the writing prompt, and the images for inspiration.

Tags: Decision Making, Disabilities, Self-Determination, Self-Efficacy, Student Empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
72
 

Achelous and Hercules: What makes you say that?

Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will examine the 1947 mural "Achelous and Hercules," by Thomas Hart Benton. This artwork explores the relationship between man and water in post-war agricultural America through the retelling of an Ancient Greek myth. Collection includes a video analysis by a museum director and an interactive exploring areas of interest in the artwork.

Tags: greece; agriculture; agricultural; missouri river; marshall plan; truman; cultural connections; midwest

Tess Porter
4
 

Acting to Overcome Systems of Oppression

This collection is designed to extend students' thinking about acting to overcome systems of oppression after they read a memoir that focuses on social justice and activism. In our English program, students in 6th grade read I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousazai; in 7th grade, students read March: Book One by John Lewis; and in 8th grade, students read Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi. All use the Project Zero thinking routine "Think, Feel, Care" to explore Malala's, John Lewis's, or Marjane's reaction to the system of oppression they face in their story. To engage with the thinking routine, we ask the following questions:

Think: How does the character understand the system and her/his role within it?

Feel: What is the character's emotional response to this system and her/his position within it?

Care: What are her/his values, priorities, and motivations with regard to this system? What is important to her/him?

From there, students analyze the question: How does the character act on what is important to her/him in response to this system?

We use this collection and the "Think, Feel, Care" routine to look at how others have responded to and acted against different systems of oppression. After spending time with this collection, we end with the "Circle of Action" thinking routine to help us think about the potential for our own action against systems of oppression.

This collection could be used in conjunction with any unit that focuses on social justice or activism. 

#GoGlobal

Marissa McCauley
14
 

Activism: Then & Now

This collection focuses on using primary resources from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to help students examine how activism is viewed in our country. 

From the First Resource: Today, our nation honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a stoic leader during a tumultuous time in our nation's history who brought about significant positive change by pursuing civil rights for Americans of color. However, MLK's activism was not beloved by an entire nation during his lifetime. We can explore the sacrifices he made in his endless pursuit of civil rights, his mistreatment by the systems he spoke out against, and the patterns that have been applied to contemporary activists now.  

#EthnicStudies

Wendilyn Ilund
6
 

Activity Collection: 3D Modeling Bugs!

Go through the character sketches and renders from the animated feature "Bugs!" and guess what personalities the characters portray based on pose, shape, and expression. Then, using scientific illustrations from the National Museum of Natural History as reference, create your very own insect character in the Sculptris software.


This is one of 5 activities used in the Lenovo Week of Service event.

Cody Coltharp
20
 

Activity Collection: ArtBots!

In this activity collection, you'll learn how to create your very own art-making robot--an ArtBot! 



Special thanks to Lenovo

Cody Coltharp
23
 

African American Historians of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

An innate function of being human is to preserve and share our experiences and stories.  African American men and women have researched and recorded their history despite enslavement, racism, segregation, sexism, and opposition. Their research helped expand the known narratives of American and international history through the African American perspective and interpretation of historical sources. This Learning Lab explores selected African American historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their research and works were critical to the foundation of African American studies and their activism helped open doors for future African Americans to enter and contribute to the field of history.  The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, situated in the heart of the nation’s capital, serves as the physical manifestation of the efforts of African American historians featured in this lab.

Keywords: NMAAHC, NMAAHC Education, African American, historians, history, primary sources, stories

HOW TO USE THIS LAB:

Use the book excerpts, documents, images, objects, and media related to a highlighted historian in the Learning Lab to answer the questions provided in the Discussion Question page  and/or or use them comparatively with information in your history textbook about the highlighted historical period.

