This collection was designed by the Education Department of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery as a basic introduction to Japanese painting for educators. It is a collection of artworks from the museum's permanent collection that draw from a wide variety of formats, styles, media, and subjects that represent many of the major trends in Japanese painting. Each image includes key information about the artwork, as well as ideas for class discussion, lesson components, and/or links to resources such as videos and articles which provide additional information about the artwork. Feel free to copy the collection and adapt it to your own use.
Keywords: Buddha, Hokusai, Mount Fuji, watercolor, bodhisattva, Fugen, Sōtatsu, cherry blossoms, seasons, Genji, crane, emaki, byobu, kakemono, ukiyo-e, map, teacher, student, autumn, Japan, Japanese art, landscape, Edo period, Buddhism, Heian period, water, ocean, wave, boat, flower, insect, Muromachi period, river, surimono
This bilingual collection features activities, publications, and videos for middle and high school students as well as scholars and life-long learners on Central American archaeology and history through ceramics from 1000 BC to the present.
For thousands of years, Central America has been home to vibrant civilizations, each with unique, sophisticated ways of life, value systems, and arts. The ceramics these peoples left behind, combined with recent archaeological discoveries, help tell the stories of these dynamic cultures and their achievements. Cerámica de los Ancestros examines seven regions representing distinct Central American cultural areas that are today part of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Spanning the period from 1000 BC to the present, the ceramics featured, selected from the National Museum of the American Indian's collection of more than 12,000 pieces from the region, are augmented with significant examples of work in gold, jade, shell, and stone. These objects illustrate the richness, complexity, and dynamic qualities of the Central American civilizations that were connected to peoples in South America, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean through social and trade networks sharing knowledge, technology, artworks, and systems of status and political organization.
This collection features the past exhibition, Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed, a collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Artists can abstract people and objects in many ways. Which methods of abstraction can you identify in these artworks?
- Fragment (or explode; break into pieces)
- Rearrange (move the parts around)
- Magnify (change the scale)
- Distort (change the shape)
- Morph (change into something else)
- Arbitrary Colors
Art making prompt: arrange some objects to draw. Then choose an abstraction method to create an artwork based on the objects you see.
Look at the artworks and decide which are realistic and which are abstract. Play the sorting game and put the images in the right folder.
How does the past influence the present and future? Compare forms in contemporary architecture with those of buildings from ancient and Renaissance times. What similarities can you find?
I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring my favorite animal, bats. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about bats, read articles about bats, and listen to the read aloud Stellaluna. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.
If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.
This playlist on Labor Organizing in the U.S. is designed for self-guided learning with intermittent check-ins for high school age students. The learning tasks are divided over five days, designed for 30-35 minutes per day, and build on each other. However, students are able to work on this playlist at their own pace. They will engage with primary and secondary sources as well as visual, video, written, and audio texts. Students have the option to complete the tasks online by connecting through Google classroom or print PDF versions of each formative and summative assessments for work offline. By the end of the week, students will create work of art that represents work people are doing today to create change in a current social issue.
- Formative assessments are represented by a chevron (Learning Check In, Tasks, and Guides).
- Summative assessments are respresented by a circle (Quiz and Final Task).
- PDF versions of all formative and summative assessments are in the tiles immediately after the digital versions.
Images of children performing tasks that help their family. How are these children helping others?
What do you do to help out at home? Draw a picture of yourself being a helper.
There are many ways that families have fun together. Have you done some of these activities with your family? Draw or paint a picture of you and your family enjoying an activity together.
Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will investigate two photographs, taken from different angles, of Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu aboard the USS Missouri as they signed the surrender that would officially end WWII.
Keywords: world war 2, world war ii, general macarthur, carl mydans, primary source, ww2, japanese instrument of surrender, potsdam declaration, inquiry strategy, japan
See: Where are these people? What are they doing?
Think: Have you ever done something like that outside?
Wonder: I wonder what it would be like to go there. What would I see, smell, taste, touch, or hear?
