Found 901 Learning Lab Collections
What should a photograph look like?
Why might someone want to alter, change, or edit a photograph? What is the goal?
What are the ethical considerations regarding image manipulation?
Time- 1-2 class periods with optional extension activities
This collection includes images related to the topic of image manipulation and artistic photography, and includes a lesson plan for teachers as well as images and students activities related to media literacy across the curriculum. The collection of images and articles is designed to facilitate conversations around how and why images might be manipulated and for what purpose. Discussion questions and thinking routines allow for students to critically analyze the images as whole group and in small groups to consider why and how a photographer or artist might alter an image. Extension activities and resources are also included.
Warm Up/ Engagement:
What should a photograph look like?
Have students do a think-pair-share together addressing the question. Alternatively, this could be done as a silent chalk talk.
Debrief as a group.
Why might someone want to alter, change, or edit a photograph? What is the goal?
Have you ever altered or changed a photograph? How? Why? (Think Shapchat, Instagram, Photoshop, etc.)
Is it ever a problem to manipulate a photography? Why?
As critical viewers of media and images, students should always consider the audience and purpose of photographs. For example, an artistic photograph doesn’t have the same audience or purpose as a journalistic photograph.
Explain to students:
We’re going to look closely at the work of two photographers (Jerry Uelsmann and Robert Weingarten) to see how photographers might manipulate their images (digitally or otherwise), why they might do this, and the effect it has on the viewer.
Lead students through a discussion of one of Uelsmann’s images by looking closely at one image as a group using the Visible Thinking routine, “See Think Wonder.”
Discuss the photographer’s likely message, audience and purpose of the image. Then have students consider how Uelsmann might have created the image.
Then, read an article about Jerry Uelsmann in Smithsonian Magazine, “Before Photoshop.”
Debrief the article and have students journal on their reactions to Uelsmann’s quote, “The camera is a license to explore.”
Alternatively, students can read and discuss the article,"Photography Changes What We Think 'Reality' Looks Like."
Have students share responses with the group as a closing activity.
Warm-Up: Recap learning/connections from last class.
Explain that in today’s class we’ll consider the work of another artist and photographer, Robert Weingarten. Weingarten’s work is a “non-traditional” form of portraiture. Before looking at his images, have students brainstorm their ideas on what is a portrait. Students could engage in the 3-2-1 Bridge Routine on this topic.
Lead students through a discussion of one of Weingarten’s images by looking closely at one image as a group using the Visible Thinking routine, “Zoom-In.” After looking at the image as a whole, have students consider the image as as whole using the “Connect-Extend-Challenge” routine.
Weingarten’s portraits of Colin Powell and Celia Cruz are linked in the collection.
Discuss the photographer’s likely message, audience and purpose of the image. Then have students consider how Weingarten might have created the image.
After discussing the image, watch the video about Weingarten’s process.
If time allows, group students into small groups to visually compare/contrast the works of Uelsmann and Weingarten on chart paper.
How do these photographs change your understanding of photography and what can be done with images?
I used to think…
Now I think….
Possible Extension Activities:
Have students create a composite image (surreal landscapes or portraits) inspired by Robert Weingarten or Jerry Uelsmann with their own photographs and Photoshop.
Have students explore other historical images that have been manipulated (intentionally or unintentionally) that are included in the collection.
Have students look at the ethical issues in digitally manipulating photographs
Have students consider other ways in which the evolution of technology has influenced the images we create.
Using Agency By Design, a design thinking framework, have students complete the following activities:
Parts-Purposes- Complexities Routine-- Digital Camera
Take-Apart Activity w/ digital cameras/analog camera
Have students research different topics in the history of photography including camera obscura, daguerreotype process, Muybridge and moving images, and Kodak.
Additional reading on Uelsmann:
This collection was developed for a unit based upon the Harlem Renaissance and the art movement incorporating the style of visual artist Romare Bearden for students PreK thru 6th grade. Students were exposed to different musical artists such as Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington to make the connections between Bearden's art work and their musical abilities. This group of artifacts was beneficial for students to be exposed to people, art work, and history that they may not have been exposed to before. Using the thinking routines such as 'See, Think, Wonder' was a great way for students to dive deeper into images, not just art work but even images of people and the differences in time periods.