FEATURED HISTORIANS 

  1. Revolutionary War (Squares 3 - 10)
    William Cooper Nell (1816 – 1874) was born to a prominent African American abolitionist family in Boston, Massachusetts. As a young man, he was mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, wrote for Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper the Liberator, and was influential in the fight against segregation in Boston’s public transportation and accommodations during the 1840s and 1850s. In 1855, Nell authored The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution, making it one of the first historical works to focus on African Americans.
  2. Civil War (Squares 11 - 18)
    George Washington Williams (1849 – 1891)
    was born in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania. At the age of 14, he joined the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he finished his education in Massachusetts, became a minister, and founded a newspaper, The Commoner. By 1880, Williams moved to Ohio and became the first African American elected to the Ohio General Assembly. As a historian, Williams is most famous for writing the first comprehensive history of African Americans in the United States, a two-volume work called the History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880; as Negroes, as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens (1882). In 1887, he published A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion.
  3. Reconstruction (Squares 19 - 25)
    William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868 – 1963)
    was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. His studies, which focused on African American history, anthropology, and sociology, took him to study in Tennessee, Germany, and finally back to Massachusetts where he became the first African American to graduate with a PhD from Harvard. In the quest for civil rights, Du Bois helped established the Niagara Movement, and its successor, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As a historian, he wrote widely on the African American experience, but one of his best-known works was Black Reconstruction in America (1935). While Black Reconstruction was refuted during the early twentieth century, the work is now considered one of the foundational texts of how Reconstruction is interpreted by today’s mainstream historians.
  4. Women and Gender History (Squares 26 - 31)
    Anna Julia Cooper (1858 – 1964)
    was born to her enslaved mother and her white slaveholder father in Raleigh, North Carolina. She pursued education from an early age, as well as fought for women’s rights and gender equality. As a scholar at Oberlin College, she protested sexist treatment of women by taking courses and gaining degrees in subjects typically designated for men. She became an influential educator in Washington D.C. who saw her students attend some of the most prestigious colleges in the country. In 1925, Cooper completed her graduate studies at Sorbonne, University of Paris. She became the fourth African American woman to earn a PhD in History. In 1892, she wrote, A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South, focusing on the history and experiences of African American women in the South, and the need for their education to uplift the African American community as a whole.
  5. The First World War (Squares 32 - 37)
    Carter Godwin Woodson (1875 - 1950)
    was born in New Canton, Virginia. He is known as the “Father of Black History” because of his numerous contributions to the field.  Woodson was the son of poor, but land-owning former slaves. As he worked to support his family’s farm he did not enter high school until age twenty. Woodson earned his first degree from Berea College in Kentucky. He then worked, studied, and taught internationally before receiving his Bachelors and his Masters from the University of Chicago, and later his PhD from Harvard University. In 1915, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History), and in 1916 published the Journal of Negro History (now the Journal of African American History). In 1926, he established Negro History Week, which would later become Black History Month. In 1922, Woodson wrote The Negro in Our History, which covered African American history from African origins to the First World War. Woodson believed that history should not be a mere study of facts but the analyzation and interpretation of historical evidence for a deeper meaning.
  6. African American History: Slavery and Freedom (Squares 38 - 46)
    John Hope Franklin (1915 – 2009)
    was born in Rentiesville, Oklahoma. In June 1921, the Franklin family endured and survived the deadly Tulsa Race Riots. Franklin earned his Bachelors from Fisk University, and would complete his Masters and PhD at Harvard. In 1949, he became the first African American historian to present at the Southern Historical Association. He was also the only African American to serve as the president of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. Franklin wrote widely on the African American experience, with his most notable work being the 1947 publication of From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans. Today, the work is in its tenth edition and is a staple of American history courses.



National Museum of African American History and Culture
69
 

African Americans and the Fourth of July

In celebration of the Fourth of July, this Learning Lab considers the day’s meaning in the history of the African American community and their nation. 

Take some time to explore the objects, images, documents and media that explore the Fourth of July in relation to the African Americans from the Revolutionary War to the modern day. Questions to deepen exploration are embedded into each of the squares. 

Keywords: nmaahc, African, American, Fourth, July, 4th, slavery, enslavement, freedom, Revolutionary, War, British, Independence, celebration, Douglass, Washington, Founding, Fathers, declaration


National Museum of African American History and Culture
19
 

AFRICAN COSMOS

Put the ARTS in STEM - From Egypt to South Africa, take a brief tour of the African Cosmos  and have your students discover the intersection of Art and Astronomy in the southern hemisphere.   Explore constellations only seen on the African continent.  See why the Goliath beetle became a symbol of rebirth for the Egyptian scarab.  Learn about celestial navigation by people and animals. 

Create Your Own Constellation!  Request Activity sheets for your classroom.

Submit your class constellations to our Student Gallery and be a part of your own school's online exhibition!


Deborah Stokes
73
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