Choose an image and imagine yourself being in that place. Then use that as inspiration for a drawing, painting, or collage.
This collection features bilingual Create-It! STEM activities from ¡Descubra!, the Smithsonian Latino Center's national public education program for kids, teens, and families. These activities can be recreated with materials found at a local grocery or hardware store at home or in the classroom. These bilingual resources can serve teachers in grades 2-5, 6-8, and high school science.
The activities help participants place themselves in the role of scientist as they work on a STEAM-H project. Through active learning and problem solving, students are fully engaged and better able to understand the concepts being presented. This collection also includes interviews with science experts as well as note cards featuring profiles of U.S. Latina/os that have made notable contributes to STEM fields.
¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert promotes STEM education for youth, with a specific focus on Latino youth, by showcasing Latino role models in STEM fields and discussing career paths and different interests in these areas.
Latino Patriots in American Military History | Patriotas Latinos en la Historia Militar Estadounidense
This bilingual (English/Spanish) collection highlights Latino contributions in American Military History. Resources serve grades 7/8 and 9/10 social studies, U.S. History, AP Military History, Spanish Language courses and life-long learners. They include critical thinking, writing, language arts, visual arts, historical inquiry activities. Wars and topics covered include:
- American War of Independence
- Texas Revolution and the Mexican American War
- Manifest Destiny
- U.S. Expansionism
- Civil War
- World War I
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
This playlist on "What makes a place? Memorials in the U.S." is designed for self-guided learning with intermittent check-ins for elementary school age students. The learning tasks are divided over five days, designed for 30-35 minutes per day, and build on each other. However, students are able to work on this playlist at their own pace. They will engage with visual, video, and written texts. Students have the option to complete the tasks online by connecting through Google classroom or print word doc versions of each formative and summative assessments for work offline. By the end of the week, students will create a work of art. Modify the lessons as needed.
- Formative assessments are represented by a chevron (Learning Task and Learning Check In).
- Summative assessments are represented by a circle (Final Task).
- Word doc versions of all formative and summative assessments are in the tiles immediately after the digital versions.
*Social Studies and Visual Arts standards vary by state for elementary grades. We recommend educators and caregivers consult their student and child's state standards for these two subjects.
I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring the Olympics. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about the Olympics, the Special Olympics and athletes who competed. Families can also read articles about the Olympics, learn about the first Olympics, and explore the amazing athletes who have competed to be the best. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.
If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.
In the lesson in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, students closely examines four of the 13 million photographs in the Smithsonian. The pictures represent four important steps in the history of the medium: the introduction of portrait photography, the invention of a photographic printing process, the capture of instantaneous action, and the advent of home photography.
Click on the PDF icon to download the issue.
The Annie Appel collection at the NMAH Photographic History Collection consists of forty-two gelatin silver portraits of people who attended various Occupy protests.
Copyright Anne Appel
These resources can be used in an activity that introduces a lesson on Japanese-American Internment during World War II.
1. To begin, show students Roger Shimomura's painting entitled Diary: December 12, 1941. Without providing any background information, use the "Claim, Support, Question" routine to have students make claims about what they think is going on in the artwork, identify visual support for their claims, and share the questions they have about the painting. Document responses in three columns on large chart paper or a whiteboard.
2. Following this initial conversation, share the title, artist's name, and date of the painting. Ask students to consider the date in the title, and discuss what significance this date might have. If they don't figure out that this date was five days after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, share that information. Share with students that this painting is part of a series Roger Shimomura created based on the wartime diary entries of his grandmother, Toku, who was born in Japan and immigrated to Seattle, Washington in 1912. Along with thousands of other people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast during World War II , Toku and her family were forcibly relocated to an internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Roger was a young boy during World War II, and remembers spending his third birthday in the Puyallup Assembly Center on the Washington state fairgrounds, where his family was sent before being transferred to Minidoka Reservation in Idaho for the duration of the war.
