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Found 854 Collections

 

Do symbols mean the same thing in every culture?

Plains Native people have always depicted star images on their clothing, tipis, and containers.

Formative Task: In a class discussion list three ways Western cultures think about stars. Use this collection to discover what stars mean to the Lakota and other Native people.

Summative Performance Task: Use the star quilt pattern to create a symbolic quilt that represents your school.


National Museum of the American Indian Education Office
15
 

Do our national symbols accurately reflect our nation?

After the War of 1812, a set of new national symbols were revered. These symbols, including the flag and the song that would be come the national anthem, demonstrated a sense of pride in a nation that had now defeated the British twice and would be an experiment in liberty and freedom.  Use the items in this collection to learn about the history of these symbols. Do they accurately reflect the ideals of the nation in the early 19th century? Do they accurately reflect the realities of life in the nation at that time?

Lately, the national anthem and athlete protests during the anthem have been the subject of some controversy. What are your personal feelings about the flag and/or anthem? Consider how learning the historical background of the song might impact your opinion on these anthem protests. 

Kate Harris
10
 

Do I Terrify? Sylvia Plath and Katharine Hepburn in Self-Portrait

Although they are primarily known for their other artistic pursuits, both Sylvia Plath and Katharine Hepburn were avid amateur artists. Despite differences in their ages and professions, the two share other similarities as well: both women were born into privilege in New England, both had formative experiences with death in their childhoods, both attended prestigious women's colleges, and both have come to be viewed in popular culture as feminist icons. This collection includes portraits and self-portraits of both women, examples of some of their professional successes, and information on how those successes were defined by the demands of others. How do their self-portraits allow us to understand them beyond their mythology? How can they help us to unpack their various images - public, private, historical, fabled? 

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

#NPGTeach

Haley Potter
18
 

Discovering Korea Through an Object

This collection was created as an introduction to Korea and its culture by focusing on one object in the Freer/Sackler Museum.  "Water dropper in the form of a duck." Interdisciplinary lesson for Media (information literacy, research skills), Art (calligraphy), and Music (children’s songs).  

Susan Schmidt
6
 

Discovering Four Asian Countries Through Celadon Ceramics

In this collection, beautiful celadon ceramic pieces are used to help students explore the art of Celadon. While learning more about the ceramics students will also
 explore the following things: kingdoms, personal objects of value, burial practices, cultural similarities and differences, religious and ceremonial pieces, political influence, kings and noble men,  dynasties, artistry, skilled craftsmanship, treasures, geography and the continent of Asia.

This collection is not comprehensive but hopefully will serve as a starting point to encourage students to research and study  more  about some aspect of Asian-related ceramics, arts, geography, history, cultures, customs or trade . Hopefully  it will encourage interest and value in  field trips to Museums such as the Smithsonian Freer Gallery, as well as short-term /long-term study abroad trips to Asian countries.


Eniola O
14
 

Discover: Buffalo Soldiers

Utilizing primary sources and other material, students can explore the subject of Buffalo Soldiers and their role in American history.

Keywords: NMAAHC, African American, soldiers, westward, buffalo soldier, primary sources, multiple perspectives

National Museum of African American History and Culture
14
 

Disabled Doesn't Mean Unable

George Pagano

Four – Six 45 minute Class Periods

Lesson Overview:

This lesson plan unit is built around the exploration of identity for individuals with disabilities. Students will be asked to examine several items in the collection and answer the following essential questions:  How can unfair/fair depictions of an individual with a disability affect their identity?  How can positive depictions empower an individual?

This theme will be combined with a component of advocacy and change: How can one advocate to make a difference? What causes a change in one's belief system? How can a portrait or image inspire change? How can a portrait or image document change?

Lessons are designed for an 8th grade interdisciplinary team approach: English, social studies, and art class. The plan for this unit includes the synthesis of visual images within the historical context of the promotion of rights for individuals with disabilities.

The subject of self-identity - the recognition of one's potential and qualities as an individual will be explored as well.  

George Pagano
16
 

Dinosaurs are DINO-mite!

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 dinosaurs. 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 dinosaurs as well as explore PBS EON videos about dinosaurs. Families can learn about these prehistoric animals and consider all the evidence scientists have uncovered. 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.

Ellen Rogers
45
 

Digital Science Games, Apps, and Simulations

Digital learning resources from the Smithsonian Science Education Center

Smithsonian Science Education Center
17
 

Digital Interactives in Science

Digital learning resources from the Smithsonian Science Education Center

SmithsonianScienceAshley
17
 

Dieter Rams Good Design

Back in the late 1970s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him: “An impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.”  Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design? His answer is expressed in his ten principles for good design.

To understand what makes design good, we first must analyse how designers understand good design. You can do this by exploring the ‘Ten principles of good design’ by Dieter Rams (Vitsoe 2017). 

