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Found 629 Collections

 

American Indian Heritage Month Resources

These classroom resources from different Smithsonian museums focus on American Indian history and culture. 


Philippa Rappoport
11
 

Migration - Lesson Plans and Information

How was migration affected by the use of canoes/boats?

The earliest human migrations and expansions of archaic and modern humans across continents began 2 million years ago with the migration out of Africa of Homo erectus. This was followed by the migrations of other pre-modern humans including Homo heidelbergensis, the likely ancestor of both modern humans and Neanderthals.

Michele Hubert
6
 

Force, Work, Motion -- Lesson Plans and Information

How do canoes work? How do they float/move in the water?

An object will float if the gravitational (downward) force is less than the buoyancy (upward) force. So, in other words, an object will float if it weighs less than the amount of water it displaces. This explains why a rock will sink while a huge boat will float. The rock is heavy, but it displaces only a little water.

Michele Hubert
5
 

Weather and Climate (Earth and Space Systems)-- Lesson Plans and Information

What does the weather do to the ocean currents?

Ocean water and currents affect the climate. It takes a greater amount of energy to change the temperature of water than land or air; water warms up and cools off much slower than land or air does. As a result, inland climates are subject to more extreme temperature ranges than coastal climates, which are insulated by nearby water. Over half the heat that reaches the earth from the sun is absorbed by the ocean's surface layer, so surface currents move a lot of heat. Currents that originate near the equator are warm; currents that flow from the poles are cold.

The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt

The great ocean conveyor belt is an example of a density-driven current. These are also called thermohaline currents, because they are forced by differences in temperature or salinity, which affect the density of the water.

The great ocean conveyor belt begins as the coolest of all currents - literally. At the beginning of the conveyor belt:

The Gulf Stream delivers warm, and relatively salty, surface waters north to the Norwegian Sea. There the water gives up its heat to the atmosphere, especially during the frigidly cold winters. The surface waters cool to near freezing temperatures, at which time they become denser than the waters below them and sink. This process continues making cold water so dense that it sinks all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

During this time, the Gulf Stream continues to deliver warm water to the Norwegian Sea on the surface. The water can't very well pile up in the Norwegian Sea, so the deep cold water flows southward. It continues to flow southward, passing the Equator, until it enters the bottom of the Antarctic Circumpolar current. It then drifts around Africa and Australia, until it seeps northward into the bottom of the Pacific.


Michele Hubert
10
 

My Consumer Revolution Collection

The Consumer Revolution sparked the trend of what we call today, conspicuous consumption, during the 17th and 18th century. Fashioned in the English colonies, consumers purchased extravagant merchandise to display wealth within colonial societies. Due to this trend, the Consumer Revolution enforced a higher efficiency in goods through ease of travel and payment. These options eventually led to consumption from all despite race, class, or gender.

Each element of this collection has its own unique style. However, these distinct objects served different purposes within the societies of early America. Today, many items we purchase are influenced from some of the greatest designer's and public figures in history.

Kayla Moorhead
10
 

Hygiene in the 1800

                 The overall hygiene of the early Americas, ranging from peculiar ailments to modern day maladies that are commonly used today. I felt that the topic of hygiene is regarded as rather taboo in American culture, especially hygiene pertaining to women as well as contraceptives. We tend to turn a blind eye when it comes to these things out of "shame" for bodily functions and personally feel as if these trends should stop. 

Arshman Jakie
6
 

The Important Depiction of Different Kinds of Men in the Revolutionary Era Through Paintings

The lives of many different men and their stories can be told and learned about through only an image. Paintings and drawings are very telling of a historical figure's history, whether i'ts through simplicity or complex work, studying an image that was produced by an artist can tell a learner a lot if they are willing to study the portrait. 

Throughout the time of the American Revolution, different men from all kinds of different backgrounds and walks of life made history for the things they did. Some of them are known for groundbreaking stories such as leading a battle to victory, and others are known for being on the wrong side of bygone times. Some are only known for small feats, but every single man has a story. When studying the lives of historical figures, it can be hard to picture that  story without putting a face to the name. You find yourself wondering what they wore, what they looked like, and how they held themselves. Knowing the likes of these things can really make each figure's historical stories that much richer, so to say. 

Although your everyday and modern camera didn't exist in the seventeen and eighteen-hundreds, artists did. Every painting and drawing of a man came along with a story, and each portrait let the world know who these men were. If a man had a portrait, he had a story. The paintings and drawings of these men are important pieces of history from the Revolutionary era, as they serve as the only glimpse of what some of the most historical figures in American history even looked like. The artists from these times tell a man's history through only an image on paper.