This lesson is inspired by Out of Eden Learn, the journey of Paul Salopek, and the idea that each person is an amalgamation of the people and events that came before them. These people and events include the nature of their birth, the lives of their parents, the experiences of their grandparents, the creation of the printing press, etc. The idea behind this lesson is, in its inception, to expose students to milestones in black history, and to use that rich history to challenge them to look into their past to see how they connect to larger events that came before them last week or even a century or millennia ago.
This lesson is especially crafted for Black History Month (though of course it can be used at other times) to have students from multiple ethnic backgrounds try to find a connection to the African American Experience in the United States. It removes students from an ethnic vacuum and asks them to see how the journey of others not like them has an impact on their, their family's and their country's history.
To begin your use of this collection please read the lesson plan at the beginning labeled Lesson Plan: Paths To Perspective. It is the full lesson for using this Learning Lab collection. You may use it in full or alter as you see fit for the needs of your class. It is by no means exhaustive, especially in terms of Project Zero ideas that can be used with the collection, but it is a good starting point for how to use this material in class.
This collection gathers depictions of Santa Claus from ads, paintings, photographs, stamps from 1837 to today. Also, includes analyses of his evolving image from the Smithsonian Magazine and the National Museum of American History blog. How does the description of Santa in the Christmas poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" compare with the images that follow? Includes a discussion question extension: How might you revamp Christmas stories to better reflect the time and country that you live in?
Keywords: Saint Nicholas, holidays, poetry
For decades humans have depicted art in various forms that consist of monsters. This made me ask myself; what exactly is a monster? These pieces of art consist of images that their creators describe as monsters. I am going to delve in to the history behind these objects and symbols to figure out if they are really monsters or if our ideas of what makes an object or a person a monster skewed.
The students learn about paleolithic art and the symbolism of the drawings. We will read about They end up painting their own on large rocks, to represent painting on cave walls.
Avery, S. (2014). Christina Rossetti: Religious poetry. Retrieved
Curtis, G. B. (2006). The cave painters: Probing the mysteries of the world's first artists. (2006). New York: Knopf.
Moorman, E., M. (2011). Divine interiors: Mural paintings in Greek and Roman sanctuaries. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.
A collection depicting and describing different African Drums and their significance in African culture as well as the African diaspora. Please enjoy a look at the heartbeat of our culture.
By Zuri Houston and Malik Miller
How might we learn about cultures through the study of artifacts? What role could the study of design elements and process play in in deepening our understanding? How could we leverage student agency of the design process to gain opportunities to recognize relationships between artifacts and culture?
This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover complexity by looking closely and making connections between cultures and the design process behind the artifacts. Student claims are based on evidence using provided resources for investigation. The Artifact Investigation Map serves as a visible thinking tool for documenting our understanding of a culture by making connections between the artifact and our research.
Begin by looking closely at an artifact, INCA BRIDGE, using a Project Zero Routine, Zoom In or See Think Wonder. Through close examination, we begin to develop hypotheses about the object and the connections to the culture. While a main goal is to learn more about the culture related to the artifact, we are also building a capacity for using this thinking process to build understanding. Record and display class ideas generated through this routine. In the discussion of culture, we are looking at how people live: What do the people value? What are their priorities and motivations?
Introduce the points of The Artifact Investigation Map. Ask students, “How could this be used to organize the ideas documented from the thinking routine about the artifact and the people who created it?”. (Students may recognize this as the Engineering Design Process.) Building on our initial Zoom In documentation, the group connects the artifact ideas to the map points. Different questions within each point may serve as prompts to continue making connections and lead to more questions about what we still wonder, guiding the next research steps. Provide a space to record and share new questions during the process.
Begin the research process with the first video Weaving the Bridge at Q'eswacha. Using information from the source, model the process of organizing the findings using the different points on The Artifact Investigation Map. Be sure to highlight unanswered questions in the map as the class decides the future steps in the research. Support the student use of resource-based evidence starting from this Learning Lab collection when making and documenting claims. Depending on the learners, this phase may vary in the structure of guidance and interaction. Documentation is shared with an emphasis on providing opportunities to discuss the claims, findings, and analysis.
