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Found 6,087 Collections


War of 1812/Creek Wars


The End of the Cold War

This teaching collection chronicles the events and people associated with the end of the Cold War. Suggested teaching strategies are embedded throughout.

Guiding questions include:
-Who started the "revolutions" of 1989--Gorbachev and his reforms? People in Eastern Europe?
-Evaluate the roles of the United States and the Reagan and Bush administrations, as well as the changes within the Soviet Union, in bringing about the end of the Cold War.
-Why did the Cold War end?
-What were the costs of the Cold War, both human and material?
-What are the legacies/lessons of the Cold War?
-What uncertainties or questions remained as the Cold War came to a close? What would come to characterize the 'New World Order' that followed?

Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Reagan, Gorbachev, glasnost, perestroika, revolution, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris

Does Progress Have Consequences?

This is a collection to help illustrate the positive and negative effects of the Industrial Revolution.
Anna White

National Parks

This topical collection focuses on the establishment of a national parks system in the United States. Items in the collection can be used to address the following questions:
-What is the difference between "conservation" and "preservation"? Which view towards nature seems to influence our national parks system today?
-In United States history, there is often a tension between progress and protection, or change and tradition. How is that tension reflected in the story of the national parks system? Consider the economic demands of a growing nation and the impulse to make the natural world accessible to all members of U.S. society.

Tags: Parks, environment, conservation, preservation, Muir, Sierra Club, Roosevelt
Kate Harris

Smithsonian in Your Classroom: "Under the Spell of ...Spiders!"

The issue presents curriculum-spanning ways of teaching about arachnids. Includes teacher background, lessons, and a bilingual student page. Click on the PDF icon to download.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

What Is Currency? Lessons from Historic Africa

In lesson plans in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, students gain a basic understanding of money and economics by exploring the currency system of the Akan people of Ghana in West Africa. Click on the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Making Friends with Franklin

In this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, portraits of Benjamin Franklin introduce his writings and scientific experiments. Students do their own writing and conduct their own experiments. In addition, they learn about the international scientific community in which Franklin was a prominent member.

Click on the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Turning Dreams into Reality

This 1985 issue of Art to Zoo takes students on a guided tour of the invention process, from dreams to the reality. It includes a “pull-out page” detailing the early history of the photograph. Click the PDF icon to see the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Lyndon B. Johnson

#Teaching Inquiry
How should LBJ be remembered?
Cynthia Fairbanks

Cyrus McCormick

This collection contains images related to Cyrus Hall McCormick and farming implements designed or inspired by Cyrus Hall McCormick.
Dan Langen

The Internet and You

This 1997 the issue of Art to Zoo was an attempt to dispel the mysteries that still surrounded the Internet. It includes a tutorial on using Adobe Acrobat Reader and an introduction to Smithsonian websites. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

The Children Raised Kale: From Seed to Maturity

Activities in this issue of Art to Zoo introduce students to gardening and plants. Knowledge of plant parts and products is tested after a class visit to a garden. The students themselves grow a crop that seems to mean more to us now than it did when the issue was published in 1983: the currently fashionable kale. Click the PDF icon to download the issue. 

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Dinosaurs Were Real!

In a lesson plan in this 1976 issue of Art to Zoo, students learn about the physiology of dinosaurs, as well as what Earth was generally like during the Mesozoic era. The issue also features a photo introduction to the Smithsonian Institution. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Digging Up Dirt: How Paleontologists Bring Dinosaurs Back to Life

This 1992 issue of Art to Zoo includes activities to introduce you and your students to the science of paleontology. Includes lesson plan with activities that relate to geology, paleontology, anatomy, and the scientific method. The emphasis, of course, is on dinosaurs. Click the PDF issue to download.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Airplanes and Airports: How to Take Off Without Ever Leaving the Ground

A lesson plan in this 1982 issue of Art to Zoo offers insight on how airplanes and airports profoundly affect our lives. Includes lessons on the forces of flight and how to create a model airplane. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Fossils: Footprints Across Time

Lessons in this 1984 issue of Art to Zoo help students understand the earth’s past through the geologic record of fossils in their varied forms, from the lowly trilobite to the massive mastodon. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

House Keys

In this 1991 issue of Art to Zoo, students learn that history can be found by looking at the various architectural styles and features found in their community. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Sputnik: Scientific Advances, Public Perception, and Political Priorities in the Cold War

The Soviet launch of Sputnik did much more than simply send a satellite into space. The announcement that the USSR had successfully launched a satellite that orbited the Earth was used to dramatize Soviet scientific superiority and set into motion a series of actions and statements by U.S. politicians designed to manage the public's fears and prevent the United States from falling behind.

Guiding questions:
-When it comes to military strength, which is more important: reality or perception?
-How do the sciences impact national defense?
-Why was a space program considered important and necessary for both the Soviet Union and the United States?
-How and why do foreign events impact domestic politics and culture?

Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Space Race, Sputnik, Technology, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris


All about Louisiana
Renee Fruge

Presidential Elections

History of presidential elections
Erin Kizziar

Hirshhorn Masterworks - The Body in Modern and Contemporary Art

Different interpretations of the body have been utilized by artists since the beginning of civilization, as a way to explore a sense of identity and the nature of representation. The human form has been depicted in many different ways since the time of traditional portraiture.

Arriving at the third floor of the museum, we are immediately confronted by Ron Mueck's huge, sculpture "Big Man", done in 2000. He is positioned in the corner, brooding and scowling at the viewers, who look back at him in amazement. His skin is so lifelike it seems to breathe, covered in imperfections like wrinkles, blue veins, cellulite, and age spots. He is larger than life, making the precise detail of his face and body amplified. This invites close inspection, forcing us to consider our own human flaws.