Learning Goals:

  • Explore the principles of good design developed by Dieter Rams
  • Identify the impact of Dieter Rams on past present and future designs
  • Analyse Dieter Rams objects to identify how the principles of good design are applied
  • Consider how the principles of good design can be used to develop design criteria essential for measuring the success of design ideas
Jasmine Kassulke
27
 

Did the Black Panther Party Help or Hurt the Civil Rights Movement?

#TeachingInquiry

1. What did members of the Black Panther Party look like?
2. How did the Black Panther Party help their communities?
3. How was the Black Panther Party viewed by those outside the group?

Richard Duffy
30
 

Destination Moon: Suiting Up for Space

How did the space suit come to look the way it does? From the United States Navy's Mark IV pressure suit to the Apollo AL7 model, this collection explores its evolution. Investigate the hotspots in each image, and watch the videos included. Try to put yourself in the place of an astronaut - what are their needs, and wants? 

Next, investigate the roadmap for the developing Mars One mission. How will a Mars mission differ from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs?

After exploring the collection, see if you can redefine the "space suit" problem for the next generation of space explorers - specifically those going to Mars.  Will astronauts need more mobility? More protection? What insights did you gain from looking at this collection? Write down the problem and any critical information gained. 

Additional Activities: 

1. Come up with as many solutions as you can to the defined problem. Don't worry about testing them all - let your imagination run wild - and challenge yourself to come up with lots of different solutions. 

2. Talk with a partner to see which solution has the most merit between you both. Refine your idea based on this conversation. 

Finally, prototype! Use simple, inexpensive materials to model your design. 

Christina Ferwerda
7
 

Destination Moon: NASA Art

Established in 1962, the NASA Artists Cooperation Program gave several artists unrestricted access to several NASA facilities. The goal was to communicate the emotional tone and the cultural significance of space exploration.

This collection uses the "Connect Extend Challenge" visible thinking strategy developed by Project Zero at Harvard University. This strategy encourages students to make connections between new ideas and prior knowledge. It also encourages them to make a personal connection to an artwork or topic.

This lesson helps teachers create connections between works of art and the study of space exploration, and to help teachers use art as a force for developing students’ critical thinking.  

Observe and discuss the first image as a class. Use the "Connect Extend Challenge" to discuss the image as a class. Ask the following: 

  • How is the artwork or object connected to something you know about?
  • What new ideas or impressions do you have that extended your thinking in new directions?
  • What is challenging or confusing? What do you wonder about?

Provide any background knowledge that enhances the conversation, using the metadata information about the NASA Artists Cooperation Program. 

Next, divide the students into 4 groups. Have them use the same questions to discuss one of the 4 images that deals the Apollo 11 launch. Wrap-up the discussion by having each group share out key thoughts and responses. Repeat the same process with the 4 images that represent Mission Control (note, Mission Control Images are from a selection of Apollo missions). 

Finally, students should choose one of the final 4 images to investigate, using the "Connect Extend Challenge" to guide their exploration. Their work could be shared verbally in a paired group, or written as a personal essay. 


Christina Ferwerda
13
 

Destination Moon: Apollo Around the Country

This collection explores regional contractors that contributed to the Apollo Program. Union Carbide, North American Aviation, and RCA are just three of the many private firms that contributed goods and services to NASA during the race to put a man on the Moon. 

Have students examine the map of NASA contractors. Ask: 

  • What companies do you know? 
  • Which are closest? Farthest away?
  • What do you wonder about these companies? Their locations? 

Have students investigate the images in the collection. Discuss: 

  • What do you see? What do you think about that? 
  • What types of products or materials were needed on the Apollo mission? 
  • How did companies take advantage of their association with Manned Spaceflight? 

Using the map, encourage students to find items produced by other manufacturers on this database by searching the manufacturer name. Compare the products associated with different companies - what types of products do they see, and what types of products are missing? Are there advantages to having certain things produced closer to the launch site? What types of items could be produced farther away? 

Invite students to find other Apollo-related advertisements from the period using the Internet. What can be said about these advertisements? 

Invite students to create their own advertisement based on the items they find here, as well as research about the NASA-contracted company. 

Christina Ferwerda
12
 

Destination Moon Crew Guide: Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin

This topical collection explores the life of Lunar Module Pilot  Buzz Aldrin; it includes images, artifact images, video and websites. Through browsing this collection, students will learn about Aldrin's life, in order to appreciate how his work as a pilot and astronaut impacted his personal and private affairs.

This collection is inspired by the Unveiling Stories thinking strategy introduced by Harvard's Project Zero, which invites students to reveal multiple layers of meaning in stories: 

  • What is the story?
  • What is the human story?
  • What is the world story?
  • What is the new story?
  • What is the untold story?

