Found 901 Learning Lab Collections
How do photographers represent places and other people? What is the goal?
What are the ethical considerations in that representation for photographers?
How can we use images and photography to convey a message and persuade?
How have photographers throughout history used their images to create social change?
How can media, especially photography, raise awareness for social problems and challenges?
The lesson will provide examples of how analyzing and creating documentary photographs can foster deep thinking about global and local issues. Additionally, students will consider how to use digital photography and other digital media tools to communicate ideas or persuade an audience. Students will look at photos from social reformer Jacob Riis who documented the poverty and poor living conditions of immigrants to New York City. His work led to social change and reforms. His images also raise questions about the ethics obtaining photos and representation. The collection also includes images from the Smithsonian’s “Down These Mean Streets” exhibit. Students will consider a view of New York life through documentary street photography and how place and city life are represented in photography.
Time- 1-2 class periods with optional extension activities
Warm Up/ Engagement:
Have students do a chalk talk on chart paper on the following terms:
immigration, urbanization, sweatshop or factory, New York City
These concepts will be important for students to consider and have some familiarity with prior to discussing the work on Jacob Riis.
Next, show a photograph from Jacob Riis using the Project Zero Global Thinking Routine, "The 3 Ys" to analyze the story the image tells about living conditions for immigrant workers in New York City.
Students should consider why someone might be taking this photograph and who the intended audience might be.
Additionally, students might read some primary sources from that period written by Jacob Riis or others about the living conditions for immigrants on the Lower East Side of New York in the late 1800s.
Next, have students consider or take on different perspectives in the image by drawing the scene to include the photographer.
Have students read the Smithsonian article about Riis and watch a short video about his life and work. Alternatively, there’s an article from the Click! exhibit on Riis that students can read about how photography changes our awareness of poverty.
What did Jacob Riis intend to communicate through his photographs? Do you think his images are respectful of immigrants and poor people? Why or why not?
Today’s work focuses on exploring images from the “Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography” exhibit. Allow students time to explore the gallery and identify photos that are meaningful to them.
In small groups, have students work in groups of two or three to analyze an image of their choosing in the collection using the “3 Ys” routine. Have students share their findings with the group.
As a reflection, have students consider some of the guiding questions about how photographers choose to represent places and communities.
What associations does the viewer have with these photographs?
What mood is created with these photographs?
How might you be able to create a sense of place with photography?
Additional resources related to Jacob Riis:
- Have students complete their own documentary photo essay on their own neighborhood or community.
- Have students read excerpts from ‘Down These Mean Streets’ and connect them to the images in the collection.
- Join the Out of Eden Walk community and have students document their neighborhood and gather stories.
This collection includes paintings of similar subjects (women) presented in both black and white and in color. The objective of this project is for students to recognize and think about the impact of color on their interpretations. Identify responses to color and think about it as one of the artist's tools for conveying meaning.
Tags: Elizabeth McCausland; Childe Hassam; Antonia de Banuelos; Angel Rodriguez-Diaz; William H. Johnson
This collection supports the January 2017 Google Hangout facilitated by the National Portrait Gallery in coordination with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.
Visually rich portraits, with both objects and setting, are most effective when using this strategy.
Included in this collection are examples of portraits National Portrait Gallery educators have had success with when facilitating the jumping in looking strategy while teaching in the galleries: George Washington Carver, Alice Waters, E.O. Wilson, George Washington, Men of Progress, Shimomura Crossing the Delaware, and Tony Hawk
Visually rich portraits, with both objects and setting, are most effective when using this strategy.
Included in this collection are examples of portraits National Portrait Gallery educators have had success with when faciltiating the 30 second look while teaching in the galleries: George Washington, Men of Progress, Shimomura Crossing the Delaware
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.
During the 1830s, George Catlin and his team produced over five hundred images of native American life on the western plains. Nearly half of his work consisted of exquisite portraits of Indians of many different tribes. Some tribes like the Hidatsa disappeared before any other visual representation of them could be made.
Long before the camera went west, artists like George Catlin were preserving the images of the native Americans on the western plains. Catlin's paintings are numerous and divide into two genre: the group activities and portraiture. This learning lab focuses on group activities of many plains indians including hunting, traditional dances, and recreation.
Every year near Thanksgiving, images of our Pilgrims father begin to proliferate showing them as very austere and wearing only black clothing. This learning lab introduces images of Pilgrims that are compared with written primary sources. It was customary in the 17th century to inventory all the belongings of the deceased before they were distributed to the heirs. These inventories and the wills themselves provide detailed information about the attire of everyday Pilgrims of this period.
Edward Hicks' paintings reflect the same quality and style. More advanced in technique than Grandma Moses but still simple if compared to the work of the Hudson Valley School.
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.
How do you communicate? Through words? Body language? A facial expression? Explore the different ways people and animals communicate.
Halo is one of my all time favorite video games series. I've made this collection in honor of the original trilogy.
The series focuses on the main character, Master Chief, as he battles to save the world against the alien covenant and flood.