Guiding Points for Inquiry using The Artifact Investigation Map:
Ask: What needs or problems might this artifact address/solve? Does this design reflect empathy for a particular group or person?
Imagine: What possible prototypes or variations might have been produced in the timeline of this artifact? Could there have been earlier versions leading to this one?
Plan: Identify and describe what could have been key factors influencing design process. Examples: materials/natural resources, people power, skills, technology/tools, historical and natural environment….
(Re)Create: Describe the possible steps taken to create the artifact. What could this look like? Options include for this exploration: Try to create a mini-version or reenact one of the steps of the process. Use observations of the process to draw possible conclusions about the culture. Sketch or act out the steps. Take a part of the process and use the Step Inside thinking routine. *Document and share this process with the group in order to prepare for the next phase of The Artifact Investigation Map
Improvements: Since the creation of this artifact, what versions do we see today? What would the biography of this type of innovation look like? How might this type of artifact connect to modern innovation? *Extension for Improvements: Use the thinking routine Imagine If to evaluate a modern iteration of the artifact. How does it compare to the original?
Documenting Ongoing Conclusions/Questions/Reflections
Throughout the investigation, students share and post supported claims about the culture and reflect upon the process of using the design cycle to guide the study.
For the final reflection, use the thinking routine I Used to Think, Now I Think… to look for changes in thinking. Keep the process and research lines of thinking open for continued exploration with the unanswered questions.
This collection features resources related to a November 22, 2019 session presented at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) annual conference.
Learn how American art and portraiture can bring diverse women’s stories into your classroom, connecting with themes you may already teach. Discover strategies for engaging your students in close looking and critical thinking across disciplines. #SAAMTeach #NPGteach
RELATED WEBINAR SERIES (recordings available): https://americanart.si.edu/education/k-12/professional-development/webinars
This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. To learn more, visit the Smithsonian American Women History Initiative website. #BecauseOfHerStory
This Learning Lab contains introductory materials to help educators explore Korean art from Freer|Sackler collections with students. It includes the following:
- a founding history of Korean art collections at the Freer|Sackler
- an illustrated timeline of Korea
- a map of major ceramic production sites in Korea
- images and information regarding rare Buddhist paintings from the Goryeo dynasty (935-1392)
- definitions and examples of selected clay, decoration, glaze, pigment, and symbol types in Korean art
- Freer Gallery of Art audio tour selections of Korean art
- curator videos from Discovering Korea's Past: Interdisciplinary Connections Summer Institute for Educators held at the Freer|Sackler, Summer 2018
- related educator resources from other museums
- teacher-created lessons and Learning Lab Collections from Discovering Korea's Past: Interdisciplinary Connections Summer Institute for Educators held at the Freer|Sackler, Summer 2018
Tags: Korea, Goryeo, archaeology, art, celadon, ceramics, painting, symbols, Buddhism
This Learning Lab Collection focuses on a single Buddhist object from Korea. Students will formulate questions about a Buddhist work of art from Korea using Project Zero's Layers Visible Thinking Routine. They will investigate answers to their questions by researching the exhibition website and engaging with various interactives and digital resources provided.
Tags: Art; Buddhism; Korea; Project Zero; research; National Museum of Korea
About the exhibition:
Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece
September 21, 2019–March 22, 2020
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
A single object—a beautiful gilt wood sculpture of Gwaneum, the bodhisattva of compassion and the most popular deity in Korean Buddhism—is the focus of this loan exhibition from the National Museum of Korea. Carved in the late Goryeo period (918–1392), this crowned image is now known to be the oldest surviving gilded wood figure in an informal pose. Its posture, with one leg raised and the other lowered, is associated with the deity’s dwelling place, where he sits calmly on rocks above the crashing waves of the sea. The same subject in a similar pose was common in devotional paintings, such as the hanging scroll of Suwol Gwaneum bosal (Water-Moon Avalokiteshvara) now in the collection of the Freer Gallery.
Sacred texts and potent symbolic objects were sealed inside this hollow religious sculpture when it was first placed into worship in the thirteenth century. The practice of adding dedication material to a Buddhist sculpture during consecration ceremonies was believed to transform it into a living body. Recent research conducted by the National Museum of Korea provides new information about this rare sculpture, its hidden contents, and the special rituals that surrounded image consecration in Korea centuries ago.
