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Found 946 Collections

 

Identifying Characteristics of Renaissance Art

This collection will teach you about how Renaissance artists changed the style and focus of art in the period between 1300 and 1600 CE. When you are done, you should be able to thoroughly answer the question: How did the art of the Renaissance reflect the new emphasis on humanism and science?

First, review the painting, Raphael's School of Athens, and learn about the new techniques used.
Then study the additional works in the collection and try to use them as examples of the different techniques. Some of the works are from the Renaissance period and others are more modern interpretations. A worksheet is included at the end of this collection to record your work.
Finally, test your knowledge with a quick quiz. Use your worksheet to help!
Kate Harris
11
 

Artful Animals: Storytelling and Symbol

This student activity explores African animal symbolism through visual art and folktales. Twelve animals are profiled, including leopards, primates, spiders, chameleons, and the mythical chi wara. Includes objects, an audio folktale ('The Leopard’s Drum’), short answer questions, a creative writing exercise, and opportunities to learn more.

Tag: Africa

This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
20
 

Artful Animals: Conservation

This student activity analyzes our relationship to three types of African animals – antelope, elephants, and primates – through their representation in African art and a discussion of the real-world threats that face them. Focuses on three species: scimitar-horned oryx, African elephants, and western lowland gorillas. Includes photographs, art objects, fact sheets, a reading-level appropriate article, discussion questions, and a collection-building activity.

Tag: Africa

This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
17
 

STEAM/MAKER Earth Day Program - Pollinators

This collection was specially designed for American Spaces, and it contains a variety of Smithsonian content resources and suggested maker/hands-on activities related to April’s theme of Earth Day. It aims at promoting learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts & design, and math (STEAM) through the application of curated content from the Smithsonian Institution.
Daniela Lyra
23
 

Pennants, Pins, Paintings & Posters: Artifacts of Political Protest

A mixed bag of artifacts of political and social protest movements in United States history. This collection can serve as a source of inspiration for students creating their own protest posters around a cause they believe in. The collection begins with a video by KQED Art School describing the characteristics of political art and a formula for making it.
Kate Harris
42
 

Tools for Meditation

Are you interested in meditation? This topical collection includes a variety of tools for meditation, including mandalas, music, prayer beads, labyrinths, and a video of a guided meditation and pranayama (breathing) practice. Web links to additional background information are embedded throughout.
Kate Harris
16
 

English Language Learning with Artifacts and Portraits

This collection for teachers brings together relevant learning resources and an archived webinar (collaboration between the Smithsonian and American English "Shaping the Way We Teach English" webinars from the U.S. Department of State). It includes a webinar with three educators from the National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. During the webinar, strategies are explored for engaging students in looking at and analyzing portraits, as well as eliciting thoughtful questions about objects that help tell a story. The webinar also features an emphasis on how visuals, such as collection objects, photographs, artworks and videos with experts, can serve as a springboard for rich discussions and inspire curiosity in the classroom and beyond.
Ashley Naranjo
21
 

From Silk Worms to the Silk Road

This is a collection of resources that could be used to support a lesson on the discovery of silk and the impact of the silk road(s). Artifacts include images of silkworms and the silk-making process, websites with information about the luxuries traded on the Silk Road, and video summary.

Possible guiding questions include:
-Why did silk become such an important commodity in China?
-How did the development of the silk trade routes impact both Europe and Asia?
-In what ways do artifacts from Europe and Asia reveal the cultural connections created by the Silk Road?
Kate Harris
19
 

An Introduction to Hawai'ian Lei Making

All Polynesians have a history of making and giving of lei. From early times, Hawaiians have fashioned lei from shells, seeds, bone, and feathers and from more temporary materials such as leaves, vines, and a few indigenous flowers. Colorful flowers and greenery are braided, twisted, wrapped, or strung together to create lei for the neck, head, wrists and ankles. Lei are made and given for marriages, birthdays, luaus, and funerals. Leis are also given on informal occasions to express gratitude or warmth of friendship. In this collection, you’ll learn how to make your own lei and explore other examples of leis made from a variety of natural materials.
Ashley Naranjo
6
 

Libyan Rock Art

This collection contains images of rock-art of the Wadi al-Ajal, in the Fezzan region of south-west Libya. Several hundred engravings have so far been identified here. This rich concentration of rock-art spans the phase from at least 7,000 years ago until the present - a critical period of time which encompasses major transitions in human economy, culture and ideology from hunting and gathering to raising livestock, then to agriculture and more recently to industrialization. Rock-art provides fascinating evidence of how human groups were living during this period, what their relationships with their environment were and what they considered of importance and value. Because rock-art is deliberately placed at specific locations in the landscape, a powerful relationship can often exist between rock-art sites and natural landscape features.
Kelly Heilman
16
 

Running Fence

This teaching collection includes images and video of Running Fence, a work of installation art by Christo and Jean Claude. Included at the end is a lesson plan that engages students in analysis of Running Fence and details the steps for a student-designed installation art work at their school.

Learning goals include:
• Define installation art
• Analyze the process and results of the work of Jean-Claude and Christo to develop Running Fence
• Use the design process to develop a proposal for an installation art piece
• Use persuasive speaking skills to pitch your plan to the relevant stakeholders in your school community
• Plan and execute a piece of installation art on your school grounds, working cooperatively with a team
Kate Harris
46
 

Clothing Across Cultures

This teaching collection was made to accompany the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum lesson plan "Saris, Kimonos, Togas & Smocks: Exploring Clothing Across Cultures." In addition to saris, kimonos, togas, and smocks, huipils and kanga are used as examples of culturally-specific clothing.