The following ten paintings and drawings are portraits of men from the times of the Revolution. Although artists that the pieces once belonged to are long gone, the history of each man still lies within the images that are within this collection. 

Joshua Brown
10
 

Native American Portrayal in Media During the 1800s

This collection does not pertain to a certain period; instead it spans throughout the 1800s. The portrayals chosen are not organized into a period due to the fact that the ideology of Native Americans primarily are negative, both past and present. This ideology was first planted into history through Christopher Columbus’ first meeting with “Indians”. In his journal, he describes them using animistic terms including, “ Their hair [is] coarse-almost like the tail of a horse…”.

 Although they are human-beings and bleed red, in the eyes of everyone else they viewed them through warped lenses, they were monsters simply because they did not share their skin tone, their culture, their religion, or their mannerisms. They were characterized as “savages”, the notion of this word is that of uncultured, inhumane, and uncivilized. They were civilized, they did have their own culture, but it was not that of European Culture that sets it apart.

Thrown in this collection are positive portrayals, however, it is to be noted that out of ten there are only two. This was done on purpose to showcase how the majority are negative, and how hard it is to find a non-biased portrayal. 


Allyson Khiev
10
 

Prohibition and the 1920s US

Have students examine these and write statements about what they learned about Prohibition from each source.

Paula Fargo
5
 

The Museum Idea

Museums and galleries play an important role in society. They preserve the past, enrich the present, and inspire the future. In this lesson, students will take a close look at museums, why they exist, and what the people who work in them do. By the end of the lesson, student's will create their own "Museum of Me." 

This lesson was inspired by an issue of Smithsonian's Art to Zoo and includes Minecraft: Education Edition extensions. It is part of the  2017 Museum Day Live! STEM Challenge

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TO COMPLETE THIS LESSON.

Museum Day Live!
10
 

Making "Family Memory" Storybooks: Fun for the Whole Family

This collection includes a series of easy-to-do book projects designed to get families talking and creating together. Any of them can be used in the classroom (English, art, social studies), as a home project, or in an informal learning setting. All books are made from a single sheet of paper.

Titles are ordered generally from most complex to least complex for topic, and include:
"Our Home" Nature Walk Album
Today I Am Here
Connections
My Hero
Music Memories
Kitchen Memories
Special Person
Family Treasure
Things That Make Me Me!
I Am A Star
My Clubhouse
Family Flag
My Name

At the bottom, you'll also find an interview with the creator of these design templates, book artist Sushmita Mazumdar, and a video of her reading one of her own books.

Click on any of these demos and accompanying downloadable instructions to make your own "family memory" storybook!

tags: art, crafts, crafting, how-to

Philippa Rappoport
28
 

Photojournalism: A Study of Perspective

This collection contains a series of photos from Camilo Jose Vergara.  The students will be asked to rate a series of photos for their chronology and how those photos can be interpreted by the viewer.  In the end, students will be asked to document an important part of their family history through photo journalism and then write about their choices and the importance of their selected art. #SAAMteach

Danielle Clayton
9
 

Creative Writing Exercise: Dress for Success

In this activity, you will create and develop characters based on the following images. For each resource, you will be give five minutes to write a brief scene in a character would wear the featured garment. 

This activity serves a warm-up for having users think more critically about how they write characters and how details, such as clothing, can impact the greater narrative. 

At the end of the assignment, you will share your characters with the class or group and compare and contrast the different approaches to the images.

tags: character study, fashion, warm-up

Alexander Graves
7
 

IB Biology Topic 1

Images in this collection represent the Nature of Science (NOS) learning statements found in each of the Topic 1 (cell biology) subtopics of the IB Biology curriculum (2016).   The images and descriptions can be used as an introductory activity to illustrate the depth, variation and cultural relevancy of biological discovery and technological advancement that is part of the IB Biology course.  Or, the images could serve as a revision activity before the end of course exam; students pair the image to the corresponding NOS learning statement. 

Gretel von Bargen
8
 

Samuel Langley, Solar Scientist

Samuel Langley was the director of the Allegheny Observatory very near the city of Pittsburgh. Langley focused his telescope on the sun each clear day hoping to find its secrets and energy output.

Arthur Glaser
21
 

Albert Bierstadt and the Lure of the West

Easterners heard many stories about the dangers of traveling to the American west. Accounts of the great American desert as an almost impossible place to cross caused many to rethink leaving home. Albert Bierstadt and painters of the Hudson River School traveled the west and sent back their impressions of the landscape and wildlife.

