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.
Established in the mid-19th century, several of the earliest additions to the NNC were artifacts from Japan, Korea, and China, including coins and medals gifted to President Ulysses S. Grant from Japanese Emperor Meiji (received in 1881) and the 2,025 East Asian coins, amulets, and notes from George Bunker Glover’s private collection (received in 1897). These donations were the foundation of the NNC’s East Asian holdings, which continues to grow with new acquisitions, such as the Howard F. Bowker collection in 2017.
Did you know that Washington, DC had their very own Lakers? No, not those Lakers.
The Ontario Lakers were a community sports team based in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. This collection aims to get kids thinking about teamwork and how outdoor environments can be designed to make a place for community. Discover more about the Ontario Lakers in the sources and suggested activities below.
Included here is a photograph of the Ontario Lakers playing ground, a baseball signed by the team and interviews with Mary and Ronald Pierce (sister and brother to Walter Pierce, the leader of the Ontario Lakers). The sources are from the Anacostia Community Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- Study the museum sources to learn about the Ontario Lakers.
- "What's the Story" encourages students to think about the big ideas represented in the sources by analysing a sample news article and answering comprehension questions using the Harvard Project Zero thinking routines.
- Extension task: Write an article for the your student newspaper about a team (eg. sports team, scout troop, gardening group) in your city or neighborhood or city. Does this team make your neighborhood a better place? Why? In what ways?
- The "5W and 1 H" activity is a guided reflection on the social and emotional benefits of being part of a team.
- By taking a walk "In Your Community," students can discover the continued relevance of the situations faced by the Ontario Lakers: how urban communities inhabit outdoor places and how common resources can build community.
- These ideas are put into action with the "Plan a Park" activity, as students are empowered make decistions that transform their neighborhood.
#MuseumFromHome #ChildrenAsCitizens #UrbanPlanning #Environment #Baseball
Chapters 9, 10, and 18 in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, feature some of the most detailed descriptions of Europe's natural wonders - - Mont Blanc, the Swiss Alps, and even scenic waterways such as the Rhine and the Thames. Quite often, Mary Shelley blends such scenery with poetic "asides" - works beyond the heavy intertextuality associated with Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Paradise Lost . Shelley's poetic language describing nature's majesty, coupled with stanzas borrowed from Tintern Abbey and Mutibility, can be used to inspire students' own poetry.
The use of social media has both negative and positive impacts on youths. Some of the positive impacts include making them up to date on events that are happening around the world and also enables them to network and stay connected with their fellow youths and friends without physical meetings. Additionally, youths can create pages and groups in the social media platforms where they can built friendship with other youths who may share the same values with them and this can lead to long time friendship.
Even though social media seem to connect youths and make them stay up to date, but it can also leads to isolation, depression, anxiety and many other problems. Social media reduces the number of face-to face interactions, it can also decreases their productivity in school because of the amount of long hours they spend on these sites. Social media is also a platform where bullying can take place. Peer pressure is another concern for youths who are on these social sites. For example, they may look at pictures or videos of their peers doing illegal things such as drugs, drinking etc and they may have the urge to try these drugs because they may feel pressured by their friends, they don't want to be left out and not being a part of the crowd.
In conclusion, social networks has been proved to have both positive and negative effects on our youths. As parents we should guide and advise our children about the dangers of being in these sites when they are misused and overused.
The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States is a collection of resources for educators to refer to when introducing the Constitution of the United States with a specific emphasis on the preamble. Mike Wilkins Preamble is used as a featured piece of artwork to give students an initial introduction to the text of the primary source document. #SAAMteach
How do contemporary artists grapple with the under- and misrepresentation of certain minorities in portraiture and American history? Participants will explore the newly unveiled portraits of President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley and former First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald and discuss how these artists are looking to the past to paint the present. After close reading these images, participants will consider how artists Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, in the exhibition “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light,” uncover voices previously unheard.
By using this collection, learners will . . .
- Use primary sources to understand a range of perspectives on the Space Race.
- Understand why the United States was concerned about the Soviet space program.
- Be able to analyze the Cold War era context of the Space Race and draw their own conclusions about the success of the Space Race.
- How can we learn more about history through a photograph?
- How do social factors, such as racism, influence change?
- How much power do American citizens have to change government policies?
- What factors drove the Jim Crow era and segregation after the Civil War?
- How did Americans push back against discrimination, specifically segregation, and fight for civil rights?
This series of lessons is designed as a broad introduction to the factors leading up to the Civil Rights Movement. Students will look closely at the 13th, 4th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution. Students will then explore some of the factors leading to and consequences of the rise of segregated America during the Jim Crow era in the years following the Civil War. They will look closely at powerful images that exemplify some of the Jim Crow laws, and then explore some of the court cases and responses of citizens that helped to bring about some changes leading up to and during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
Time: 3-4 class periods with optional maker project assessment.
Anticipatory set: Have students complete a chalk talk to unravel their definitions of equality vs. racism. Discuss and formally define equality and racism.
Looking closely: Share the image of the water fountains and notice similarities and differences (Optional opportunity to use the See - Think - Wonder thinking routine). Discuss context of Jim Crow era and explain we will be exploring what factors led to these laws and how people fought to change them.
Have students look closely at the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and dissect the language of the amendments to understand their meaning using the Parts, Purposes, Messages thinking routine. Read page one of iCivics Jim Crow handout. Students should record examples of equality and racism on post it notes as they read. When finished, they can add these post it notes to the chalk talk posters with definitions of equality and racism as they discuss their examples.
