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Found 6,881 Collections


Wheels and Axles


  • Identify the shape of a wheel
  • Experiment with differently shaped wheels   
  • Learn that wheels and axles help heavy things move 
Meredith Osborne

Digitized States of America - Botany

Postcards made by the Digitization Program Office (DPO) featuring a specimen from each state of the USA and the District of Columbia. The specimens were digitized as part of the Herbarium Digitization Project by DPO and the National Museum of Natural History. 

Luis J. Villanueva

Labor Organizing in the US

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. 

National Museum of American History

Mexican Art & U.S. History: Carmen Lomas Garza

This collection will provide an opportunity for students to analyze artwork, read background information, and connect art with historical events. At the heart of this activity is artwork created by Latino artist Carmen Lomas Garza. These paintings reflect the experiences of Garza's family and Latino life in 1980s America. In addition to image analysis, teachers could extend an opportunity for students to identify and discuss connections between Garza's art and the Mexican American experience from the 1960s to the present. This collection includes:

  • A timeline of U.S.-Mexican American relations
  • Video/audio of Reagan signing the 1986 Immigration Reform Control Act
  • And an overview of immigration reform via ABC-CLIO (requires subscription). 

#ethnicstudies #LISDSS

24A describe how the characteristics of and issues in U.S. history have been reflected in various genres of art, music, film, and literature;

Amanda Blake

A House Divided: Reconstruction

Political leaders and parties in the tense time after the Civil War proposed various plans for Reconstruction. By observing artwork of this period, students will learn how these plans affected the South (and North) and relationships between people of different races and geographic regions.

You will find guiding questions included in the additional text section of each artwork.

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Harlem Heroes

These selections offer a glimpse of the cultural richness and breadth of the Harlem Renaissance, and the contributions each figure made in shaping issues of identity and articulating black culture. 

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Ekphrastic Poetry

Students will learn how to write a poem inspired by artwork.

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Art and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

This lesson will help students understand applications of electromagnetic radiation in art conservation. In particular, students will learn art conservators use ultraviolet, infrared, visible light, and x-radiation to examine artwork. Properties of each form of radiation and its uses in art conservation will be introduced. Students will then solve problems. 

You will find guiding questions included in the additional info section of each artwork.

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Cultural Expressions: Art for Social Change

This collection features civic engagement, language arts, and visual arts activities using posters from the Division of Community Education of Puerto Rico (DIVEDCO). This Puerto Rican Poster Art was inspired by works created during Works Progress Administration (WPA). Scaled bilingual activities for grades 2-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Smithsonian Latino Center

¡Descubra! Hispanic Heritage

This collection features bilingual (English/Spanish) activities from ¡Descubra!, the Smithsonian Latino Center’s national public education program for kids, teens, and families. These activities were featured at previous Smithsonian Latino Center Hispanic Heritage festivals celebrating Latino art, music, and cultures. These resources can serve teachers and students grades 2-5, 6-8, and high school Spanish.

The activities help participants place themselves in the role of an artist, whether a poet, musician, or sculptor. There are also fun activities for caregivers and families in capturing family music memories through oral histories and archiving special memories with photographs. Through active learning and problem solving, students are fully engaged and better able to understand concepts being presented. This collection also includes video performances and interviews with Latino animators, artists, curators, dancers, and even educators, among others.  

¡Descubra! Hispanic Heritage promotes Latino arts and culture contributions while showcasing opportunities to become involved in cultural representation and different interests in these areas.

Esta colección resalta actividades bilingües de ¡Descubra!, el programa nacional educativo del Centro Latino Smithsonian para niños, adolecentes y familias. Estas actividades fueron presentadas en festivales de herencia hispana previos del Centro Latino Smithsonian que celebraban arte, música y cultura hispana. Estos recursos les pueden servir a maestros y estudiantes de grados 2-5, 6-8, y de clases de español de preparatoria (high school).

Las actividades ayudan a participantes imaginase en un papel de artista, fuese un poeta, un músico o escultor. Encontrará actividades divertidas para cuidadores y familias que captan memorias musicales de familia a través de entrevistas y otra sobre como archivar memorias especiales con fotos. A través del aprendizaje y resolviendo problemas, los estudiantes pueden entender mejor las ideas que se les presentan. Esta colección también incluye videos de presentaciones y entrevistas de animadores, artistas, bailarines, curadores y hasta educadores, además de otros.

¡Descubra! Hispanic Heritage resalta las contribuciones de la comunidad hispana al arte y la cultura estadounidense mientras promueve oportunidades para involucrarse en la representación cultural y las diferentes áreas dentro del campo.

