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Found 6,902 Collections


How Did Angela Davis Inspire a Movement?

In 1970, activist Angela Davis was charged with murder. A movement arose to free her, and her time in jail Her time in jail inspired her to work to change the prison system. 

Because of Her Story presents a YouTube miniseries where students speak with Smithsonian curators about four women who shaped American history and culture. In How Did Angela Davis Inspire a Movement?, Kemi, a student, talks with Kelly Elaine Navies, oral historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

See more YouTube videos from the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, Because of Her Story.#BecauseOfHerStory

Because Of Her Story

How Did Mia Hamm Inspire More Women to Play Sports?

Mia Hamm helped popularize soccer in the U.S. and inspire a new generation of athletes.

Because of Her Story presents a YouTube miniseries where students speak with Smithsonian curators about four women who shaped American history and culture. In How Did Mia Hamm Inspire More Women to Play Sports?, Kamau, a student, speaks with Eric Jentsch, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, about Hamm's legacy.

See more YouTube videos from the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, Because of Her Story. #BecauseOfHerStory

Because Of Her Story

How Did Kitty Cone Change Disability Rights?

In 1977, 13 years before the American with Disabilities Act, Kitty Cone and other disability rights activists occupied a federal building in San Francisco. They demanded the government protect their rights.

Because of Her Story presents a YouTube miniseries where students speak with Smithsonian curators about four women who shaped American history and culture. In How Did Kitty Cone Change Disability Rights?, Ren, a student, speaks with Katherine Ott, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, about why Cone’s work matters.

See more YouTube videos from the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, Because of Her Story. #BecauseOfHerStory

Because Of Her Story

Subject: The Beach


This is a selection of photographs from the Photographic History Collection related to the beach.

For additional images, search

Keywords (subject): beach, beaches, sand, shore, shoreline, boardwalk, ocean, sea, lake, bathing suit, bathing costume, swimsuit, sandcastle, Miami, Atlantic City, pier, dock, swimming, beach umbrella, tanning, tan line, sunbathing, tourism, vacation, holiday

Keywords (photography): snapshot, fine art photographs, documentary photography, souvenir photography, stereoview, stereograph, glass plate negative, advertising, press print, nude study, Pictorailism, Burk Uzzle, Rudolph Eickemeyer, Jr, Elliot Erwitt, Ray K. Metzker, Edward Weston

NMAH Photographic History Collection

"what is feminist art?" 1976 responses

Responses from the 1976 questionnaire "What is Feminist Art," as included in a 2019 exhibition of the same name.

Sarah Archino

"What is Feminist Art?"

Responses to the questionnaire, "What is Feminist Art?" from 1976 and 2019.

Sarah Archino

In Mid-Sentence at the National Portrait Gallery

Photographs are often replete with words that remain unheard. “In Mid-Sentence” presents a selection of photographs from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s collection that depict moments of communication: intimate confessions, public speeches, exchanged jokes, political confrontations, lectures and more. Photographs featured in this exhibition encapsulate pivotal moments, such as John F. Kennedy’s televised speech for the 1960 Democratic National Convention or Walter Cronkite’s clandestine 1971 meeting with Daniel Ellsberg at the time of the publication of the “Pentagon Papers.” The exhibition provides the missing script for these otherwise silent voices, granting another means for understanding these interactions by placing them within their socio-historical contexts. The exhibition is curated by Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs, National Portrait Gallery.


Briana White

Self Portraits

Paige Tibbe

The Ontario Lakers: Teamwork in Urban Environments

Did you know that Washington, DC had their very own Lakers? No, not those Lakers.

The Ontario Lakers were a community sports team based in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. This collection aims to get kids thinking about teamwork and how outdoor environments can be designed to make a place for community. Discover more about the Ontario Lakers in the sources and suggested activities below.

Included here is a photograph of the Ontario Lakers playing ground, a baseball signed by the team and interviews with Mary and Ronald Pierce (sister and brother to Walter Pierce, the leader of the Ontario Lakers). The sources are from the Anacostia Community Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

  • Study the museum sources to learn about the Ontario Lakers.
  • "What's the Story" encourages students to think about the big ideas represented in the sources by analysing a sample news article and answering comprehension questions using the Harvard Project Zero thinking routines.
    • Extension task: Write an article for the your student newspaper about a team (eg. sports team, scout troop, gardening group) in your city or neighborhood or city. Does this team make your neighborhood a better place? Why? In what ways?
  • The "5W and 1 H" activity is a guided reflection on the social and emotional benefits of being part of a team.
  • By taking a walk "In Your Community," students can discover the continued relevance of the situations faced by the Ontario Lakers: how urban communities inhabit outdoor places and how common resources can build community.
  • These ideas are put into action with the "Plan a Park" activity, as students are empowered make decistions that transform their neighborhood.

