Who is to blame for WWI? Is it Gavrilo Princip, for assassinating the archduke? Surely that’s much too simple? We like to identify “good guys” and “bad guys,” but is there danger is that? The reparations laid on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles, most historians agree, contributed to WWII... Can any one person, group of people, country, truly take the blame for such a crisis? Should they? Who should have stopped it? #Teaching Inquiry
The collection contains work from an SAAM summer session from 2018 inspired by SOB,SOB by Marshall and is centered around the reading of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It is meant to be a resource for teachers seeking to consider identity critically, incorporate meaningful diversity, and promote the importance of complex representation. #SAAMteach
Allensworth, CA. founded in 1908, represents the only all black township in California; founded, built, governed and populated by African Americans. Located in the great central valley (southern San Joaquin), it was founded to be a agricultural community and center of learning. Where, African Americans only 50 years out of slavery could become economically free. Due to lack of a dependable water supply, the untimely death of the Colonel and other factors the town's future was bleak. By 1918 the town began its demise struggling to survive. The historic portions of the town became a state historic park in the 1970's. It is formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historic Landmark. Here is a link to the park site, where you will find contact information for park ranger Steve Ptomey who developed this collection and manages the Allensworth State Historic Park.
Whether you're participating in the Stories: YES program in conjunction with a Museum on Main Street exhibition or creating digital stories on your own, the six modules in the Storytelling Training Series will help you think through everything to help get started. Ready to start developing your story? In this short course, you'll get some tips on how to create a story board, writing a non-fiction script, and more.
This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation.
In this short course, you'll learn about topics that inspired the traveling exhibition "The Way We Worked," produced by Museum on Main Street at the Smithsonian.
This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation.
This collection contains the provocative piece The Way They Was and asks students to make parallels to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It uses thinking routines such as "See/Think/Wonder", "Circle of Viewpoints", and "Claim/Support/Question". There is also a graphic organizer in the shape of a door that allows students to record the connections they see between the piece of art and the novel. This lesson can be used after Chapter 25 or at the end of the novel.
Visual art is a language that is socially and culturally constructed. Socially constructed learning values diverse perspectives, engages with local and global experts, and employs inquiry, discovery and exploration to move students toward global citizenship. Because the visual arts leverage the power of dialogue and debate to sharpen critical thinking, starting with the arts is a logical place to help students develop empathy for others while increasing their cultural intelligence.
This collection was created to support teachers and administrators who wish to better understand the various cultures in their schools. Using both Project Zero's Global Thinking Routines and strategies from Amy E. Herman's Visual Intelligence book, participants will practice articulating cultural perspectives and communicating across differences using artwork and primary sources from the vast collections of the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Participants will learn how to read a work of art, understand compositional hierarchy, and question what is missing. The frameworks provided by Project Zero and Amy E. Herman will allow everyone, even those not accustomed to discussing art, a place from which to begin using art as a foundation for building culturally-responsive curriculum.
Participants will see museums as the cultural ambassadors that they are and ask whose culture is being represented and whose is missing and why. Extending from this inquiry, participants will recognize the role schools play in nurturing and shaping the lives and identities of our students.
This collection highlights particular aspects - food, culture, religion, traditions - of the Burmese community in Lowell, MA. The collection also features Burmese events and holidays that take place in the city.
UNSTACKED is a wonderful way to spark inquiry, analysis, and discussion. By visually exploring our images, you can bring the Smithsonian Libraries' collections into your classroom. Use UNSTACKED as a morning exercise, a way to introduce a new topic, or to discover your students' interests. Picture your world, dive into the stacks!
The research and creation of this project was funded by the Gates Foundation Youth Access Grant.
This collection provides Fauquier County, Virginia, teachers with the tools needed to incorporate the work of Warrenton artist Richard Norris Brooke into our local history curriculum. In addition to the focus painting, A Dog Swap, the collection provides access to museum and digital resources that delve into the painting's history, including the location and people on whom the figures are based. It also includes an additional, connected Brooke painting, A Pastoral Visit, that teachers may wish to share with their students. As the painting is intended as an introduction to the local history unit, a suggested Project Zero Visual Thinking Activity, "See/Think/Wonder" is also included to spark students' curiosity and help them make connections as they are introduced to this artwork.
This lesson will provide catalysts for students to write their own third-person omniscient stories. Some instruction on different points of view should be completed before this activity.
The whole class will do a See / Think / Wonder with Tenements Flats after reading the first chapters of The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Students should be able to make coherent connections between the picture and themes of the book, such as class disparity, isolation, community, etc...
After the See / Think / Wonder put students in groups of two to three. Tell each group that they are going to write a third person ominscient story inspired by the painting, but each person in the group is going to write the narrative of a particular figure in the picture which will all link together into one story. Students can work on this story as we read the novel.
