Put the ARTS in STEM - From Egypt to South Africa, take a brief tour of the African Cosmos and have your students discover the intersection of Art and Astronomy in the southern hemisphere. Explore constellations only seen on the African continent. See why the Goliath beetle became a symbol of rebirth for the Egyptian scarab. Learn about celestial navigation by people and animals.
Create Your Own Constellation! Request Activity sheets for your classroom.
Submit your class constellations to our Student Gallery and be a part of your own school's online exhibition!
This collection explores our nation's symbols and how mission and squadron patches incorporate symbolism in their design. Students are then encouraged to create their own patch.
Grade 1 Social Studies: Civic Values 1.2
Students identify and describe the symbols, icons, songs, and traditions of the United States that exemplify cherished ideals and provide continuity and a sense of community across time.
Keywords: #airandspace, National Air and Space Museum, NASM, patch, logo, symbol, Tuskegee airmen,
Alaska is home to over 100,000 Indigenous residents who represent twenty distinctive cultures and languages. The map shows cities, towns and villages where most people live today, but depicts Alaska Native territories as they existed in about 1890, before the main influx of Euro-American settlers.
Map information is courtesy of Michael Krauss, Igor Krupnik, Ives Goddard and the Alaska Native Language Center (University of Alaska Fairbanks). Map courtesy of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center.
Easterners heard many stories about the dangers of traveling to the American west. Accounts of the great American desert as an almost impossible place to cross caused many to rethink leaving home. Albert Bierstadt and painters of the Hudson River School traveled the west and sent back their impressions of the landscape and wildlife.
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 Jazz. 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 jazz, read articles about Jazz, and listen to the read aloud Rent Party Jazz. 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.
Allensworth, CA. founded in 1908, represents the only all black township in California; founded, built, governed and populated by African Americans. Located in the great central valley (southern San Joaquin), it was founded to be a agricultural community and center of learning. Where, African Americans only 50 years out of slavery could become economically free. Due to lack of a dependable water supply, the untimely death of the Colonel and other factors the town's future was bleak. By 1918 the town began its demise struggling to survive. The historic portions of the town became a state historic park in the 1970's. It is formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historic Landmark.
Allensworth, CA. founded in 1908, represents the only all black township in California; founded, built, governed and populated by African Americans. Located in the great central valley (southern San Joaquin), it was founded to be a agricultural community and center of learning. Where, African Americans only 50 years out of slavery could become economically free. Due to lack of a dependable water supply, the untimely death of the Colonel and other factors the town's future was bleak. By 1918 the town began its demise struggling to survive. The historic portions of the town became a state historic park in the 1970's. It is formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historic Landmark. Here is a link to the park site, where you will find contact information for park ranger Steve Ptomey who developed this collection and manages the Allensworth State Historic Park.
Most people are familiar with the Farm Workers Movement but many do not know the long history of resistance in the fields. This activity will provide an introduction into the role Asians and Asian Americans played in providing food across the United States and the pivotal role they played gaining farm worker rights. #APA2018
You will find student instructions for each section on the arrow slide dividers. Click on each for instructions.
Throughout this experience consider the 3 Ys:
- Why might this snapshot of the role of Asians and Asian Americans in the fields matter to me?
- Why might it matter to people around (family, friends, fellow students, community)
- What might it matter to the world?
At the end of this activity focus on what it means to be an ally and revisit your Universe of Obligation activity.
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 Ancient Africa. 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 learn about Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mali. There are artifacts to explore and videos to watch. 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.
Students will use the elements of portrayal to analyze portraits of Amelia Earhart and listen to a speech to learn biographic details.
This collection focuses on the time when America joined with the Allies to defeat Germany in World War 2.
My compelling question is: What impact did the arrival of the Americans have in the occupied villages in France in World War 2?
During the colonial era in the United States, American Colonists and Native Americans, worked every single day if it is either with agriculture or as a merchant.
Not only did people worked hard every day in their lives in America, they also had fun in many ways. Music is one of the many ways they enjoyed their past time. Colonists and Native Americans alike had their own ways in playing music.
Native Americans where the first people to inhabit the United States. They have done many things like constructing their tribes, going to war with other tribes, hunt, and help grow their agricultural lands. There are also ways they enjoyed their past times, for example music. In the artifacts of this collection show how Native Americans interacted with their environment, the type of instruments they used to play music, and how they played music.
Colonists, like Native Americans, also had to work. Some colonists were indentured servants working for many years to pay off their debt to someone. Other colonists were farmers merchants, plantation owners, or blacksmiths. Each had to work hard for them and their family, but they enjoyed music in their free time. The artifacts in the collection shows the type of instruments they used, which are different form what the Native Americans use, and musical pieces they might have played at that time.
This collection contains supplemental artifacts and resources for Where Do You Stand? PROTEST, part of the American Experiments suite of educational resources from the National Museum of American History.
These interactive resources and games challenge students to think about their roles and responsibilities within their democracy. Where Do You Stand? PROTEST invites students to critically think about the nuances and complexities of issues and learn from the experiences and reasoning of their peers as they form their own opinions and responses to a range of prompts. The learning begins with the guiding question: What would you do to support what you believe in?
Visit Smithsonian's History Explorer to learn more!
With this collection, students will use a version of the Zoom In thinking routine to analyze several flags with an eye toward creating their own flag at the end of the lesson.
The Guiding Questions used in this lesson are:
-How did the United States flag change over time?
-Why do countries feel that it's important to have a single flag?
The Big Idea for this lesson is:
Simple symbols, like the those presented on flags, can represent a lot about a country's past and what makes that country unique.
