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Found 6,313 Collections


Is facebook making us more sad?

Rosemith Metayer

Einstein and social media

Rosemith Metayer

What effect does social media has on today's world?

What is the impact of social media on today’s youth?

Today everyone is on social media – young, old, rich and poor. Even the corporate world has jumped into the bandwagon and companies are very active online, posting updates and answering questions.  As the popularity of social media keeps on spreading all over the world, there have been mixed feelings about these social networks and their impact on today’s generation. So, how does social media affect today’s youth?

In order to answer this question, we have to look at both the positive and negative impacts of social media on the youth. First of all, with social media, young people can interact with their peers or other people around the world by just a click of a button. From the objects that I selected and collected from the Smithsonian Learning Lab, there was one article that really caught my attention.  The article describes how technology actually makes us better social beings. Though laptop users tended to be alone and less apt to interact with strangers in public spaces, Sociologist Keith Hampton says, “It’s interesting to recognize that the types of interactions that people are doing in these spaces are not isolating. They are not alone in the true sense because they are interacting with very diverse people through social networking websites, e-mail, video conferencing, Skype, instant messaging and a multitude of other ways. We found that the types of things that they are doing online often look a lot like political engagement, sharing information and having discussions about important matters. Those types of discussions are the types of things we’d like to think people are having in public spaces anyway. For the individual, there is probably something being gained and for the collective space there is probably something being gained in that it is attracting new people.”

Rosemith Metayer

Analyzing Character and Motivation in the Crucible

This activity will be completed at the end of The Crucible before watching the documentary Central Park Five about a modern day witch hunt.  By completing the puzzle activity with an image from the Salem Witch Trials, the McCarthy Hearings, and the Central Park Five Court Case, students will find the common characters and motivations for which to focus in on the film.  Their culminating task will be to jump into the portrait and write a letter home to their parents, sibling, or best friend.  They will then be tasked with doing the same task each of the three days of the documentary.


Leslie Reinhart

Modernizing Revolutionary Literature with the Founding Fathers

This lesson would be completed at the end of our revolutionary literature unit.  This will ask the students to physically pose as the founding fathers, view the descendants' commercial, study the descendants' portrait, view an interview about the commercial, and then finally draft a letter to the founding fathers updating them on their work.


Leslie Reinhart

Practicing Transcendentalism by Drawing with Words

This activity will be completed at the end of a transcendentalism unit in American literature.  Students will be tasked with studying a landscape, drawing the landscape, and filling it in with words.  After the initial activity students will be given a template where they can choose how to show their transcendentalist pastiche through words, colors, quotations, etc.


Leslie Reinhart

Bracero Program: Unveiling Stories

In this activity, students will examine photographs documenting the Bracero Program, the largest guest-worker program in US history. Started in 1942 as a temporary war measure to address labor demands in agriculture and railroads, the program allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and 24 other states. By the time the program ended in 1964, over 4.6 million contracts were awarded.

Using two Project Zero Global Thinking Routines - "Unveiling Stories" and "The 3 Ys" - students will analyze the stories these photographs tell about the experiences of braceros in this program, and the impact of these stories in multiple contexts. Additional resources (primary sources, a digital exhibition, and an article) and information on how to use these routines in the classroom can by found by clicking Read More ».

Keywords: mexican, immigration, work, migration, migrant workers, agriculture, reform, politics, government, leonard nadel, photojournalism, activity, inquiry strategy, global competency, global competence, latino, chicano, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, 1940s, 40s, 1950s, 50s, 1960s, 60s

molly page

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:

Philippa Rappoport

Voices and Votes - Power of the Press

The press and media have influenced America even before it was a country. The goal of this learning lab is to show the effect media has played on our democracy. It is also important to understand the bias that media and press can have on us everyday. Realizing this influence can make all of us better citizens.

SITES Museum on Main Street

Voices and Votes - Faces of Change in American Democracy


This learning lab introduces students to individuals who have shaped and participated in American democracy over time. Using a variety of resources, take in the stories and impact of Thomas Jefferson, Molly Pitcher, Thomas Paine, Richard Allen, William Apess, Wong Chin Foo, Alice Paul, Ella Baker, and Dolores Huerta.

Voices and Votes: Democracy in America is an exhibition from Museum on Main Street traveling to rural American from 2020-2025. Voices and Votes is based on the exhibition American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith at the National Museum of American History. This learning lab can be used in conjunction with the exhibition or as a stand alone resource on the history of democracy.

Visit Smithsonian History Explorer to learn more!  


Guiding Questions:

Who has influenced American democracy? Why did they participate in American democracy and what did they achieve? Have these people changed over time?

How have social movements changed American democracy throughout history?

How can individuals or groups take action to participate in American democracy?

What issues at a local, state, or national level affect your life? Can your participation in American democracy resolve those issues?

Who is participating in and influencing national, state, or local conversations about  American democracy today? Who would you add to this list?

SITES Museum on Main Street

Test run artifact

Mabi Aleman

Abraham Lincoln Primary Sources

Here are some primary sources near ford's theatre and lincoln's deathbed.

Daniel Mian

Louise Nevelson

Did you know that Louise's dad owned a lumber yard? No wonder she enjoyed creating wood assemblages.

Look at a selected sculpture with a partner and discuss:

  • What do you see?
  • How is it arranged?
  • What does it make you think of?
  • What kind of meaning or story can you find in the sculpture?
  • How did Louise unify her sculptures? (UNITY is when all the parts work together to create a cohesive artwork.)

Jean-Marie Galing

Frank Sinatra's Musical Genius, Part I, the Skinny Years

This collection provides a chronology of Frank Sinatra's musical life and influences that shaped his career. There are three stages: Skinny Years, Hat Years and Tux Years, all based on Will Friedwald's book entitled "Sinatra! The Song is You" and other references, which have been cited.

Quizzes, video and audio files are included to provide a greater understanding the of man and his talents. #SmithsonianMusic

Friedwald, W. (1995). Sinatra! the song is you: a singer's art. New York: Scriber.

To see PART II “The Hat Years” please click on the here.

To see PART III "The Tux Years” please click on the here.

Rhonda Davila

Designers are Problem Solvers-Teacher Resource Collection

Designers are inspired by problems! With a defined problem as a starting point, designers find solutions through a design process that includes empathizing with the user, brainstorming ideas and prototyping solutions. At Cooper Hewitt, your class will see the design process in action during a deep exploration of various objects featured in our permanent and temporary exhibitions. Students will also experience the design process in a hands-on, interactive workshop where they will work collaboratively to solve problems through design thinking.

Program objectives:

  • Students will be able to define key design process terminology including define, empathize, brainstorm, prototype, test, and launch.
  • Students will understand the user’s role in the designer’s process
  • Students will understand that a designer’s choice of materials inform the form and function of a design.


Mary Marotta

Henry David Thoreau - Resources and “Walden: A Game"

Can a Video Game Capture the Magic of Walden? 

Henry David Thoreau’s

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Mary Marotta

Eone was founded with an innovative spirit and an unwavering mission: to create fashionable products that are accessible for everyone.

Eone was founded to solve a problem: to tell time, people who are blind have had to choose between intrusive talking watches, or fragile tactile watches. There were hardly elegant, quality alternatives.

Eone founder Hyungsoo Kim was a graduate student at MIT when he learned of this problem through a friend who is blind. Guided by the conviction that everyone has a right to time, he collaborated with designers and persons with vision impairments to create a watch that everyone—sighted or blind—can use and enjoy. Learn more here

Mary Marotta
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