Arthur Glaser
13
 

George Catlin: Indian Portraiture

During the 1830s, George Catlin and his team produced over five hundred images of native American life on the western plains. Nearly half of his work consisted of exquisite portraits of Indians of many different tribes. Some tribes like the Hidatsa disappeared before any other visual representation of them could be made.

Arthur Glaser
25
 

George Catlin: Lives of the Plains Indians

Long before the camera went west, artists like George Catlin were preserving the images of the native Americans on the western plains. Catlin's paintings are numerous and divide into two genre: the group activities and portraiture. This learning lab focuses on group activities of many plains indians including hunting, traditional dances, and recreation.

Arthur Glaser
32
 

Jamestown: Challenge for Survival

The early years in Virginia's first colony were fraught with starvation and illness. Many of the Jamestown colonists were not "survivors". Most were gentlemen searching for gold and riches and had no experience living in the wilderness. America was a challenge: the forest primeval had never been cut, there was no available farmland, few had experience at fishing or hunting and gathering. Our story about tells about the ultimate in desperation.

Arthur Glaser
31
 

Edward Hicks early American Folk Artist

Edward Hicks' paintings reflect the same quality and style. More advanced in technique than Grandma Moses but still simple if compared to the work of the Hudson Valley School.

Arthur Glaser
24
 

Coil Baskets

Baskets can be both functional and decorative. Choose an image and make guesses based on what you see:

  • What materials were used to make the basket?
  • What do you think it was used for?
  • What process did the artist use to make the basket?
  • Where do you think the basket is from?

Check the info tab to learn more.

Jean-Marie Galing
18
 

How Posters Work

This collection is inspired by Cooper Hewitt's 2015 book and exhibition How Posters Work, written by Ellen Lupton, presenting works from the museum's astonishing collection of over 4,000 historic and contemporary posters.

In this student activity, you'll learn the basics of poster and advertisement design: how to tell a story, excite the eye, and use visual language to create emotional, effective design. At the conclusion of the lesson, you'll create a film poster of your own. This collection is perfect for graphic designers, illustrators, and enthusiasts alike. All you need is a passion for design, a curious eye, and love for a visual story.

Watch Ellen share her own poster design process in a hands-on design lesson here, or explore the original Cooper Hewitt exhibition

Marsha Hawkins
12
 

Gender Inequality and Identity: Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York) 1918

This collection includes a multi-day lesson plan built around Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York), 1918, and is designed to explore the effect that gender inequality can have on identity. Lessons are designed for an eleventh-grade, American Studies, Humanities-style course, and the historical context is the Gilded Age and the Women's Suffrage Movement. The plan for this mini-unit includes the analysis of visual, literary, and historical texts, and while it has a historical context, the goal is also to make connections to American life today. The essential question for this mini-unit is this: How can unfair gender norms affect what it feels like to be a human being? Included, you will find a lesson plan as well as digital versions of the artistic, literary, and historical texts needed to execute that plan. #SAAMteach

William Connell
21
 

Stories of the American Dream

The resources in this collection are assembled to present a range of perspectives on the American Dream. After we have delved into the concept of the American Dream and its evolution over time, you will examine and consider examples of Americans' attempts to accomplish their unique aspirations.

After surveying the collection, choose one of the following assignments to complete and submit it.  As you are browsing the resources in the collection, you may want to take notes and/or save images.

Possible Assignments:

1) Compare and Contrast: Write an essay that examines how the images reflect or represent  the American Dream. Choose 5 images and for each image, identify the time period, the person/people and place featured, and  the American Dream  referenced. By describing and analyzing each image, evaluate the American Dream. How do the images reflect the idea of the American Dream? What conclusions can we draw from examining the American Dream through these images? How has the dream changed over time and what does it mean today? Are there any aspects of the American Dream that hasn't changed? 

2) Argument: Select a combination of articles, images, and videos (at least 5) to examine. Reflecting on the quote from class consider the extent to which you agree or disagree with the argument presented. To support your claim, use the sources from this collection to write an essay in which you argue whether or not the American Dream still exists. 

Quote: "People have long held the view that America is a place where everyone can freely and successfully seek their dreams. We are a nation of potential success stories, emerged from simple beginnings. We've been told that within each of us lives the spirit of entrepreneurial or educational achievement. Up until recently, this was widely believed as true. But as a result of current economic conditions, this opportunity has been lost and the American Dream of the past no longer exists." (Levy)

Levy, Ellen. "Pursuing the American Dream." Constructing Meaning Instructional Unit. E. L. Achieve, Inc. 2012 


Anita Leonard
34
481-504 of 629 Collections