Anticipatory set: Use the Imagine if... thinking routine to have groups of students explore challenging Jim Crow era issues.
Looking closely: Read "Jim Crow and the Great Migration" and have students continue to record examples of equality vs. racism on post it notes to add to the chalk talk posters from yesterday. Explore powerful Jim Crow images with a chalk talk using the Reporter's Notebook thinking routine.
Discuss how some people began to speak out against the injustices of the Jim Crow laws, both directly and indirectly. Compare and contrast the approaches of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois. Then read "I, too" by Langston Hughes. Students should complete the See/Hear - Think - Wonder during their first listen. Then students can deconstruct the poem in groups, paying attention to both the literal and figurative meaning of the metaphor of the kitchen in the poem.
Exit ticket/Reflection: What are the multiple meanings of the kitchen in the poem, "I, too," by Langston Hughes? What was his purpose for writing this poem?
Anticipatory set: Use the Making it Fair: Now, Then, Later thinking routine to start to identify how people could have made these Jim Crow restrictions more fair.
Looking closely: Read "The Road to Civil Rights" handout from iCivics. Students can add equality vs. racism post its to their original chalk talks. Watch the video of the sit-in reenactment (optional - reenact a sit-in in the classroom). Look closely at images of marches, sit-ins, boycotts, and court cases and use the Reporter's Notebook thinking routine to notice the layers of interactions during the events.
Optional assessment: Introduce the Journey to Civil Rights maker project. Allow students 3-4 days to work on their artifacts and essay explaining their choices.
The Romantic Era can be characterized as a time for "release." The writers at the time embraced nature and considered nature to hold the truth. The Romantic era was also a backlash against "the enlightenment values of reason in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789." (metmuseum.org) This time period reflected the blooming of America as a nation, there was strong anti-British sentiment and much excitement about democracy. The Romantic era highlighted the creative capabilities of America and is responsible for giving us literary giants such as Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
We live in a multicultural, multilingual, multinational America, which offers complicated, imposing, unsettling questions about American identity. There are no easy answers to what is an American identity or perhaps no answers at all. What is an American identity is an important subject in an ever changing America, and Smithsonian Institution exhibits and objects on display in various museums help us to seek answers to the question of what is identity and what is American identity.
Art provides a pathway for individuals to express their inner self while also capturing the outer—this great wide world so intricate it's difficult to define. Throughout history, humans have sought to comprehend both their environment and their own inherent cultural uniqueness. This search has become symbolized in their artistic accomplishments and aesthetic heritage. Whether through representations of specific individuals and the human figure or awe-inspiring works of architecture, these art pieces are a window into the creative core of our past.
In this collection, we will observe the ways in which the soul/spirit has been expressed in art, and how human creativity sheds light upon both individual and cultural identities and its varied interpretations throughout the ages. This collection is organized in three symbolic steps on a stone staircase entitled "The Stone Path of Eternity." To truly travel through each piece, I have included an image, a brief description of the work under information, and then, signified by the yellow (1) above, I've provided my own analysis and interpretation of the piece in its relationship to the collection theme.
Through lingering through the "Stone Path of Eternity," which is represented by the first two tiles, we will from one stone to the next in seeking the many ways in which the soul's expression can be defined.
In Stone Number One, "The Spirit's Encased Construct," we'll see how architecture and large-scale artistic projects merge to reflect both cultural identity and the individuality of their leaders through works from ancient Babylonia, Egypt, the Byzantine Empire and into the combinations made possible by the aesthetic innovations of modern times.
Shifting step to Stone Number Two, "Human Identity Immortalized in Matter," we delve into the ways in which the human figure is represented and what these images can share with us in terms of the varying levels, purposes, intentions behind the artist's created expressions and impact of depicting the Spirit on Earth. This idea is exemplified in creations ranging from the Paleolithic period to modern times, with examples from Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Italian Renaissance and the 20th century popular culture.
Finally, in Stone Number Three,"Individuals and Spirituality Entwine," we step into the door of the spirit directly, traveling through the many methods which cultures apply in trying to simultaneously convey and understand what realms are in union with and beyond this life. Some cultures who address this idea in their artistic tradition are seen in instances of Egyptian art and work from ancient and Hellenistic Greece, as well as both the Italian Renaissance, Northern European Renaissance, and contemporary Western art.
The intended audience for this collection is just as varied as my subject matter. Those who might be drawn to this collection are people attracted to the enigmas of life and death, who have questioned their place in society and the mysteries this world has to hold, and are curious to know more about how, historically, cultures have related to these probing questions—for, as you will see, they certainly have existed as long as humans have walked the earth. No matter if you're in high school, college, or beyond formal education, I hope you will find my musings on these artworks and their meanings compelling and thought-provoking.
Renowned artist and poet William Blake once wrote, "To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour." From the most abstract art to the remarkably realistic, there is always an image of ourselves, in the an esoteric sense, waiting to be found within. With its timeless method, Art seeks to create a definition for this all-encompassing and ever-evading essence and I hope to continue that quest with you as we explore this collection. #AHMC2019
These materials address a unit on resilience and global competence as related to and extended from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. #SAAMteach
Here are the small things in my life that I found weigh the most.
These three objects are filled with some of the best memories I can think of. All three of these were gifts to me by different family members. It shows that I like to be prepared for anything and that I highly value family and the things they give me. Each item could be replaced but wouldn't have the same sentimental value if they were. These three objects might not be in the best condition but all the rips and scratches they have each hold a different memory that can't be replaced. I can't go more than a few days without using or wearing these items because they are such a big part of my life.
These are some of the things that I carry with me in life and can act as a representation for who I am today.