In this lesson, students will begin by exploring the collection and answering, using the quiz tool, the questions embedded about the two early versions of the American flag. The questions push students to analyze each flag, consider how versions of the American flag changed, and think critically about how symbolism can be used in a flag to represent unique and/or historical aspects of a country.
Once students have completed the quiz questions, the teacher will call them together to discuss the evolution of the American flag and what the elements of the flag's current and former designs represent. The teacher will then turn the class's attention to the Washington DC flag and reiterate that its design was taken from George Washington's English ancestry. Using this as another example of a flag drawing upon elements of history, the teacher will make the point that the DC flag hasn't changed in appearance in over 80 years.
The class will brainstorm what they feel are the most important and/or interesting aspects of DC history based on what they have studied. They will then brainstorm symbols that could be used to abstractly represent elements of DC's unique past, status, and culture.
Once a number of good ideas have been generated, each student will have the chance to create their own version of the DC flag, either modifying the exiting version of creating a completely new design. On the draft sheets will be a checklist that focus's students attention on the most important aspects of any flag, namely its symbolism and its connection to the history of the place it represents.
If the teacher wishes to make this a longer activity featuring multiple drafts, he or she can consider looping in the art teacher to discuss concepts of sketching and design.
These classroom resources from different Smithsonian museums focus on American Indian history and culture.
Paintings and photographs that represent the Lakota, Inuit, Kwakiutl, Pueblo, and Iroquois tribes. This aligns with Virginia SOL USI.3b. Teachers may have students look critically at each image. Students can then create a claim or hypothesis of what tribe they think it represents, along with supporting details. Teachers should use the "what makes you say that" strategy (described on the first image). This is a great check for understanding or formative assessment of student learning.
Lesson plan for 5th grade (90 minutes) for use with Mike Wilkins Preamble, Schoolhouse Rock video, etc. #SAAMteach
Chinese American designer and artist Maya Lin (b. 1959) achieved national recognition as a Yale University undergraduate student when her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial won a national competition.
In this activity, students will analyze a unique artwork-filled room designed by Maya Lin, first using only a still visual with little context, then a hyperlapse video of the artwork's installation, then the artist herself discussing her process, materials used, and vision. Students will make predictions based on visuals, gradually learn about the context of the artwork, and reflect on how their perception of the artwork changed with the addition of new information.
This activity can be used as an entry point into studying Maya Lin's artwork and other artworks inspired by experiences with the natural environment. This activity opens with a Project Zero See-Think-Wonder routine and asks learners to look closely, prior to revealing additional contextual information. To learn more about other Asian Pacific American Artists, visit this collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/asian-pacific-american-artists/bW68eE1p6kHVzsC7#r
This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Keywords: Chesapeake Bay, Maya Lin, Asian American, marbles, Renwick Gallery, waterways
This activity will be completed at the end of The Crucible before watching the documentary Central Park Five about a modern day witch hunt. By completing the puzzle activity with an image from the Salem Witch Trials, the McCarthy Hearings, and the Central Park Five Court Case, students will find the common characters and motivations for which to focus in on the film. Their culminating task will be to jump into the portrait and write a letter home to their parents, sibling, or best friend. They will then be tasked with doing the same task each of the three days of the documentary.
The collection includes a chart that briefly informs the viewer of the main areas of the brain and their functions. Also, it includes an image from the movie "Inside Out," to inspire the ways how a person could visualize emotion. The learning objective is for students to be able to have an understanding of what emotions and to become a more positive person.
1. Go over the definition of emotion and look at the human brain chart to gain general information of the various parts of the brain.
2. On a piece of paper, write down the various emotions that you know and connect them with a personal daily action that you believe is relevant to that emotion (example: feeling happy when your pet greets you at the door).
3. Using the response from the previous step, write a journal entry reflecting on how your daily negative actions could change and/or how you can continue the positive actions.
4. Use your responses to draw and cut out different shapes from construction paper that represents your negative and positive emotions.
4. After completing these steps, speak with a classmate some of the actions you are going to take to be a more positive person.
Tags: brain; emotions; psychology; analysis
In times of crisis, who is considered an essential worker? What jobs are considered essential to keep society functioning? We have searched our collections for historical images to highlight and celebrate those who are necessary to keep society functioning.
These images may be viewed leisurely, or for a deeper dive, use the questions provided under the "How to Analyze an Image" square. Once you have finished viewing the images, make sure to consider the final reflection questions located in a square at the end of the Learning Lab.
Keywords: African American, NMAAHC, images, every day, black, history, essential, analyze, workers, labor
This student activity examines the importance of religion and social hierarchy in Ancient Egypt through the construction of pyramids. Details evolution over time and encourages cross-cultural comparison. Includes photographs, an artifact, a video, a reading-level appropriate article, and opportunities to learn more at the Met Museum website and Google Street View.
- How did the pyramids evolve over time?
- How does this evolution reflect the importance of religion and social hierarchy in Ancient Egyptian urban society?
Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "See Think Wonder," this activity explores multiple stelae, or funerary markers, from Ancient Egypt. Through analysis of these stelae, students will gain an understanding of: the different functions of stelae, their common characteristics, and how they fit into the larger picture of Ancient Egyptian funerary practice and afterlife beliefs.
Keywords: stela, stele, steles, stelai, memorial, commemorative, inquiry strategy, archaeology
In this student activity, analyze the timelessness of myth through three works of art by modern African American artists. Each artist, inspired by Ancient Greek myth, retells stories and reinterprets symbols to explore personal and universal themes. Includes three works of art, summaries of the myths they reference, and discussion questions. Also includes a video about the artist Romare Bearden and his series 'Black Odyssey,' that details Bearden's artistic process, the significance of storytelling in his art, and the lasting importance of 'Black Odyssey.'