As the class continues reading the novel, do a whole group See / Think / Wonder with the other three paintings in this collection as themes of culture, patriotism, and strategy emerge in the story. At the end of the novel, each child should then pick one of these three pictures to do their own independent third-person omniscient story.
This collection supports a unit that incorporates poetic perspectives on immigration. It was created as part of curriculum project for the Teachers Poetry Institute at The Poetry Foundation with the following educators: Joe Nelson, Cheryl Carter, Amber Bunnell, and Yolanda Toni.
See the attached pdf file for the full description of the unit.
America has many great moments fraught with many historical misses. In other words, for every great feat in American history, there are equal moments of trouble and shame in her behavior. The failure of America is often human failures, tragic moments where our government failed to act or stand up (i.e., Hurricane Katrina). Or, it could be duplicitous in egregious behaviors (i.e., Dred Scott Decision, Plessy vs. Ferguson, chattel slavery). But, historical textbooks do not traditionally frame this dual narrative. Instead, students tend to get the laudable narrative of bravery, prowess, ingenuity, and individualism. Or, textbooks gloss over deeply problematic issues that actually resurface in contemporary society today. But, works of art can always provide the pointed narrative that textbooks attempt to dismiss. Dissenters have a place in the canon as well, and it is vital for educators to bring them in the fold in teaching American history and literature.
This unit is for teachers! These works have been curated for their social protest against American bureaucracy, especially in its moments of failure. It is important for teachers to fully read and study text BEFORE sharing with students. Please check the "temperature" of your audience!
This collection is to be used in conjunction with the novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The lesson concept spans the total of three 55 minute class periods for a middle school ELA course.
Students will begin by completing a pre-reading activity where they will analyze the artwork, Iceman Crucified #4through a "See, Think,Wonder" activity. Students will then discuss the overarching ideas or themes that they observed in the piece. This lesson will end with students making a prediction about the book, A Long Walk to Water, through previewing the cover/title and using information from the artwork to predict a possible theme of the story.
After reading chapters 1-4, students will then begin analyzing their predictions. They will also be introduced to a new piece of art, The Girl I Left Behind, to analyze in conjunction with another character in the book. Students will do a collaborative poem with the artwork. They will then work in pairs to analyze lines of text and draw similarities/differences between the character in the text and the girl in the painting.
This set of activities is designed to encourage students to think critically about how an artist’s race, background, and experiences might impact their ability to fairly and accurately tell the story of a different person or group - an "other."
Specifically, students will look at the creations of two white men - the painting Wi-jún-jon, Pigeon's Egg Head (The Light) Going To and Returning From Washington by George Catlin and the novella The Pearl by John Steinbeck - to analyze how the whiteness of these two artists might have affected their ability to fairly portray the indigenous people they sought to memorialize. Using primary source texts written by the artists themselves, students will conduct an inquiry into the possible motives and biases of these men in order to assess whether they, as white outsiders to the groups on which they focused, did or even could tell their stories accurately. The question students will be tasked with answering in writing as a culminating exercise is whether a white man can fairly and accurately tell the story of an indigenous people?
In terms of purpose, the study of the painting is intended to supplant a traditional anticipation guide to help students prepare to read The Pearl and also to provide a lens through which to analyze the text.
This is a collection of the art and resources used to help students become more familiar with the time period Of Mice and Men was set in. The goal is for the students use a historical perspective when reading the novel and to help them when discussing character motivation and theme at the end of the unit. It will provide them with a richer view into the novel.
Explores the ways in which a colonization takes place within social spaces as well as the effects of the male gaze in
The selected artwork and learning lab collection offers a historical approach to the transformation of Native Americans into white culture and society. It serves as a purpose to provoke discussion on the historical context of the Indian Removal Act, and gives students an understanding of the main character’s (from the novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) “modern day” internal conflict of erasing or eliminating his Native American culture to immerse into the lifestyle of a white teenager in a predominately white school.
As an introductory activity, students will engage in the see/think/wonder methodology to infer the artists’ purpose for the artwork. This initial activity will help scaffold students’ prior understanding and knowledge of the historical context of Native American history and the forced immersion into white culture. Therefore, after students have had ample time of using visual understanding skills to interpret the artwork, students can explore a “modern-day version” of Sherman Alexie’s image that showcases a juxtaposition of the main character’s internal identity conflict.Similar to the artwork, students will engage in the "connect, extend, and challenge" thinking activity. Students will make connections to the text and real-world connections as a culminating task. Lastly, students will discuss how it extended their thinking and a remaining challenge or wonder students still have. Using their remaining questions, this could lead to several extension activities.