Have students look at each image, video or resource, and read its descriptions. Ask students to think about or respond to any quiz questions included.

Tags: moon, moon landing, Apollo 11, Apollo XI, Aldrin, space, space race, astronaut



Christina Ferwerda
6
 

Destination Moon Crew Guide: Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong

This topical collection explores the life of Mission Commander Neil A. Armstrong; it includes images, artifact images, video and websites. Through browsing this collection, students will learn influential aspects of Armstrong's life, in order to appreciate how his work as a pilot and astronaut impacted his personal and private affairs.

This collection is inspired by the Unveiling Stories thinking strategy introduced by Harvard's Project Zero, which invites students to reveal multiple layers of meaning in stories: 

  • What is the story?
  • What is the human story?
  • What is the world story?
  • What is the new story?
  • What is the untold story?

Have students look at each image, video or resource, and read its descriptions. Ask students to think about or respond to any quiz questions included.

Tags: moon, moon landing, Apollo 11, Apollo XI, Armstrong, space, space race, astronaut


Christina Ferwerda
11
 

Destination Moon Crew Guide: Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins

This topical collection explores the life of Command Module Pilot Michael Collins; it includes images, artifact images, and websites. Through browsing this collection, students will learn about Collins' life, in order to appreciate how his work as a pilot and astronaut impacted his personal and private affairs.

This collection is inspired by the Unveiling Stories thinking strategy introduced by Harvard's Project Zero, which invites students to reveal multiple layers of meaning in stories: 

  • What is the story?
  • What is the human story?
  • What is the world story?
  • What is the new story?
  • What is the untold story?

Have students look at each image, video or resource, and read its descriptions. Ask students to think about or respond to any quiz questions included. 

Tags: moon, moon landing, Apollo 11, Apollo XI, Aldrin, space, space race, astronaut

Christina Ferwerda
8
 

Designing Alternative Energy Solutions

Climate change is a huge issue facing our society. Our students have expressed tremendous concerns about the global impact of the climate crisis.

As part of this learning lab, student teams are tasked with designing and prototyping an alternative energy solution for NYC.

Before embarking on their own designs, students will use the resources to learn about earlier climate campaigns, what scientists and engineers are doing today and will explore models, prototypes and solutions that are already existent.

sara gottlieb
28
 

Designing a Better Voting Machine: 1880s to Today

Objects are time capsules; they embody values, aspirations, or problems of a particular time and place and mark a stage of technological evolution. This student activity examines voting machines used in U.S. elections over more than a century. Looking closely and understanding the historical objects’ design evolution will inform students’ design of new machine intended to overcome barriers to voting in today's elections. 

The first five images are voting machines from the late 1800s to the early 2000s. Students will explore their parts, purposes, and complexities, then read the Washington Post article "Broken machines, rejected ballots and long lines: voting problems emerge as Americans go to the polls." Finally, students will design (and may prototype) a voting machine.

This collection incorporates two Project Zero Agency by Design routines: Parts, Purposes, Complexities, a routine for looking closely; and Imagine If..., a routine for finding opportunity. Questions in each routine are open-ended and should be used to spark peer discussion in small groups or as a class. For more information on how to use and facilitate each routine, see their resource tiles at the end of the collection, as well as the Agency by Design website.

Keywords: vote, voter, maker, making 

Tess Porter
13
 

Design with Empathy: Michael Graves Case Study

This collection is designed to explore the essential question: How do designers understand and experience the needs and wants of stakeholders? 

It looks into the design with empathy approach used by Michael Graves to design and test the Prime TC wheelchair for use in a hospital environment.  

Objectives:

  • Examine methods for developing empathy for your stakeholders  
  • Gain familiarity with the design process 
  • Understand what the steps of the design process might look like in application 

Unpacking Questions: 

  • What kind of things did the designers research?
  • What methods did they use to research and document primary data? 
  • Who worked with the designers on this project? What value did this add to the project perspective?
  • Which stakeholders did the design specifically accommodate? 
  • How were stakeholder needs prioritised?
  • What were the main issues the designer was trying to combat? 
  • List the steps of the design process evident in the case study.


Jasmine Kassulke
22
 

Design Storytelling: Creating Narratives around Design Objects

Try something new with us. Selecting from the objects in this collection, pulled from current Cooper Hewitt exhibitions Contemporary Muslim Fashions and Willi Smith: Street Couture, craft a narrative, real (researched) or imagined. Think of it as a creative exercise using creatively-designed objects. 

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
25
 

Design it Yourself: Potato Stamp Pattern Making Inspired by Eva Zeisel

Get to know the life and work of designer Eva Zeisel. Use her motifs and patterns as inspiration to design your own tessellating pattern using a potato stamp and acrylic paint!

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
23
 

Design It Yourself: Design Transportation

Follow along to design a way to make transportation more comfortable. 

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
13
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