3. Jigsaw Activity, Pt. 1. After sharing this context, tell students they will each be receiving a primary source document that relates to the painting in some way. Distribute copies of "Woman at Writing Table," the Superman comic, the Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry, and Toku Shimomura's diary entries. Divide students into four groups, one per document. Give students time to analyze their document as a group and discuss how it affects their interpretation of the painting.
4. Jigsaw Activity, Pt. 2. Next, create new groups so that each group includes students who received each of the four sources. Ask students to briefly report on their document and what their original group discussed as its possible meaning and relation to Roger Shimomura's painting.
5. Return to the painting as a large group, and discuss how the primary source documents have influenced students' reading of the artwork.
6. Optional additional resource: If time allows, have students watch excerpts from Roger Shimomura's artist talk at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
1. Can you guess who made these? Look at each picture and decide which type of maker created it: Painter, Sculptor, Potter, Printmaker, Weaver, Architect
2. Can you guess what culture or time these things are from? Write your guess, then click on the picture. Click the i symbol to learn the answer.
3. Choose a picture and tell why you think this object is special or useful.
4. How do you think it expresses something important to the people of that culture?
This playlist on Westward Expansion of the United States is designed for self-guided learning with intermittent check-ins for middle school age students. The learning tasks are divided over five days, designed for 30-35 minutes per day, and build on each other. However, students are able to work on this playlist at their own pace. They will engage with primary and secondary sources as well as visual art, videos, and written texts. Students can complete the tasks online by connecting through Google classroom for each formative and summative assessment.
By the end of the week, students will create an original piece that an expresses an evidence-based argument that expresses their opinion how well the impacts of westward expansion align with its goals.
- Formative assessments are represented by a chevron (Learning Tasks and Daily Check Ins).
- Additional processing questions are included with select resources, marked by a question mark in the upper left hand corner of the resource tile.
- Google Doc versions of all formative and summative assessments are in the tiles immediately after the digital versions.
This collection will explain the changes brought to American Life during the Industrial Revolution.
"No one plans to become a refugee—to flee your home because your life is in danger. Yet today, there are 25.9 million refugees, more than the world has seen in nearly a century.
There are many reasons a person might become a refugee.
Maybe you live in a country torn apart by war, and your house was bombed to rubble.
Maybe you live in a place where you and your family are being attacked for your religious beliefs.
Maybe you live in a region plagued by famine, and you are facing starvation.
Or maybe you are like 15-year-old Bilan, and you were chased from your home by violence."
Lewis, K. (2019, September). I Live in a Refugee Camp. Scholastic Scope.
As you read Bilan's story, look at the photos and artwork included in this collection. These include all types of refugees from many locations and times in history.
Choose one photo or document that speaks to you. Research it by looking at the "more info" tab. You may also conduct your own personal research. You can use the questions below to guide your research and thinking.
- What was the primary reason these people were fleeing?
- What made them refugees?
- How does this particular document make you feel?
- How can you make connections between the experiences of the people in the documents and Bilan's experience?
Write a (minimum) one page essay in response to this collection and the story My Life as a Refugee. Share it with me via Office 365.
What can we learn about ancient China by studying artifacts? What does the intricate detail of works of art suggest about values and beliefs in ancient China? In this Learning Lab Collection, students will study ancient Chinese works of art via Project Zero Thinking Routines. Working in groups, students will be assigned to either research ancient Chinese bronze bells or ancient Chinese bronze vessels and make inferences about ancient Chinese values and beliefs based on their research. Then, inspired by taotie, mask-like design patterns of ancient Chinese bronze objects, students will etch their own zoomorphic creatures into metal foil.
This Learning Lab Collection contains a lesson plan, images to research, Thinking Routines, design worksheet, and sample final artwork. Download the pdf Lesson Plan located in the "Teacher Materials and Lesson Plan" section first for instructions and art materials needed.
