Lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to the lives and works of Louisa May Alcott and Samuel Clemens through portraits as well as through their writings. Students come away with a better understanding of how the events of one's life can be an inspiration for creative writing.
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This issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom includes two lessons from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC). The first follows the SEEC model of introducing new concepts with familiar items. In early-algebra exercises, students organize a collection of random buttons, counting and multiplying them according to attributes. In the second lesson, the students work with a collection of seashells to see how sorting and classifying relates to the work of natural scientists.
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In a lesson plan in this 1986 issue of Art to Zoo, students analyze portraits for an idea of the family structure that was changing with industrialization, urbanization, immigrations, and other trends. Click the PDF icon to see the issue.
In what ways was Rachel Carson an innovator? She diligently pursued her goals as a female scientist and author and sparked the environmental movement with her book "Silent Spring." As you look through this collection, consider the characteristics of innovators. What innovative characteristics do you share with her?
For more on the characteristics that make up an innovator, look at the Heinz History Center website. You can even take a quiz and find out what innovator you are most like:
tags: Pittsburgh, science, environment,Silent Spring, Chatham, Maine, Fish and Wildlife Service, #BecauseOfHerStory
In this set of lesson plans, students look for meanings behind artworks in the Smithsonian collections. Click the PDF icon to download.
This 1988 issue of From Art to Zoo includes activities related to the work and working conditions of child laborers in the early twentieth century. Click on the PDF icon to download the issue.
This 1980 issue of Art to Zoo explores the storytelling potential of textiles and the ways textiles can be used to enliven many areas of the curriculum. The textiles range from household items to the Star-Spangled Banner to an Egyptian mummy's wrap. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.
This 1995 issue of Art to Zoo includes printable maps and classroom/take-home activities. Students learn how ocean currents influence weather patterns and climate. They conduct an experiment on the differing heat capacities of water and air, and find and label port cities around the globe. Below are some of the port cities represented in artworks from Smithsonian galleries.
This 1976 issue of Art to Zoo offers ideas for activities before a classroom visit to a museum.
Included is a student chart on museum careers and tips on introducing students to abstract art.
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This 1979 issue of Art to Zoo demonstrates that the ancient art of puppetry can be an effective means of integrating creative activities—writing, acting, crafts—with the traditional core of studies. Click the PDF icon to download.
Playing Historical Detective: Great-Grandmother's Dress and Other Clues to the Life and Times of Annie Steel
In this 1981 issue of Art to Zoo, students become detectives piecing together the
life of a nineteenth century woman by examining primary source documents and
artifacts. Click the PDF icon to download.
"Blacks in the Westward Movement," "What Can You Do with a Portrait?" and "Of Beetles, Worms, and Leaves of Grass"
The premier (1976) issue of Art to Zoo contains three sections on three different subjects: the experiences of African Americans in westward expansion, the use of portrait art in the classroom, and the ordinary lawn as a habitat for plants and animals. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.
This 1991 issue of From Art to Zoo introduces kites and kiting into the classroom. Students to learn of the history of kites, write kite poems and stories, and build their own kites. Click on the PDF icon to download the issue.