#MuseumFromHome #ChildrenAsCitizens #UrbanPlanning #Environment #Baseball

Celine Romano

Photographer: Grob, Marco


This is a collection of photographs by photographer Marco Grob from his series, Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience, published in Time magazine on September 9, 2011.

The photographs are large, depicting his subjects larger than life-sized. Here is a mix of public officials, members of the armed forces, and private citizens, with varied roles, experiences, and traumas related to life after September 11, 2001. 

Copyright held by Time Magazine and Marco Grob.

Keywords: portraiture, journalism, teddy bear, political intrigue, political policy, military policy, veteran, injured, disabled veteran, interpreter, national leaders, intelligence community, spy, protest, grieving mother, religion, patriotism, memorial, tribute, national reflection, Iraq, Muslim, chaplain, helmet, 9/11

NMAH Photographic History Collection

The Toaster: Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

This collection was made for a Kindergarten Class that was exploring a common object, a toaster. The class started by using a thinking routine from Agency by Design, a part of Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero. The used the thinking routine Parts, Purposes, Complexities to thinking deeply about the toaster and generate questions about it. This collection provides additional toasters from different time periods to push the Kinder student inquiry further. The use of the thinking routine See, Think, Wonder also helps generate thinking about the objects.

Ellen Rogers

Photographer: Tartt, Jo


This is a collection of photographs from the Photographic History Collection of Polaroids by Jo Tartt, Jr. These photographs depict newspapers in newspaper boxes in Washington, DC during the time of the Iraq War.

For additional photographs, search

See also, Learning Lab Polaroid collection.

Keywords: newspaper, front page, photojournalism, newspaper box, above the fold, war photography, war time civil experience, protest, headlines, New York TimesWashington PostWashington ExaminerNew York PostDaily News, USA Today, US Army, military troops, Saddam Hussein, 

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Format and Process: Ippertypes


This a collection of Ippertype samples, a photo mechanical process. The patent was issued to John W. Ippers assignor to Albert Henry, December 30, 1904, patent number 785,735.

The image Ipper used to demonstrate his process, the Ippertype, was based on an image called Cardinal d'Amboise from 1826 by Nicephore Niepce. 

"Ippertype printing --The object of my invention is to make natural or artificial subjects with graduated deposits of printing-ink in relief-printing, intaglio-printing or planographic printing and by a process which includes photographic means and mechanical means without hand drawing or engraving and without any half tone screen"

Keywords: photomechanical, photo mechanical printing

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Rishika Garg: 1920s and 1930s Artifacts

The purpose of this project is to illustrate what I believe to be the most vital, important, and best representing points of the 1920s and 1930s, and to provide my commentary as to why I believe what I do.

Rishika Garg

Leanne Catolos: 1920s and 1930s Artifacts

To highlight the decades of the Roaring Twenties and the Dirty Thirties by using the artifacts to represent life and society of the time

Leanne Catolos

What is female imagery?

A mini collection of responses to the questionnaire, "What is Feminist Art?" from 1976 and 2019.

Beth Fraser

Animal Adaptations

Generative Topic: Animal Adaptations

Essential Questions:  

How do organisms live, grow, respond to their environment and reproduce?  

How and why do organisms interact with their environment and what are the effects of these interactions?  

How can there be so many similarities among organisms yet so many different kinds of plants, animals, and microorganisms?  

What are the roles of organisms in a food chain?   

How do the structures and functions of living things allow them to meet their needs?

What are characteristics that allow populations of animals to survive in an environment?

How does the variation among individuals affect their survival?

Understanding Moves: Describe What's There, Uncovering Complexity, Reason with Evidence

Thinking Moves: See Think Wonder, Parts Purposes Complexities

Lesson Focus:  

Students will investigate that animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction and will engage in engineering and design.  Students build a model and use their understanding of how animals are adapted to survive in a particular environment.

Prior Learnings/Connection:

Students have prior knowledge about ecosystems, animal classifications, basic adaptations such as means of obtaining diet, protection, and movement.


Organisms interact in feeding relationships in ecosystems.

Organisms may compete for resources in an ecosystem.

For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

Other characteristics result from individuals’ interactions with the environment. Many characteristics involve both inheritance and environment.

Many characteristics of organisms are inherited from their parents.