Tags: metalwork; etch; repoussé; vessels; bells; ritual; Shang; Zhou; dynasty; China; composite animals
Welcome to the Grade 4 Beliefs Unit Collection. Please enjoy. Below there is information about:
- How the lesson was used specifically at Washington International School (WIS) in Washington DC in 2019
- The role of STEAM at WIS
Additionally, within the collection, the markers will help guide the teacher through each component. The collection is broken up into: Educating the teacher team (preparing for the unit), STEAM teacher resources, Student activities, and Student learning extensions.
Enjoy and all feedback is welcomed.
Washington International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB), Primary Years Program (PYP). I am the STEAM Specialist who integrates 21st century skill inquiry projects, hands on science and engineering, and digital tools/technology. This collection is to support many teachers who will contribute to content for this unit. The Language specialists, art teacher, design technology, STEAM Specialist and physical education.
STEAM at WIS:
My role will be to host an experience that role-plays early civilizations and their interactions with sun, moon, and stars. Students will interpret their experience and create a piece of art that demonstrates their translation of the experience. The follow up will be to help the students connect their experience with ancient cultures. Then, the conversation will further develop to challenge the students to think how science changes our understanding of our universe. The overall theme is to encourage students and give them confidence to explore various belief systems, challenge their own understanding of the world through their beliefs, experiences, and science.
These exercises scaffold learning to align student inquiry to the Social Studies standards:
- Distinguish between personal beliefs and belief systems (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
- Define the elements of a belief system (creed, codes of behavior, rituals, community.) (AERO CC+ G5 p22 4.5.f)
- Identify the major religions of the world in terms of their beliefs, rituals and sacred texts. (referenced: AERO CC+ G6 p30 4.8.f)
- Reflect upon how beliefs affect the individual and society (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
Important to know: The teachers at WIS took the students on two days of field trips to visit various areas of "worship" in the DC/MD/VA area: Buddhist Temple, Mosque, Jewish Temple, Catholic Church, and African American Christian Church. Students had worksheets to complete for each location that included observations of icons, the use of shapes in the visual devotional symbols, and to draw the various religious icons. After, they engaged in discussion about their experiences. If your school does not have the ability to do an elaborate field trip like this, we recommend having devotional leaders and/or parents visit as subject matter experts to demonstrate their systems of faith, icons, devotions, and symbols.
- I used this collection to train the teachers about the new thinking routines (Beginning slides)
- There are samples from students learning about Sun, Egyptian use of sun in their beliefs (art and architecture)
- Students looked at Egyptian sun use and modern NASA sun data to inspire them for their STEAM Challenge
- Their STEAM Challenge was to create a pyramid (cardboard) with a devotion (clay), and decorate with sun symbols (crayons/markers).
- Our students just completed a cardboard challenge (Cain's Arcade - check out on Youtube) so they were cardboard construction "experts". Therefore, they only had 40 minutes for their challenge. You will need to either have a lesson on cardboard construction before, or give them more samples and/or time. Hypothetically, this could be a 1/2 day project for students.
- The goal is then for students to look at other cultures and other NASA data (Incas (or other Native American tribes) African Tribes, and/or Australian Aborigines, etc. and have them do the same STEAM challenge (format) by creating a model structure decorated by symbols inspired by both indigenous symbols and modern NASA data (sun, stars, planets, or Earth's Moon). Therefore, they will have a "Maker Collection" that demonstrates various engineering styles as well as belief systems.
International Baccalaureate Transdisciplinary Unit of Inquiry: Who we are. Beliefs - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships, including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Central Idea: Humans have common beliefs that attempt to answer life’s big questions.
- The main line of Inquiry this collection will align with is: Global religious beliefs and practices
The following subject teachers plan to do the following:
- Art = Beliefs and metaphors with clay
- Digital Technology = Building sacred structures
- STEAM = Engineering and Science of sacred structures globally and historically
Global thinking routines: Step In, Step Out, Step Back; Beauty and Truth; Unveiling Stories
STEAM Challenge: Students can further their inquiry from ancient beliefs with their experiences with modern organized religion into modern spirituality by analyzing the exhibition for Burning Man Festival. Students will complete a STEAM Challenge to build their own sacred structure that honors their own belief systems.