Skip to Content
  • Language
  • End User
  • Educational Use
  • Time Required
(158)
(388)
(494)
(498)
(535)
(11)
(288)
(266)
(197)
(301)
(109)
(124)

Found 546 Collections

 

Reconstruction in the American South #TeachingInquiry

This collection contains images, lithographs, and written documents pertaining to the period of Reconstruction. Reconstruction marks the period in American history beginning in 1863 and lasting through 1877. This collection will help to better understand the role Reconstruction played in re-establishing race relations and enfranchising African Americans, but also the struggles African Americans faced in upholding their rights. People who view this collection will be able to analyze and respond to the question "Was Reconstruction successful?" #TeachingInquiry

Rania Assily
10
 

Using Portraiture to Teach the Struggle for Justice

This collection supports the January 2017 Google Hangout facilitated by the National Portrait Gallery in coordination with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

#NPGteach

Briana White
22
 

Climate Change and Alexis Rockman's Manifest Destiny

In preparing to paint his large-scale mural, Manifest Destiny, a commission for the Brooklyn Museum's re-opening in 2004, Alexis Rockman consulted with climate change experts to imagine what Brooklyn might look like several centuries in the future when the glaciers have melted and sea levels have risen.

Teachers can use this painting as a starting point to discussing the issue of climate change, understanding what's at risk, and exploring mitigation strategies coastal cities might take to prevent an outcome like the one Rockman predicts.

Phoebe Hillemann
5
 

Who is Frances Mary Albrier?

This is a collection of items belonging to, or about, Frances M. Albrier. Although an important female leader and activist during the mid-20th century, many students may not have heard of Ms. Albrier. Encourage students to act as history detectives, exploring the collection to determine why this woman's belongings are in the collections of the Smithsonian.

Some questions to consider:

  • What are Albrier's main accomplishments? What types of occupations did she have?
  • Based on these, what values do you think were important to her?
  • How does Albrier's life reflect major changes for women during the 20th century? Changes for African-Americans?
  • What do these items tell us about challenges facing African-American women in the mid-century?
  • What remains unknown about Albrier based on this collection? Where else could you go to look for more information?
  • Look at an encyclopedia entry for Ms. Albrier. Are there any events mentioned not covered in this collection? What might be a good item to add in order to better show her life?


tags: activism, civil rights, union, labor, voter registration, 60s, world war II, shipyards, WW2, nursing, Red Cross, National Council of Negro Women, Nigeria, independence, peace, moral rearmament, #BecauseOfHerStory

Kate Harris
15
 

Examining Icebergs

What can we learn about global climate change by examining icebergs? This teaching collection provides resources to support a lesson on climate change and polar ice melt. It includes a video, link to a lesson plan and photo essay from the Global Oneness Project, images, and a Smithsonian article.

tags: climate change, global warming, iceberg, glacier, melt, temperature, environment

Kate Harris
6
 

Look for the Helpers: Analyzing Social Movements

Mr. Rogers is quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." This collection will give students a framework to "look for the helpers"--the people who are trying to change society for the better during difficult times. Students will be introduced to a variety of strategies and tactics used in social movements, and consider how these might apply to an area of their own interest.

Included is a chart listing possible strategies for social movements that encourages students to find examples of tactics/strategies from the collection and determine the goals of each.

Opportunities for extension include:

Identify a social movement that relies on more than one strategy (most do). Can you create a "recipe" listing the various tactics used to create a successful movement?

Who is involved? Choose one of the examples from above to study further. Who was involved in that particular tactic or strategy? Consider different occupations (teacher, writer, church leader, student, mother) and also different demographics (gender, race, age, ethnicity, etc.)

What's missing? Are there strategies that you have encountered in your research that don't fit into this chart?

Kate Harris
31
 

Benjamin West: America's First Painter

Benjamin West began painting in America during the late colonial period. His works represented a variety of styles. He was equally good at portraiture which was what most customers wanted and romantic renditions of battle scenes. Later in his career he devoted much of his time to Greek and Roman mythological themes.

Arthur Glaser
25
 

The Ramayana

This teaching collection and student activity includes the resources necessary to teach an EDSITEment lesson on the Ramayana where students read closely to find examples of the Hindu concept of dharma.

Guiding questions are:

  • What is dharma?
  • How does the Ramayana teach dharma, one of Hinduism's most important tenants?

tags: Hinduism, Hindu, India, dharma, Ramayana, rama, epic, Vishnu

Kate Harris
11
 

Soap – History, Uses, and Chemistry

Soap is a common household chemical used around the world. Using the See/Think/Wonder visible thinking tool, this collection explores:

  1. The history of soap,
  2. Why Ivory soap floats,
  3. Why soap can be used for cleaning, and
  4. How is soap made.
Kitty Dang
10
 

The Gunboat Philadelphia

Through photographs, text, videos, interviews, a map & a 3D model, students can explore the history of the oldest surviving American naval vessel, the Gunboat Philadelphia, which is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The Philadelphia (1776) played an important role during the Revolutionary War. The first five resources in this collection show the discovery and preservation of the sunken boat, while the last three offer more information on its historical significance.