When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

Aquisition of Knowledge and Skill


Producers (plants, algae, phytoplankton) make their own food, which is also used by animals (consumers).

Decomposers eat dead plant and animal materials and recycle the nutrients in the system.

Adaptations are structures and behaviors of an organism that help it survive and reproduce. 

Organisms are related in feeding relationships called food chains. Animals eat plants, and other animals eat those animals.


Make observations to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.

Use evidence (e.g. measurements, observations, patterns) to construct an explanation.

Identify the cause and effect relationships that are routinely identified and used to explain change.

Observe and identify structures and behaviors that help an animal survive in its environment.

Present results of their investigations in an organized manner.

Make a claim and supporting it with evidence.

Synthesize information from more than one source.

Assessment Evidence:

Performance Task: 

This collaborative project gives students the opportunity to take part in the systematic practice of engineering and design to achieve solutions to problems. During a life science unit, fourth grade students learn that for any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.  Students then apply these core scientific ideas to demonstrate understanding as they design, test, and refine an animal that is well suited to survive in its environment. By integrating content with practice, students are better able to make sense of science.


Students will create a  presentation in which they showcase their Animal design and explain how it is well adapted to survive in its environment.

Learning Activities:

During See Think Wonder students engage in observation of  animals as the foundation for greater insight into structure and function.  Students first look closely at an animal to fully observe and notice before interpreting.  Then students can begin to make interpretations based on their observations.  Students use Smithsonian Collection resources, such as videos, 3D models with pins/annotations, articles to further explore blue crab structures and behaviors and how they help the animal survive in its environment.   Students then use Parts Purposes Complexities routine to develop understanding of the concept of adaptation - a structure or behavior that improves an organism's chance of survival.  Students study the blue crab environment and as they consider how people changing the crabs' environment have affected the blue crab population.  To assess understanding, students complete the Animal Adaptations design challenge.


Darlene Smith

Student Version of Prehistoric Climate Change and Why It Matters Today

In a lesson in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, students do the work of a team of paleontologists studying a time of rising carbon dioxide and rapid global warming during the Eocene epoch. By examining fossils of tree leaves, and then incorporating the findings into a mathematical formula, they are able to tell average annual temperatures 55 million years ago. Really!

Click the PDF icons to download the issue and additional materials.

Darlene Smith

New Student Copy of Forgotten Elephants of Deep Time with Paleobiologist Advait Jukar

Program Details

  • December 12, 2019
  • Shows are ~45 minutes long and stream at 11am and 2pm ET
  • The program is free, but registration is requested.  


The earliest elephant relatives originated in Africa about 60 million years ago and dispersed to every continent on earth, except Antarctica and Australia. There are about 165  known elephant species from the fossil record, and scientists estimate that there would have been many more that we haven't found yet, over the whole history of this special group, called a clade. In Earth’s more recent history, between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago, there were 16 species of elephants and their relatives living at the same time around the world, including at least 7 in the United States. Today, there are only three species of elephants that remain: the African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana), the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Populations of all three species are declining, with Asian elephants at a much higher risk of extinction.

Today’s elephants are part of the order Proboscidea which consists of modern elephants and their extinct relatives such as mastodons, mammoths, and gomphotheres. All of the animals in this group have a proboscis, or trunk, that they use to eat and drink. While today there are only two surviving elephant genera, the African and Asian elephant, their evolutionary history is much more diverse.

Paleontologists use fossil elephant teeth to understand the animal’s diet and feeding behavior. There are two main types of teeth: high crowned and low-crowned teeth.

  • High-Crowned Teeth: Animals that consume tougher, more abrasive foods are likely to wear down their teeth over time, and thus have evolved to have higher-crowned teeth as a result. These animals typically have an herbivorous grazing diet; they graze grasses.
  • Low-Crowned Teeth: Animals that eat softer food have less wear, and therefore have low-crowned teeth. These animals typically have an herbivorous browsing diet; they browse branches, eating soft leaves.

Darlene Smith

Angela Gopez 1920s and 1930s artifacts

The purpose of this project is to find the most important things that shaped the 1920s and 1930s in the United States.

Angela Gopez

Malia Brooker: 1920s and 1930s Artifacts

This collection of artifacts has been put together to represent the objects and innovations of the 1920s and 1930s. These were influential years in the development of American industries and society. People began to use their voices more freely and stand up for what they believe in. Another important aspect of this time was entertainment and techonology. These artifacts will illustrate the 1920s and 1930s.

Malia Brooker
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