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Found 801 Collections

 

Reading Companion: Pandas

This collection is a reading companion to two articles included here as PDFs - "A Symbol of Peace: The Giant Panda" [Faces; May 2007], "Something New at the Zoo" [Ask; July 2015], and "Panda Handstands Get High Marks" [Ask; March 2005].

Several videos feature panda behavior and habitat. The TED talk by a Smithsonian scientist raises questions about our love affair with pandas.

Together the resources offer several options for comparing and contrasting informational text with science content.
Michelle Smith
17
 

Reading Companion: Robots

This collection is a reading companion to two articles - "Robot Zoo" [Ask; Nov 2011] and "Me, Myself, and My Android Twin" [Muse; Nov 2012]. Students are asked to investigate these articles, alongside other objects, videos, and articles, to examine what issues robot designers are attempting to address with their inventions, and how they are trying to address them. At the end of the activity, students will be asked to write a paragraph or more explaining which inventions they think are the most important and why, citing resources in this collection as evidence.
Tess Porter
22
 

Runaway in an Unknown Land: The Underground Railroad in Western Pennsylvania

Prior to the Civil War, enslaved people had little chance of securing their freedom. There were rare cases of freedom being purchased by the enslaved individual or by some benefactor. Even rarer was the granting of freedom papers by the master. For those who desired to taste freedom, the choice of running was often the only viable choice. Runaways faced incredible dangers en route including the possibility of capture.
Arthur Glaser
29
 

Clothing Across Cultures

This teaching collection was made to accompany the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum lesson plan "Saris, Kimonos, Togas & Smocks: Exploring Clothing Across Cultures." In addition to saris, kimonos, togas, and smocks, huipils and kanga are used as examples of culturally-specific clothing.

The lesson asks students to complete think about the cultural importance of clothing, and then to research a specific type of clothing and build a presentation around that research. Students might use this collection as a source for images for their presentation, to inspire research topics, or as a common basis for discussion with their peers.
Kate Harris
32
 

International Picnic Day- June 18

This collection celebrates the #HashtagHoliday of #InternationalPicnicDay. A picnic is an outing or occasion that involves taking a packed meal to be eaten outdoors. Often, picnics take place at urban parks or on the shores of a beachfront and are enjoyed in large groups, typically families. In this collection, you will view images of picnic scenes and a vibrant picnic poster series from the 1970s and 1980s. This collection includes a creative writing prompt around describing event sequences and using imagery in your writing. It was adapted from the Smithsonian's collection of "Summer Picnic" posters https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/summer-picnic/X7Rh5kBN7xYwnDoH.
Ashley Naranjo
26
 

What Makes You Say That?: Interpretation with Justification Routine with a Historical Photograph

This collection uses the Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking routine, highlighting interpretation with justification. The strategy is paired with a photograph from the National Portrait Gallery. Once you have examined the photograph and answered the questions, view the original resource and the short video with a curator to check and see if your interpretation was correct. How does viewing the photograph with the museum label change your interpretation?

Suggestions for teachers regarding visual clues for this image are in the "Notes to Other Users" section.
Ashley Naranjo
3
 

What Makes You Say That?: Interpretation with Justification Routine with an Artwork

This collection uses the Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking routine, highlighting interpretation with justification. The strategy is paired with an artwork from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Once you have examined the artwork and answered the questions, view an archived webinar with a museum educator to compare your interpretation. How does viewing the artwork with the museum label change your interpretation? How did what you noticed in the artwork compare with what the educators shared?

Suggestions for teachers regarding visual clues for this image are in the "Notes to Other Users" section.

#visiblethinking

Ashley Naranjo
3
 

Narrated Stories from Around the World

This topical collection includes fourteen narrated stories, many include visuals, as well. These stories could be used with young children to compare narrative arcs, identify key elements of storytelling, or simply for enjoyment of listening to short stories from around the world, including tales from the Chinese, Blackfoot, Ho Chunk, Cheyenne, Cree, Anikara, Iroquois, Painte, Popul Vuh, artist Romare Bearden's reimagined version of "Homer's Odyssey", Inka, Tlingit and Ghanaian (Asante, Ashanti).
Ashley Naranjo
15
 

Running Fence

This teaching collection includes images and video of Running Fence, a work of installation art by Christo and Jean Claude. Included at the end is a lesson plan that engages students in analysis of Running Fence and details the steps for a student-designed installation art work at their school.