This could be used by students to consider what each type of media reveals. What information can you learn from the single resource? From the collection of media combined? What more context is needed?

Ashley Naranjo
8
 

Image Analysis: "Girl at Gee's Bend, Alabama" by Arthur Rothstein

Developing an inquiry-based strategy to support students can allow them to investigate objects and images as historians do. In this example, students try to reveal the story behind the image. They raise questions for their own further research. Because the image has only a title, the photographer's name, the "sitter"'s name, the place and the date, students have to rely on their own analysis of evidence in the image, rather than someone else's interpretation. When they read the expert's analysis, they will have already considered many of the elements that the expert highlights and can compare their interpretations.

"Girl at Gee's Bend, Alabama" is a provocative photograph that can be used in discussions ranging from history of the South during the Great Depression, to social justice.

Ashley Naranjo
3
 

Creative Questions about the Great Wall

This collection highlights the Creative Questioning thinking routine from Project Zero. Students will watch a video clip about the Great Wall of China and generate questions they have about the topic. Then, they will use the question starters to improve and expand upon their questions. Finally, they will choose one of their questions as the starting point for further research.

tag: Great Wall, China, military, inquiry

Kate Harris
6
 

Ekphrastic Poetry Lesson

According to the Poetry Foundation, "An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the "action" of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning"

This collection is based on a lesson plan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which guides users through the process of using artwork to inform and inspire poetry. Strategies for developing original poems, sample ekphrastic (art-inspired) poems, and suggested artworks are included to stimulate thinking.

tags: creative writing, art, poetry, poems

Kate Harris
9
 

Journey of the Vin Fiz

The Vin Fiz was the first aeroplane to cross the United States from coast to coast. At a maximum speed of 51 mph and many in flight set backs, the Vin Fiz made the crossing in over 84 days.

Arthur Glaser
26
 

Animal Masks

Allow small groups to "see/think/wonder" about a mask image:  Look and describe what you see. Based on what you see, what do you think the mask is for? What do you wonder about the mask (or want to learn about the mask)? Then allow students to click the Information button to learn more. Groups can report out to the whole class.

Facilitate a discussion with students using some open ended questions:

  • Why do people make and wear masks?
  • What can be hidden or revealed using a mask?
  • What might a mask symbolize or stand for?
  • If you were to design a mask for a special purpose, what would it look like?

Direct students to sketch their ideas to plan for creating a mask.



Jean-Marie Galing
10
 

30 Seconds-Fact and Opinion

In this collection, we look at portraiture through the lens of the 30 second look strategy. This looking strategy allows participants 30 seconds to look at a portrait, and then turn away from the portrait and have a conversation about what they saw. This activity challenges participants to first look on their own and then have a collaborative conversation with their peers.

Visually rich portraits, with both objects and setting, are most effective when using this strategy.

The 30 Seconds lesson helps students to use their visual and memorizing skills. The lessons will sentence starters like "I think and I know" to introduce fact and opinion, which will encourage creativity.

The activity can also help to exercises their....

Imagination

Creative Writing

Focusing on key details

Expressive Language

The activity can be done as a whole group discussion, partner work, or independently. I will use the Kagan strategy Rally Coach on the second portrait with the purpose of building their language skills and taking ownership of their learning. Students will work with a peer what they saw during the 30 seconds of looking at the portrait. Then, they will share in their opinion what they think is happening in the setting and what is the person in the portrait doing and thinking.


This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery, as well as resource and information.

Maria Menjivar
2
 

History of Mormons in America

This collection of artifacts, photographs, texts, and historical markers is intended to help students explore the history of the Mormon religion in America.

Each of these items is intended to spark inquiry, following the process below:

  1. Students should choose one artifact on which to focus.
  2. Have them use the artifact analysis PDF (last resource) to begin their study of the artifact.
  3. Next, have students generate questions about the artifact? What do they wonder about? What does it tell them about the Mormon religion or its history within the United States?
  4. Have students complete some general research on their artifact that will help their classmates piece together the story of the Mormon experience.

As a collaborative project, students should use the PBS Forced Migrations map/timeline as a model for a class map/timeline of their own.