Smithsonian Latino Center

Printable Activity Pages and Coloring Sheets

This collection includes: 

  • Printable Activity Pages (Each on a single theme, include word and number games, art exercises, and fun quizzes. With each activity, kids learn about something new, from the anatomy of the giant squid to the history of chocolate.)
  • Printable Coloring Sheets (Each with different museum objects from across the Smithsonian, including shells, flowers, beasts and more!)

Keywords: puzzles, vocabulary, presidency, elections, animals, play, crosswords, crayons, colored pencils, color

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Person, Action, Place Sort

Carolyn Tonnis

Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed

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.

Smithsonian Latino Center

"Piecing it Together: Austin Graffiti Art 1984-2004"

"Piecing It Together": Austin Graffiti Art 1984-2004 is an art exhibition focusing on the first three generations of Austin graffiti art, considered the foundation of what many call street art today. The show is organized by each decade which helped shape the backbone of Austin’s vibrant Graffiti Art culture. 1984-1989 is the dawning of Austin's hip-hop culture with high pressure Krylon cans and painting illegally in the streets. These originals were influenced by movies like Style Wars, Beat Street and WildStyle. This first generation understood the four elements of hip hop culture to be a community that embraced graffiti, break dancing, DJing and rapping. 1990-1998 saw a revival of graffiti art with crews forming such as NBK (No Boundaries Krew) which was seminal and a big influence around Texas and beyond. Moving into the 2000’s brought a whole new era of artists with evolving styles and perspective. Low pressure paint cans, a broader color palette, and the internet all allowed more production of and documentation of this previously mercurial art form. Masterpieces could be archived and styles shared with increased access to cameras and computers. Together this group of innovators laid the foundation for the inclusive, diverse, creative graffiti art scene we enjoy today. -Nathan Nordstrom

Nathan “SLOKE” Nordstrom is an Austin, Texas native who has been professionally producing graffiti art since the 1990s. Specializing in the use of spray paint, Sloke travels the world exhibiting and curating art shows, and producing murals for companies including: Apple, Facebook, Nike, Google, Red Bull, Tecate, Jose Cuervo, Pepsi, Scholtzsky’s, Nordstrom, Ray Ban, Pandora, Cartoon Network, Trouble Maker Studios, Univision, Time Warner, Vimeo, Fox Network, CNN, Reagan Outdoor Advertising, SXSW, Nikon, Toyota Scion, Ford Motors, F1 Circuit of the Americas, Rackspace, Tango, R.J. Reynolds, University of Texas at Austin, American Heart Association and many others.

Original gallery exhibit was at the Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) in Austin, Texas from January 24, 2020 until March 28, 2020. 

Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

Printing at Home

Producing printed products is a hobby that many Americans enjoy today, but technology has not always allowed the ease and affordability to enjoy this pastime. Before one-click internet publishing, before pocket-sized printers, and before word processors, there was the tabletop printing press.

In the 1860s the invention, manufacture, and distribution of tabletop printing presses expanded the hobby of self-publishing. Printing technology was once rarely found outside of printing shops and publishing houses, but the tabletop printing press allowed for publishing at home—or in any location. 

(This Learning Lab collection is a virtual reinterpretation of a physical exhibit in the National Museum of American History. Exhibit labels can be found by clicking the paper clip icon next to each artifact.)

Joan Boudreau

Southern Identity: Contemporary Argentine Art

These bilingual (English/Spanish) resources feature activities related to Argentine culture through the lens of contemporary art for families, middle school, and high school students. 

This digital collection is from an exhibition with the same name, organized by the Smithsonian Latino Center with Argentina’s Secretariat of Culture. Southern Identity presented an overview of the major movements and trends in Argentina’s national art scene since 1948 and is organized in four sections featuring political art, landscapes, national identities and abstraction. It was the largest survey of Argentine contemporary art ever organized in the United States and included paintings, drawings, sculptures, video art, photography and prints representing the work of artists working in Buenos Aires and throughout Argentina’s provinces. 

Southern Identity was part of the public program and exhibition series Argentina at the Smithsonian 2010 that commemorated Argentina’s bicentennial.

Smithsonian Latino Center

Making History, Sharing Culture Featuring Disney-Pixar's "Coco"

This collection can serve students grades 2-5 as well middle school and high school students interested in Latino culture or as part of a Spanish project exploring family traditions. Activities include family or classroom activity on collage making with family photos and writing your own museum object label. Videos include a special performance from Grupo Bella and interviews with artists, chefs, curators, and educators that formed part of the Making History, Sharing Culture Featuring Disney-Pixar's "Coco" Event. An on-stage conversation featuring Illustrator Ana Ramirez and Character Modeling Artist Alonso Martinez of Disney-Pixar's "Coco" is also featured.