"Big Man" has an incredible story behind him. Mueck is Australian born artist working in London, creating hyperrealistic sculptures, usually with manipulated scale. His pieces are either much smaller or much larger than a typical human being. He uses this to add emotional emphasis: many of his pieces explore themes of loneliness, isolation, vulnerability, and transition. Mueck began working in special effects for TV and movies, most notably on the film "Labrynth", and on "Sesame Street". His work took a sharp turn when he exhibited his piece "Dead Dad" at "Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection" at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. A depiction of his own father after death, his size slightly reduced, it had a strong impact on viewers due to the figure's striking realism and dark subject matter.

"Big Man" actually originated from a mistake. Mueck was working with a model who struggled to execute the pose he wanted, due to his larger size. In a moment of frustration, the model sat in the corner, with his hands holding his head in annoyance. Mueck was struck by the intense paradox of this scene, a grown man appearing as a child being punished. He realized that this pose was exactly what he needed for his piece. Mueck usually doesn't work from life models, but this was an exception. The piece physically represents his sitter at the time: bald, hairless, and naked, with a strange yellow cast over him. "Big Man" was actually created in only four weeks, according to Mueck. In determining the scale, he photographed the original model and drew a small figure looking up at it. Realizing the potential power of the piece at this size, he decided to make him much larger. "Big Man" is made up of a number of different materials. First, Mueck creates sketches and clay models in order to determine the form. The form is molded from the original clay model in either fiberglass or silicone. Afterwards, he paints in detail and sculpts the eyes for his last step. The piece's placement within the gallery is pivotal, as he rests up against the corner and gazes out in annoyance. Mueck doesn't usually work from people as models - he generally uses photographs, anatomy texts, and his own imagination.

The next piece is by Willem De Kooning, titled "Two Women in the Country", done in 1954. When we approach the painting, we are initially aware of the figures due to their recognizable yet obviously distorted bodies. We can see exaggerated breasts, torsos, disproportionate legs, and faces that have muddy features, hidden in paint. Their bodies are a range of different warm colors: pinks, orange, and yellow, splashed against a green background. De Kooning was an artist from the Netherlands, coming to New York City and working in commercial art doing illustration. Eventually he abandoned this practice, painting as an abstract expressionist, stuck in between this label and experimenting with figuration. Featured on the backside of "Woman I" (1948) by De Kooning is an entirely black and white abstract piece, materializing his inner questions about style. Many people criticized his portrait series of women as misogynistic and harsh, portraying them with huge bulging eyes, teeth bared, and oversized breasts. The work has often been interpreted as De Kooning's catharsis and anger towards women. Many collectors have noted the holes and lacerations made in his works due to a very violent way of working. De Kooning has explained his works as interpretations of female icons. He has also stated that the "Women' series is a response to the traditional image of women in western art. Whether in ancient art or pop culture, he was interested with the images of women depicted throughout time.

Walking through, we approach a piece titled "Entrails Carpet" done in 1995 by Mona Hatoum. The piece is situated in the center of a gallery on the floor. Hatoum is from Lebanon, working in London making sophisticated sculptural pieces that deal directly with the body. This piece is made out of silicone rubber, an off white color, and has some opalescent properties as it interacts with light. Upon looking at it, we can see that what appears to be intestines weaving in and out like a traditional woven rug. It feels unsettling and paradoxical: sterile yet violent. Associating a rug or carpet with the comfort of home, Hatoum brings another element to it. We are immediately confronted with the inner working of our bodies, bringing us to awareness. Hatoum has created this piece in response to her previous years living in Palestine. She has detached familiarity and comfort from a domestic object because for her, it was never a place of reliability or safety, always in flux.

The last piece we'll look at is "Untitled (Anthropometry)" by Yves Klein, done in 1960. This piece is actually a remnant of a performance done by Klein in Paris. Insistent on the creation of a painting without the use of a brush or his own direct touch, he applied bright ultramarine pigment onto the bodies of young women and directed them onto the paper. The woman becomes like a stamp, however each one has it's own interesting pattern coinciding with their pressure upon contact. Different textures and thicknesses are created throughout the five forms. The paint began at their shoulders, and stopped a little bit before the knee, emphasizing the center of the form. Klein ended up putting a patent on this shade of blue in 1979, because he used it so frequently as a way to tie his work together. The color alludes to spirituality and infinity, relating to the sky. At this particular performance, Klein and his guests dressed formally, and listened to his piece "Monotone Symphony", where a single chord was played for twenty minutes, and nothing else but absolute silence for the other half of that duration.

Alexandra Baran

You Might Remember This Movie Quiz #44

These still pictures remind me of a motion picture. Which one? Click the question mark and take the quiz to see. Click each question to enlarge. Click the last box for the answer.

Smithsonian Movie Quiz

Art and Technology Projects for Museums and Classrooms: From "Today I Am Here" to "Discovering US/Descubriéndonos"

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. 

"Today I Am Here" is a project in which students make a handmade book from one piece of paper, that tells the story of how they got to where they are today. This project is wonderful in a classroom to show the breadth and diversity of the class, and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. 

Inside you will find instructions and images for the various components of the project, as well as samples of student work. 


Philippa Rappoport

Ethiopian History

9th Grade African Studies Class, Ethiopia Unit
Maureen Minard
5161-5184 of 6,087 Collections