The first game in the franchise, Halo: Combat Evolved, released on November 15, 2001 on the Xbox and by 2002, 1 million copies of the game had been sold. Since it's release the franchise has been extremely successful. Since the first game's release, 11 more Halo titles have been released. These have been some of the best-selling games of all time, and for good reason too.
This collection includes a multi-day lesson plan built around Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York), 1918, and is designed to explore the effect that gender inequality can have on identity. Lessons are designed for an eleventh-grade, American Studies, Humanities-style course, and the historical context is the Gilded Age and the Women's Suffrage Movement. The plan for this mini-unit includes the analysis of visual, literary, and historical texts, and while it has a historical context, the goal is also to make connections to American life today. The essential question for this mini-unit is this: How can unfair gender norms affect what it feels like to be a human being? Included, you will find a lesson plan as well as digital versions of the artistic, literary, and historical texts needed to execute that plan. #SAAMteach
Photos and paintings of Algonquin Provincial Park are grouped with Tom Uttech's "Mamakadendagwad." What is the impact when someone or something enters an environment or ecosystem? Lesson could be an introduction for multiple content areas. In science, students could study mammals, birds, and insects of Ontario, Canada; ecosystems; and invasive species. In history, what is the wilderness? It could be paired with Charle C. Mann's argument about Native American and European impact on land in Jamestown. It could also be paired with Juane Quick-to-See Smith's painting "State Names" to consider how humans name places they settle. English students could extend the discussion by reading Iroquois creation myths and Joseph Bruchac's "Snapping Turtle." #SAAMteach
Benjamin West began painting in America during the late colonial period. His works represented a variety of styles. He was equally good at portraiture which was what most customers wanted and romantic renditions of battle scenes. Later in his career he devoted much of his time to Greek and Roman mythological themes.
This collection includes a video that presents the question: "What did the artist keep the same and what did he change? Why?" In this collection, there are multiple images of individuals who have made a strong contribution in society. The artists have placed emphasis on the hands of the sitters. The objective is for students to compare and contrast multiple paintings, with the goal of gaining insights into ways portraitists convey personality with details.
1. Watch the video and write down the similarities between the two paintings that are presented. What are some comments the narrator said about the people in the paintings?
2. The narrator says the hands of the people are given great importance. Why do you think so?
3. Write down the similarities of the people's hands in the portraits.
4. Using that information, create a T-Chart. On one side of the chart write the overall similarities of the people in the paintings (build upon the findings of the narrator) and on the other side, the differences.
5. Using that information compare and contrast the second image and third images with the two paintings in the video. Add another column to the T-Chart and write down your findings.
6. Discuss or write about your conclusions as to what the painters were trying to express about the sitters. Do you think they were effective?
Tags: una troubridge; statue; representation; character; photograph; painting; visual.
This collection includes paintings of Harold Hart Crane, Edgar Allan Poe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman that are blurry or undefined, and three photographs to show the actual appearance of these writers. In this student activity, students will be asked to look at the photographs and paintings of these American authors and form hypotheses to explain why the artists chose to blur them. Students will explore the commonalities and differences between the paintings and photographs and use textual information or research to confirm their hypotheses.
Hart Crane: Known for his poetry, he struggled financially and personally throughout his short life. See more information in the description box.
Edgar Allan Poe: A poet and story writer of great originality, Poe suffered great poverty as one of the first Americans to try to make a living only as a writer. See more information in the description box.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A feminist and social pioneer, Gilman also wrote stories, novels, and poetry. For more information on Gilman, see https://www.radcliffe.harvard....
1. What commonalities and differences do the paintings have? Create a list.
2. What emotions do these commonalities and differences provoke?
3. How do emotions affect the way one perceives an image? Compare and contrast the artworks with their photographic portraits.
5. What information do photographs provide to deepen understanding of the paintings?
Tags: poets; authors; mystery; creative writing; memoir; poetry; experimental writing.
This topical collection examines mosquito-borne illnesses from the perspectives of art, history, public health, science, and visual thinking strategies. Specifically, the Zika virus and historic malaria and yellow fever are studied through the Smithsonian's national insect collection. Includes specimens and objects related to mosquitoes, as well as artworks and articles.
Wonder Woman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. This collection, built to coincide with the release of the 2017 American superhero film, highlights Smithsonian collections featuring Wonder Woman & her superpowered gadgets.
The artist’s imagination may be limitless but his or her materials and tools available do place limitations. How can an artist put their knowledge to into practice, working around their limitations and learn more at the same time? Students will explore how some craft artists have to question the techniques and materials they use in order to create/use a new approach
This is a collection of primary sources related to the them of segregation, integration, and desegregation. This includes sources about Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (1957-1958), and the desegregation of Boston Public Schools.
By using Chimamanda Adichie's "The Dangers of a Single Story" as a lens, students will begin to analyze how urban artists draw awareness to single stories and challenge them through their artwork.
Topics and Hashtags
Urban Art, Stereotypes, Art, Social Action, Social Justice, Cities, City, Down These Mean Streets, Maristany #SAAMteach