Students can explore other Native American artwork in the learning lab, students can also use the "unveiling stories" strategy to learn more about the Carlisle school. The history of the Carlisle school connects and relates with the novel by adding historical context. Lastly, students can engage in teacher-made or student-made gallery walks using other Native American artwork or imagery to support the reading process of the paired text.
This collection is comprised of resources for introducing middle school ELA students to the concept of identity in art and literature. This was planned for use as an introduction to The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, so a special focus is given to Latinx culture and experience, but the resources could be used for any literature that addresses the topic of identity.
The resources in this collection can be used in whatever order you wish, but I have included my general plan and sequence for a three-day mini-unit. Each lesson is intended for a 45-minute class period for middle school English students, but could be extended or combined for longer periods or older students.
Day 1: Exploring the Concept of Identity
We begin with the painting Braceros by Domingo Ulloa, using the See/Think/Wonder visual thinking routine as a jumping-off point to lead the class to the topic of identity. The ideas recorded could remain as an anchor chart in the classroom as the class reads and discusses the novel. It would be interesting for students to revisit their initial ideas to assess how their concept of identity expands and changes through the reading. As an alternative or addition to the lesson, depending on the needs of your students, you could also use the Identity Worksheet handout provided as a metacognitive tool to assist your students in tracking the ways their thinking evolves and expands. This worksheet also encourages them to make connections with other works of art, literature and music from their past experiences; this can be done independently or in small groups.
Day 2: What Comprises Our Identity?
The goal today is for students to begin considering what factors determine or influence our identities. To begin class, students will be introduced to "Tenement Flats" using the "What Makes You Say That?" thinking routine. This will provide practice for students to make claims about the painting and provide evidence to support their claims. This will be the warm up for the day, but to extend time with the visual art, students could create a T-Chart or Venn Diagram for comparison and contrast with "Braceros."
Students will next listen to the poem, "Latino-Americanos: The Children of an Oscuro Pasado" by Xochitl (SOH-chee) Morales. After reading the poem, students will be invited to consider the stories they hear in the poem. Xochitl's voice tells one story, but what other stories do we hear? What stories are missing? IF the discussion does not naturally move toward identity, students should be invited to consider what comprises the poet's identity (for example, sense of self, sense of family, societal expectations, gender roles, home, community). Again, ideas could remain on an anchor chart for reference.
Day 3: What is the Author's Message about Identity?
On the final day, we will explore an excerpt from Cisneros' book ("My Name"). I have provided a handout with this excerpt. This could be an opportunity to guide students through close-reading techniques like intentional text marking, or students could do this work independently. After reading and annotating the text, students will be coached through the "Claim/Support/Question" reasoning routine to (1) provide an interpretation of the author's message or theme as it relates to identity; (2) provide support for the claim; and (3) extend their thinking by generating a question about what isn't explained or what information is missing, or what alternative points of view might exist.
I have provided some additional resources that could be added in to extend the time spent on this topic or used as journal or warm-up activities as the class continues Mango Street. These include an additional poem ("We" by Nathan M. Richardson) as a handout as well as a Youtube link to Richardson reading his poem, and a visual (typographic) prompt to use for the topic of identity. I have also included a video interview of Xochil Morales that might be useful for adding context, particularly because she is a very young poet and relatable.
Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way
Upward Bound Tech & Tour - Intro to the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access' Learning Lab
Taking a great portrait is more than just taking a quick snap of a face. It requires thoughtful contemplation and a variety of choices by the photographer. We'll examine a collection of photographs that illustrate various principles of portrait photography and that will help students to understand the parts of a digital artifact.
LENS 1 | One lens to consider when looking at an artifact is its context and the impression it gives you. Using "see, think, wonder" strategies, we consider:
- What do you see?
- What do you think about it?
- What makes you say that -- what evidence is there for that - on what are you basing your opinion?
- What does it make you wonder?
- Why does something look the way it does or the way it is?
LENS 2 | Analyzing great photographs to provide inspiration for your own photography pursuits
What makes a strong image?
- angles (eye-level, high angle, low angle, and bird's eye);
- light and shadow;
- shot length (long-shot, medium-shot, close-up, & extreme close-up);
- mood--capturing a feeling or emotion in a photograph;
- scale--how big or small subjects look; and
- sense of place--capturing the feeling of a place.
Click into each photo and on the "paper clip" annotation icon to read more information (metadata!)
We will then discuss publishing guidelines and other policies that will help students make their best collections.
Tags: portrait photography, decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, Project Zero
We live in a multicultural, multilingual, multinational America, which offers complicated, imposing, unsettling questions about American identity. There are no easy answers to what is an American identity or perhaps no answers at all. What is an American identity is an important subject in an ever changing America, and Smithsonian Institution exhibits and objects on display in various museums help us to seek answers to the question of what is identity and what is American identity.