We thank our colleagues at the National Museum of Korea for sharing their research and facilitating this exhibition.
This collection gathers resources to help language students understand how art reflects culture, increase their language proficiency, and develop global competence and 21st century skills. This collection includes artwork relevant to exploring and learning about cultural topics, guiding questions to help with lesson planning, Project Zero Global Thinking Routines, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The second resource in this collection gives instructions for use and was specifically created to guide participants' collection development during the presentation People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Smithsonian Collections. A collection containing the full presentation slides is available here.
This presentation was given at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) 2019 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo on November 23, 2019. Presenters: Marcela Velikovsky (Bullis School), Tess Porter (Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access), and Vicky Masson (Norwood School).
This collection serves as a companion to the presentation People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Smithsonian Collections given at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) 2019 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo on November 23, 2019. Targeted to language educators, this presentation explores how museum resources, Global Thinking Routines, and the Sustainable Development Goals can help students understand how art reflects culture, increase their language proficiency, and develop global competence and 21st century skills. The presentation shares three case-study collections designed for the Spanish-language classroom: Night of the Dead by Alan Crane, Caja De Memoria Viva II: Constancia Colón de Clemente by Adrián Román, and Méndez v. Westminster 1947.
This collection includes presentation slides, links to the three case-study collections, museum resources, Project Zero thinking routines, examples of student work, and more.
Presenters: Marcela Velikovsky (Bullis School), Tess Porter (Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access), and Vicky Masson (Norwood School).
#Arago #Rafael Lopez #Spanish / English #Mexican-American #California #Latino Civil Rights #Empathy #Desegregation #Critical thinking #Curiosity #Stamps #LatinoHAC
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.
Inter/sected, was a photo exhibit on display at the City of Austin's Asian American Resource Center July 5 to September 22, 2019, that celebrated the intersected identities of Queer Asian Pacific Americans. The AARC worked with local Austin photographer Ben Aqua. Ben has titled their photo series “Slaysians,” portraits of LGBTQ+ Asians/Pacific Islanders on their Instagram account at @b3naqua. Ben's pronouns are they/them/theirs.
Teachers and students may use this collection to discuss intersectionality, Asian American identities, gender spectrum/non binary, culture and resistance to assimilation, and expressions through art. Articles, photographs, and supplemental film, podcast and archive resources are included for further analysis on queer Asian American experiences in the US.
This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Keywords: asian americans, queer, LGBTQ, intersectionality, gender, queer
In this collection, students will work with images, videos, and texts related to Marta Minujín's "Parthenon of Books" to create a series of questions that a creator must ask and answer before designing a memorial or monument. #LearnWithTR
In this collection, students will work with images of buildings from ancient Greece and ancient Rome along with images of iconic buildings in Washington, D.C. to identify ways that early Americans were inspired by ancient Greeks and Romans. #LearnWithTR
In this collection, students will work with Americana images to do a "close view" that will allow them to make inferences about which feelings did the artists intend to invoke by using symbols. #LearnWithTR
This adapted collection includes resources for ninth-grade Pre-AP World Geography students. After studying the aspects of culture in the Human Geography unit, students will focus on the culture of the United States and Canada in Unit 4.
Using the collection, students will explain the impact of immigration on American culture. Students will also develop questions and research how their ethnic groups and culture are reflected in the art and history of North America and connected to regions of the world.
The theme of my collection is Chicano farm workers fighting for their rights.
This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day. While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.
These resources - including objects, documents, websites, and articles - reveal challenges and opportunities experienced by American immigrants in the 19th to mid-20th centuries. Resources highlight hardships that compelled people to leave their homelands, difficulties immigrants faced upon arrival, and ways they overcame obstacles to build new lives and communities in America. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources.
The history of immigration in America is an immense topic, and this collection addresses only aspects of it. Use this collection to brainstorm project topics, find connected resources, and as a launching point for further research.
This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2019. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2019 in the description!
Tags: 1800s, 1900s angel island, ellis island, immigration test, community, prejudice, irish, jewish, syrian, lebanese, arab, italian, mexican, german, greek, bohemian, czech, slovenian, know nothing, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, swedish, chinese exclusion act, japanese american incarceration, internment, bracero program, stories project, #NHD