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Found 942 Collections

 

An Introduction to Origami Paper Folding

In this activity, students will be introduced to the art of origami paper folding by learning how this tradition has been passed down through generations from an interview with an artisan and how to make an origami paper crane from a fellow student.
Ashley Naranjo
4
 

An Introduction to Hawai'ian Lei Making

All Polynesians have a history of making and giving of lei. From early times, Hawaiians have fashioned lei from shells, seeds, bone, and feathers and from more temporary materials such as leaves, vines, and a few indigenous flowers. Colorful flowers and greenery are braided, twisted, wrapped, or strung together to create lei for the neck, head, wrists and ankles. Lei are made and given for marriages, birthdays, luaus, and funerals. Leis are also given on informal occasions to express gratitude or warmth of friendship. In this collection, you’ll learn how to make your own lei and explore other examples of leis made from a variety of natural materials.
Ashley Naranjo
6
 

How Posters Work

This collection is inspired by Cooper Hewitt's 2015 book and exhibition How Posters Work, written by Ellen Lupton, presenting works from the museum's astonishing collection of over 4,000 historic and contemporary posters.

In this student activity, you'll learn the basics of poster and advertisement design: how to tell a story, excite the eye, and use visual language to create emotional, effective design. At the conclusion of the lesson, you'll create a film poster of your own. This collection is perfect for graphic designers, illustrators, and enthusiasts alike. All you need is a passion for design, a curious eye, and love for a visual story.

Watch Ellen share her own poster design process in a hands-on design lesson here, or explore the original Cooper Hewitt exhibition

Cody Coltharp
12
 

Sheet Music

Sheet music from the National Museum of American History's collection.

This collection was created for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Arts Professional Development Day. #SmithsonianMusic

Naomi Coquillon
51
 

Teaching Resources: Drama

This teaching collection includes a variety of resources including video performances, lesson plans and blogs with teaching ideas for bringing role playing to the classroom, as a means of making connections of the past to the present. Includes program ideas from the History Alive theater program at the National Museum of American History and the Portraits Alive program at the National Portrait Gallery.

This collection was created for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Arts Professional Development Day.
Ashley Naranjo
23
 

Multiple Perspectives: Artwork of the Great Depression

In this activity, students will explore what life was like during the Great Depression through the perspectives of multiple artworks. After using looking strategies to examine six paintings, students will write a short essay comparing and contrasting these artworks while considering what art can reveal about life in particular time periods.

Big Ideas: 

  • How did perspectives regarding life during the Great Depression differ during that historical period
  • How can you see these differing perspectives through artwork created during the historical period?

Keywords: Public Works of Art Project, Federal Arts Project, Works Progress Administration, New Deal

Tess Porter
7
 

Visual Art and Music

This collection includes a 10-minute podcast produced by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as complementary images and video featured within the discussion highlighting connections between visual art and music. Thematic questions include: How can music inspire visual art? How can art be translated into music? Lesson ideas for connecting visual art design elements and musical elements for students follow.

This collection was created for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Arts Professional Development Day.
Ashley Naranjo
8
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 2

Set 2 of 4
Jeff Holliday
44
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 1

Set 1 of 4
Jeff Holliday
42
 

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years in Forty Portraits

This collection includes a unique series of portraits of four sisters. Every year, for forty years, one of the sisters' husbands captured the four women in a black and white photograph. A New York Times article introduces the project, paired with the forty photographs and some discussion questions considering elements of portraiture that are captured in these images.
Ashley Naranjo
43
 

Writing Inspiration: Using Art to Spark Narrative Story Elements

The Smithsonian museum collection inspires many to research the history behind artifacts, but this collection explores the use of art and artifacts to spark creative story writing. Students will choose artifacts to craft characters, a setting, and a plot conflict to create and write a narrative story.

Targeted Vocabulary: Narrative, protagonist , antagonist, character, character traits, setting, plot, climax, and conflict.

After reading and analyzing several narrative stories for story elements such as character, setting, plot, climax, and conflict, students will use this collection to begin planning their own narrative stories.
Individuals or partners will first view the portraits and discuss possible stories behind each face before choosing a protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters. They may begin to discuss and imagine character traits for each subject.
Next, the student will select a landscape setting in which the story may take place. The writer will describe the landscape, imagine a time period, and name the location.
Finally, the student will either choose an action artifact around which to build a major plot event, or have that slide as a minor scene in their story.
Students may use the Question Formulation Technique to garner ideas for background stories behind the faces. http://rightquestion.org/
Once the story elements are in place, the students may begin to draft narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