Making History, Sharing Culture featuring Disney-Pixar's "Coco" was presented as the Smithsonian's feature Hispanic Heritage event by the Smithsonian Latino Center and the National Museum of American History in October 2018. A portion of the travel of the Smithsonian Latino Center and this program was generously provided by Southwest Airlines. Additional support was provided by The Walt Disney Company.

Smithsonian Latino Center

Westward Expansion

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. 
National Museum of American History

People Sort

Carolyn Tonnis

SAAM Family Day Crafts

Art-making activities for at-home fun. Join us for family days when the time comes!

Elizabeth Dale-Deines

Beyond Monarchs: Animal Migration

This collection starts with monarch butterflies and their migration. My hope was to remind the second graders about what they have already learned about monarchs. 

Once the students' background knowledge is activated then the students can participate in the Tuning In activity. Students will analyze the art piece using the Harvard's Project Zero Thinking Routine: See, Think, Wonder. 

Once the students have made their thinking visible then the class will find more out by learning about the art piece from the artist and learning about bird migrations. The students will engage in the Harvard Global Thinking Routine The 3 Ys.

To push the students beyond flying animals the Going Further section will expose the  students to migrations of animals on land, air, and see. The students will end this section using the Thinking Routine Think, Puzzle, Explore. Students can then have time to research about animals on their own.

Jennifer Woollven

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

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 rain. 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 weather, the water cycle and thunderstorms. Families can also read articles about rain, learn about how native peoples interact with rain, and listen to a read aloud in the hopes to keep families from feeling bored. 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

Astrophotography: Student Activity in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics)

In this student activity, you’ll use specialized image processing software to bring out visual details from images of objects like the Moon, Sun, star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies. After you analyze your own image(s), you’ll have an opportunity to research related astronomy information and to share your scientific and artistic interpretations of your telescope data.
Jessica Radovich

Journey through an Exploded Star: An Online Interactive

In this collection, students will explore the life cycle of stars and learn about the connection between elements and space. They'll explore real data that provides evidence for the dispersal of several elements produced by the explosion of massive stars, specifically through the Cassiopeia A supernova. Then they’ll put their knowledge into practice by navigating the remains of the supernova in the online interactive “Journey through an Exploded Star.”

  1. The activity begins with “DISCOVER." The students will go through a series of slides, learning first how the visible spectrum of light is only a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, about the different telescopes scientists use to view the electromagnetic radiation across that spectrum, and finally how they've used that data to form a composite view of our universe, specifically through a 3D model of the Cassiopeia A supernova.
  2. In the "EXPLORE" activity, students examine the 3D visualization of data, compiled by astrophysicist Tracey DeLaney, to understand how and why scientists study supernovas such as Cassiopeia A: to gain a comprehensive picture of the cosmos.
  3. The “PLAY” online interactive then takes the students on a first-person flight through the center of this exploded star. The interactive is split into two parts: The first part is a 2 minute guided fly-through, where Kim Arcand, project lead of the original 3D visualization found in the collection, explains the different forms of light and the elements that are traceable under those spectrums. The second is a free explore option, where students are able to manipulate the different spectrums by adjusting filters as they choose. Both parts of the interactive reinforce what they’ve previously learned within the collection about light across the EMS. This interactive works across browsers and requires no software downloads. Also included is a 360 video tour that works on mobile devices and Google Cardboard.
  4. Finally, three extension activities are included. The first allows students to take photographs using real MicroObservatory robotic telescopes located at Smithsonian Observatory sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Amado, Arizona to create their very own authentic astrophotographs. They’ll use specialized image processing software to bring out visual details from images of objects like the Moon, Sun, star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies. The second, "Recoloring the Universe," is a suite of resources that use astrophysical data to teach basic coding. The third resource, "How to Be a Scientist: Careers in Astronomy" highlights the career and data visualization work of astronomer Kimberly Arcand. 

This online activity could be used to augment study about the forms of radiation light can take, learning about supernovae and what happens after a star explodes, as well as learning about some of the different careers in science that are available (astrophysicists, astrophotographers, engineers, and visualization experts). As with all Learning Lab collections, it is built to be freely modified and adapted to fit your specific needs. 

Jessica Radovich
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