Learning goals include:
• Define installation art
• Analyze the process and results of the work of Jean-Claude and Christo to develop Running Fence
• Use the design process to develop a proposal for an installation art piece
• Use persuasive speaking skills to pitch your plan to the relevant stakeholders in your school community
• Plan and execute a piece of installation art on your school grounds, working cooperatively with a team
Kate Harris
46
 

American Melting Pot - American Corner Trieste

ESL Lesson Plan - Middle School
Denise Tecchio
12
 

Slavery in Western Pennsylvania

How was freedom achieved in PA?

Students will compare/contrast a slave's choice to runaway for freedom or wait for gradual emancipation.
Jason Smith
7
 

Portraits, Visual and Written

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.

Click on the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
16
 

Flashcard Activity: Defining Portraiture

This collection can be used online or printed out so that each student receives a portrait to examine. In looking closely at their assigned portraits, students might ask questions, such as: Can a portrait be of a character vs. a real person? Does a portrait have to include a person's face? Does the sitter have to know the portrait is being created? What forms can a portrait take? These questions might help them in creating a list of attributes of portraiture. Students can then compare with their classmates and compare and contrast how their lists of characteristics might differ. By first examining one of the portraits in depth and then examining a breadth of portraits together, the class might work together to create a common definition for "portraiture". Students may be interested in comparing their common definition with a National Portrait Gallery curator's take on "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" in the video included at the end of this collection https://learninglab.si.edu/resources/view/60783#more-info

This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see the resource tile). 

Ashley Naranjo
56
 

STEAM/MAKER Earth Day Program - Pollinators

This collection was specially designed for American Spaces, and it contains a variety of Smithsonian content resources and suggested maker/hands-on activities related to April’s theme of Earth Day. It aims at promoting learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts & design, and math (STEAM) through the application of curated content from the Smithsonian Institution.
Daniela Lyra
23
 

Artful Animals: Leadership

What traits make a good leader? What can we learn about ourselves by looking at our relationship with animals? This student activity explores these questions through animal symbolism in African art, focusing on an embroidered Fante “Cloth of the Great.” Includes multiple objects, short-answer questions, an mp3 of a folktale read aloud, and a creative writing activity.

Tag: Africa

This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
14
 

Artful Animals: Storytelling and Symbol

This student activity explores African animal symbolism through visual art and folktales. Twelve animals are profiled, including leopards, primates, spiders, chameleons, and the mythical chi wara. Includes objects, an audio folktale ('The Leopard’s Drum’), short answer questions, a creative writing exercise, and opportunities to learn more.

Tag: Africa

This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
20
 

English Language Learning with Artifacts and Portraits

This collection for teachers brings together relevant learning resources and an archived webinar (collaboration between the Smithsonian and American English "Shaping the Way We Teach English" webinars from the U.S. Department of State). It includes a webinar with three educators from the National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. During the webinar, strategies are explored for engaging students in looking at and analyzing portraits, as well as eliciting thoughtful questions about objects that help tell a story. The webinar also features an emphasis on how visuals, such as collection objects, photographs, artworks and videos with experts, can serve as a springboard for rich discussions and inspire curiosity in the classroom and beyond.
Ashley Naranjo
21
 

Tree Banding

Tree banding is one of the activities included in the SHOUT program, a two-year investigation of land and water issues led by Smithsonian scientists. Watch the videos to learn how to band trees and collect data about their growth and why this information matters.
Stephanie Norby
6
 

Every Picture Has a Story

In the lesson in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, students closely examines four of the 13 million photographs in the Smithsonian. The pictures represent four important steps in the history of the medium: the introduction of portrait photography, the invention of a photographic printing process, the capture of instantaneous action, and the advent of home photography.

Click on the PDF icon to download the issue.


Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
5
 

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
 

World War II on the Home Front: Civic Responsibility

Lesson based on posters that encouraged American citizens to contribute to the war effort. Students consider the importance of volunteerism in a free society.
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
4
 

Introduction to the Nature Journal

Lesson plan in which students practice writing and observation skills by keeping nature journals. They observe animals on the National Zoo’s webcam and write about the behaviors they see, making hypotheses based on these observations.
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
13
 

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
 

Weikers Family Collection Class Warm-Up

This is a single document with hot spots and questions used to model primary source analysis for a sixth grade class. It is drawn from a collection of archival records and photographs documenting the Weikers family's experience in Nazi Germany and their persistent efforts to seek asylum in the United States. You can find the full collection here:

https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/weikers-family-collection/zGJCDjyWqouEufnb

Questions to consider are:

a. Who are the Weikers?

b. Where did they live?

c. When did they live? What can they tell us about this time in history?

d. How were they affected by Nazi Germany?

e. What did they feel about the Nazis?

Tags: Nazi Germany, Holocaust era, primary sources, Pittsburgh

Kate Harris
2
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