The lesson asks students to complete think about the cultural importance of clothing, and then to research a specific type of clothing and build a presentation around that research. Students might use this collection as a source for images for their presentation, to inspire research topics, or as a common basis for discussion with their peers.
Kate Harris
32
 

Salem Witch Trials

The witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts, during the 1690s have been a blot on the history of America, a country which has since come to pride itself on the concepts of free speech and justice as well as on its religious principles. Guilt by association, unconfirmed testimony, judges blinded by their biases, and individuals determined to use the system of justice when no evidence of a crime existed. These kinds of social or political problems did not go away with the completion of those trials.
U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's relentless determination to find un-American citizens and communists in all areas of American life in the early 1950s prompted Arthur Miller to write The Crucible, a play about the Salem witch trials as an allegory to McCarthyism. The play no doubt prompted the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 to subpoena Miller for questioning, but Miller refused to cooperate when asked to identify writers who had once been communists. Richard H. Rovere calls Miller, "the leading symbol of the militant, risk-taking conscience" of that time.

Learning Goals - student will:
Understand that in 17th Century New England, people were persecuted for allegedly practicing witchcraft.
Examine the allegations and offer alternatives to witchcraft that might explain people's behaviors.
Read and comprehend Arthur Miller's, "The Crucible" to make connections to and comment on 20th Century examples of people being persecuted for allegedly being Communists during the McCarthy Era of the 1950s.
Linda Muller
24
 

Objects of History

The dictionary defines an object as, "a thing you can see and touch: something that makes you feel a specific emotion." This is a collection of objects that represent moments throughout history. What event is behind each object? Who does the object belong to? Why is the object significant?

Suggested Activity: Teachers can copy and edit this collection, then add or remove specific resources. Build out this collection to ensure that it has enough resources so your students can work in pairs or small groups to analyze 2-3 sources.
Have student pairs/groups place each resource in its proper time and place then have the entire class work together to place all resources on a timeline. As each student pairs/groups place their resources on to the timeline, have them explain what they learned about each resource to the whole class.
Linda Muller
48
 

Sandwich Anyone?

The sandwich is arguably a mainstay of the American diet. This collection depicts a variety of sandwiches through drawings, photographs, sculpture, and advertisements. It is intended to be a fun exercise for students to experience by discussing the history and appeal of the sandwich using resources from the Smithsonian's collections.
Linda Muller
20
 

American Bald Eagle

How did the bald eagle become the symbol of America? What symbolism did Native Americans find in the bald eagle?
This Collection of resources on the American bald eagle includes images, videos, sculptures, and stamps that depict the American bald eagle.
Linda Muller
17
 

Frank Lloyd Wright

A collection of resources depicting some of the designs of famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Linda Muller
19
 

Libyan Rock Art

This collection contains images of rock-art of the Wadi al-Ajal, in the Fezzan region of south-west Libya. Several hundred engravings have so far been identified here. This rich concentration of rock-art spans the phase from at least 7 000 years ago until the present - a critical period of time which encompasses major transitions in human economy, culture and ideology from hunting and gathering to raising livestock, then to agriculture and more recently to industrialization. Rock-art provides fascinating evidence of how human groups were living during this period, what their relationships with their environment were and what they considered of importance and value. Because rock-art is deliberately placed at specific locations in the landscape, a powerful relationship can often exist between rock-art sites and natural landscape features.
Linda Muller
13
 

Cat Collection

This is a fun collection of cats from the Smithsonian Institution along with a photo of my favorite kitty, Lucky.
Linda Muller
18
 

Harlem Renaissance of the early 1900s

What historical, social, and cultural factors influenced the Harlem Renaissance?
Why did Harlem become the center of African-American arts during the 1920s and 1930s?
Linda Muller
20
 

Child Labor in America

What would it have been like to be a child working during the period 1830-1930? Why did children have to go to work during this period in America's history?
Resources in this Collection includes paintings, photographs, text-based sources, and a video depicting children working in a variety of industries across America.
Linda Muller
23
 

Famous Faces: A collection of portraits by Irving Penn

Irving Penn was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th Century. Throughout a career that spanned 70 years, Penn captured images in black and white and color across various genres including advertising, fashion, still life, and portraits.
This Collection features portraits Penn took of famous people who built careers in the arts, an article written about Penn in The Smithsonian Magazine (November, 2015), and a link to the Irving Penn Archives at the Art Institute of Chicago where Penn donated the bulk of his collection in 1995.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Resources in the Irving Penn Archives collections at the Art Institute of Chicago include a series of nude photographs which may be inappropriate for minors to view.
Linda Muller
24
 

Inventions: The washing machine

This collection follows the development of the washing machine through time.
Chris Campbell
7
 

Writing Inspiration: Using Art to Spark Narrative Story Elements

The Smithsonian museum collection inspires many to research the history behind artifacts, but this collection explores the use of art and artifacts to spark creative story writing. Students will choose artifacts to craft characters, a setting, and a plot conflict to create and write a narrative story.

Targeted Vocabulary: Narrative, protagonist , antagonist, character, character traits, setting, plot, climax, and conflict.

After reading and analyzing several narrative stories for story elements such as character, setting, plot, climax, and conflict, students will use this collection to begin planning their own narrative stories.
Individuals or partners will first view the portraits and discuss possible stories behind each face before choosing a protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters. They may begin to discuss and imagine character traits for each subject.
Next, the student will select a landscape setting in which the story may take place. The writer will describe the landscape, imagine a time period, and name the location.
Finally, the student will either choose an action artifact around which to build a major plot event, or have that slide as a minor scene in their story.
Students may use the Question Formulation Technique to garner ideas for background stories behind the faces. http://rightquestion.org/
Once the story elements are in place, the students may begin to draft narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

With the artifacts selected as the major story elements, the students may begin crafting their narrative story. The artifacts can then be displayed as illustrations in the published narratives.
Susan Stokley
66
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