  1. Project an image of the map on a class whiteboard or create your own basic outline using large paper.
  2. Have each student present their research findings. The main questions they should answer are: What does it represent about the Mormon experience? Where would the artifact they chose be placed (geographically and in terms of chronology)?
  3. Students should then place place their image on the map with significant dates noted.
  4. After all groups have presented, review the narrative of the Mormon experience with the class. What would they identify as critical moments in Mormon history? What questions do they still have?
Tags: religion, Moroni, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Mormon, New York, Utah, Illinois, gold plates, inquiry
Kate Harris
18
 

The Steamboat Arabia

This collection was made to pair with a learning experience during the November 17th workshop for Pittsburgh teachers working with the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Teachers will visit the Steamboat Arabia exhibit and learn from a Heinz History Center curator about the decisions made and limitations faced when creating an exhibit for visitors to learn from.

Both the online collection and the Heinz History Center exhibit explore the question "How do new innovations in transportation affect American life?"

The collection below contains artifacts and images from the Smithsonian collection that might help students and teachers respond to the question above. Suggested scaffolding questions might include:

  • Identify the changes in technology and transportation that occurred between 1800-1850.
  • How did these new transportation systems impact the movement and interactions of groups of people, the expansion of trade, and cultural life on the frontier?
  • How do the items in this collection compare to what was found during the recovery of the Steamboat Arabia?
Kate Harris
22
 

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
 

Declaration of Independence Resources

A collection of resources related to Thomas Jefferson and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It can be edited or analyzed from a number of POVs.

Amy Kerr
5
 

3-D Paper Puzzler: Hermit Crabs

Students at the Hirshhorn ARTLAB+ program have been experimenting with 3-dimensional digital paper craft. One of them even showed her papercraft dinosaur at the White House's first Maker Faire!

This collection includes images and video of hermit crabs, both live and from our art collections, as well as instructions and printable templates to make a 3-dimensional hermit crab shell from three sheets of paper.



Philippa Rappoport
10
 

What is Kwanzaa?

In this activity, students will learn about the background and cultural significance of the holiday Kwanzaa through an an analysis of various resources:

  • The collection begins with several images related to Kwanzaa. By looking through each of the resources, students can gain a deeper understanding of the holiday. Each image contains text about different parts of Kwanzaa and quiz questions to encourage further thoughts and reflections. 
  • A resource from the Kwanzaa Planning Committee is featured after these resources to further discuss practices and principles related to the holiday.
  • Then, they will compare and contrast them with an image representing Christmas and another representing Hanukkah.
  • The final activity has the student upload a separate image and explore how he or she would use that image to describe Kwanzaa to someone.
  • The final resource includes an article from the Smithsonian Magazine that you can use to discuss the history of Kwanzaa with your class.
  • The resources include multiple choice and discussion questions.

To read more information about Kwanzaa, please read the following official Kwanzaa website set up by the African American Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California: (http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/symbols.shtm...).

Tags: holidays, history, culture, African American culture, African American history, American history, American culture

Alexander Graves
14
 

American Indians

Paintings and photographs that represent the Lakota, Inuit, Kwakiutl, Pueblo, and Iroquois tribes. This aligns with Virginia SOL USI.3b. Teachers may have students look critically at each image. Students can then create a claim or hypothesis of what tribe they think it represents, along with supporting details. Teachers should use the "what makes you say that" strategy (described on the first image). This is a great check for understanding or formative assessment of student learning.

Michelle Moses
6
 

Classroom Activity Using Images of Immigration and Identity from the National Portrait Gallery, the New York Times, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Students can use the "What makes you say that?" and the "3 Ys" thinking routines to explore two modern portraits about identity and immigration from the National Portrait Gallery. The first thinking strategy asks students to look at a work of art for several minutes before answering two questions: "What's going on?" and "What do you see that makes you say that?" (See https://learninglab.si.edu/res... for more information.)

To further and deepen the discussion, I've included a link to a September 2016 New York Times Op-Doc entitled "4.1 Miles," about a coast guard captain on a small Greek island who is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. (If it doesn't show up easily, you can view the original video on Times Video at https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000004674545/41-miles.html.) I've also included two sculptures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an interview with Lisa Sasaki, head of the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center, and resources from the University of Minnesota  Libraries Publishing's Immigration Syllabus - Americans / Immigrants, Weeks 1-4.

You may wish to use the "3 Y's" thinking routine here as well, which asks students to consider the following questions:

1. Why might this [topic, question] matter to me?

2. Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, city, nation]?

3. Why might it matter to the world?

(See https://learninglab.si.edu/res... for more information.)

#APA2018, #LatinoHAC, #EthnicStudies 

This collection supports Unit 1: Precious Knowledge - Exploring notions of identity and community, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part A course.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. 


Philippa Rappoport
14
481-504 of 546 Collections