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Found 695 Collections


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

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

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

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

Prohibition and the 1920s US

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

Paula Fargo

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


Museum Day Live!

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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping Ageing Technology Alive

Students will explore issues curators face to keep technology working to display artworks through looking at Nam June Paik’s work. Known as the father of video art, Nam June Paik used Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions as a canvas for this artwork. Students will learn about the properties of the CRT-televisions that are vital for Paik’s work to be shown.  Students will use the graphing application Desmos to make predictions on how many CRT TVs are needed to keep Paik’s work on display so people around the world can enjoy it in person.  

This activity is designed for students to work in groups of 2-3 people. For the Desmos part of the activity, the teacher will need to make a copy of the activity and share it with his/her students so the teacher can access the students' work. The teacher can decide to use the Desmos portion of the activity with the students working in groups or individually. 

After looking at Nam June Paik's work students will explore Bill Viola's work with Plasma screens TVs as a canvas and problem solve how to adapt his work of the technology to keep it on display for years to come. 

Day 1: Slides 1-7 

Day 2 (or extension): Slides 8-10 

Extra resources: Slides 11-13

Student InstructionsTeacher instructions 

Slide 1: Nam June Paik Archive

Read the background information on Nam June Paik and the curator John G. Hanhadt

Slide 2: Thinking Routine description of Parts, Purpose, Complexities.

Read instructions

Make sure that the students choose one of the pieces to answer questions on slide 4

Slide 3: Electronic Superhighway

Student mode

In groups of 2-3 students will go through the Thinking routine

Parts, Purposes, Complexity

See Instructions allow students to share their observations.  

Slide 4: Megatron/Matrix

Student mode

In groups of 2-3 students will go through the Thinking routine

Parts, Purposes, Complexity

See Instructions allow students to share their observations.  

Slide 5: Cathode Ray Tube for Television

Go through the hotspots on the CRT, and watch the 5 min video on CRT, explaining the science behind

You can also have the students read more history on the inventors.

The history of TV

Electronic Dictionary

Slide 6: First TV RCA 630-TS

Data on the life span of RCA televisions, possibly looking at the amount of Samsung TVs that are needed for Nam June’s artwork.

“Life span and time that it can be used.

Replacement components

Back up CRTs

Commercial use

20k working hours”

Smithsonian Presentation of Paik's work

Slide 7: Desmos activity

Students can go to the interactive desmos link, the teacher will have to provide a class code to record the student work. 

Teachers will have to make a copy of this activity and sign into desmos using google or creating an account. 

Slide 8: Bill ViolaRead information on Bill Viola and watch videos of his work.
Slide 9: Thinking routine instructionsLook at his work, students can also look up the video versions of the work. Imagine if… in the context of how the technology might be altered or the artwork will have to altered to keep the art on display at museums. Agency by Design Imagine if Thinking Routine

Slide 10: Bill VIola's Fall into Paradise
Extra resources
Slide 11: 
Video "Nam June Paik: Art & Process- presented by John G Hanhardt"
Slide 12:Video on "Conserving and Exhibiting the Works of Nam June Paik: Joanna Phillips"
Slide 13: Desmos teacher guide

The last two slides are extra material for the teacher or the students if they are interested in more of the conservation efforts involving Nam June Paik's work. 


Students could do research on emerging television technology to make a mathematical function that will predict when the plasma TV will be obsolete. 

Art project:

Students can design an art project that will be displayed using technology. They will have to write installation instructions and possible adaptations to their work for changing or aging technology. 

Amanda Riske


Grado sexto

Diana Carolina Melgarejo C.

History & Hair: Lesson and Collection

What does your hair reveal about your identity? This guided lesson and image gallery invites students to explore their  identity and  to interrogate the role that hair plays in the presentation of self. Using artful looking techniques, students can think critically about the dynamic between the subject and the artist. 

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute. 

#NPGTeach #Hair #History #SocialStudies #Afros #Identity 


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
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