With the artifacts selected as the major story elements, the students may begin crafting their narrative story. The artifacts can then be displayed as illustrations in the published narratives.
Kathy Powers
66
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 3

Set 3 of 4
Jeff Holliday
32
 

Expansion (1800-1860), Set 4

Set 4 of 4
Jeff Holliday
38
 

Pittsburgh at the 1893 Columbian Exposition

The first world's fair exhibited the latest advancements in technology, food production, and the arts. Pittsburgh was represented by Westinghouse, Heinz, Brashear, and Ferris.
Arthur Glaser
36
 

"Think Different": Steve Jobs

What does it mean to be influenced by the world around you? This collection looks at the technical innovations, design influences (Japanese Zen Buddhist, Italian, Bauhaus); location influences (Yosemite, Silicon Valley); and cultural and musical influences (Bob Dylan, Edwin Land) which inspired Steve Jobs to "think different" and create digital products which changed the world.

Keywords: inventor, biography, technology, innovation

Tracie Spinale
46
 

From Silk Worms to the Silk Road

This is a collection of resources that could be used to support a lesson on the discovery of silk and the impact of the silk road(s). Artifacts include images of silkworms and the silk-making process, websites with information about the luxuries traded on the Silk Road, and video summary.

Possible guiding questions include:
-Why did silk become such an important commodity in China?
-How did the development of the silk trade routes impact both Europe and Asia?
-In what ways do artifacts from Europe and Asia reveal the cultural connections created by the Silk Road?
Kate Harris
19
 

My Smithsonian Closet

You could be exceptionally well-dressed if the Smithsonian were your closet.
Kate Harris
29
 

American Bald Eagle

How did the bald eagle become the symbol of America? What symbolism did Native Americans find in the bald eagle?
This Collection of resources on the American bald eagle includes images, videos, sculptures, and stamps that depict the American bald eagle.
Linda Muller
17
 

Tools for Meditation

Are you interested in meditation? This topical collection includes a variety of tools for meditation, including mandalas, music, prayer beads, labyrinths, and a video of a guided meditation and pranayama (breathing) practice. Web links to additional background information are embedded throughout.
Kate Harris
16
 

The Music in Poetry

Lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to the rhythms of poetry. The focus is on two poetic forms that originated as forms of song: the ballad stanza, found throughout British and American literature, and the blues stanzas of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. Poetry is put into terms of movement, physical space, and, finally, music.

Click the PDF icon to download the issue. Click on the boxes (then click again on "View original") for audio samples of ballads and blues from the Smithsonian Folkways archives.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
6
 

A Shape-Note Singing Lesson

Shape-note singing is a tradition that began in the American South as a simple way to teach the reading of music to congregations. Each note head has a distinctive, easy-to-remember shape. What a great way, then, to introduce the reading of music to children!

In this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, "A Shape-Note Singing Lesson," you'll find a lesson plan and a background essay. Click the PDF icon to see the issue. Click the last box for audio samples of shape-note hymns from the Smithsonian Folkways archives.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
7
 

Identifying Characteristics of Renaissance Art

This collection will teach you about how Renaissance artists changed the style and focus of art in the period between 1300 and 1600 CE. When you are done, you should be able to thoroughly answer the question: How did the art of the Renaissance reflect the new emphasis on humanism and science?

First, review the painting, Raphael's School of Athens, and learn about the new techniques used.
Then study the additional works in the collection and try to use them as examples of the different techniques. Some of the works are from the Renaissance period and others are more modern interpretations. A worksheet is included at the end of this collection to record your work.
Finally, test your knowledge with a quick quiz. Use your worksheet to help!
Kate Harris
11
 

Visual Connections between Buddhism and Ancient Greece

Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "See Think Wonder," this activity investigates the cultural connections between Ancient Greece, Rome, and Gandhara* as seen through a sculpture of the Buddha created in the 2nd century CE. Buddhist sculptures from Gandhara are significant not only because they show the extent of Alexander the Great's influence on Asia, but also because they are some of the first human depictions of the Buddha in the history of Buddhist art.

Even without a deep knowledge of the art of this period, students can make visual observations and comparisons that reveal the blending of Asian and Greco-Roman culture in this particular region.

*Gandhara is a region in what is now modern Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Keywords: greek, kushan, mathura, india, inquiry strategy, classical, roman, gautama, siddhārtha, siddhartha, shakyamuni, lakshanas, signs of the buddha

#visiblethinking

Tess Porter
6
 

The Process of Invention

This collection uses objects from the National Museum of American History to describe the process of invention--from the "think it" step, when inventors come up with a great idea, to the prototyping or "create it" step, all the way through the "sell it" or marketing stage.

This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Tricia Edwards
7
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