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Family Fun look and understand

Images of families enjoying activities together.

jorjan woodward
12
 

Family Fun

 There are many ways that families have fun together. Have you done some of these activities with your family? Draw or paint a picture of you and your family enjoying an activity together.

Jean-Marie Galing
13
 

Eye to I: Self-Portraiture as an Exploration of Identity

This collection serves as a preview for the final of six seminar sessions in the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.”

National Portrait Gallery colleagues Wendy Wick Reaves and Briana Zavadil White will discuss the exhibition, "Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today." They maintain that, as people are confronted each day with “selfies” via social media and as they continue to examine the fluidity of contemporary identity, this is an opportune time to reassess the significance of self-portraiture in relation to the country’s history and culture.

Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.

#MCteach
Philippa Rappoport
7
 

Expressive Self Portrait

Art 3 students will compare the elements and principles in each image and distinguish their aesthetic qualities of expression. 

Jinni Copp
15
 

Expressionism: Art of Emotion

#CIETeachArt

Maritza Medina
13
 

Express Yourself: Creating a Visual Journal with the Portrait Gallery

This collection was created in conjunction with a professional development workshop for teachers held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017.

How can journaling transform the way your students experience museums and individual artworks? Sean Murphy, the art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, VA and the Portrait Gallery teamed up to introduce ways of incorporate journaling into your classroom. Participants explored the metacognitive benefits of using art journals in both the classroom and the museum. This workshop included both gallery and studio experiences. 

#NPGteach

Gayle Kraus
15
 

Express Yourself: Creating a Visual Journal with the Portrait Gallery

This collection was created in conjunction with a professional development workshop for teachers held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017.

How can journaling transform the way your students experience museums and individual artworks? Sean Murphy, the art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, VA and the Portrait Gallery teamed up to introduce ways of incorporate journaling into your classroom. Participants explored the metacognitive benefits of using art journals in both the classroom and the museum. This workshop included both gallery and studio experiences. 

#NPGteach

Briana White
15
 

Express Yourself: Creating a Graphic Novel Exploring Identity with the National Portrait Gallery

Considering the growing popularity of the graphic novel, could they be a venue for your students to explore and express identity? This collection offers interactive activities that incorporate building the structure of comic book and graphic novel pages. Utilizing the special exhibition Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today, this workshop takes a close look at self-portraiture as a means of exploring identity. The ideas here were presented by Sean Murphy, art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School, in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. 

#NPGteach

Briana White
21
 

Exploring Works of Art: Parts, Purposes and Puzzles

How does Art shape our knowledge of the world? What is the purpose of Art?  What shapes our ideas about Art?

These are some of the questions students will explore in this collection. The focus of this collection is on visual art, including images drawn from photography, painting and sculpture. The 17 images are drawn from a  variety of Smithsonian museums.

I use two activities, built on Project Zero thinking routines, to guide and scaffold the students' thinking. For more information and resources visit,

 http://www.visiblethinkingpz.o... 

http://www.pz.harvard.edu/sear...

The activities can be done sequentially or individually over two 50-60 minute class periods, depending on how far the teacher would like to extend the follow-up discussion after the first activity or the number of images explored in the second.

 The first activity, “What makes you think that? invites students to identify their own ideas about art,  what they consider “good” art and to reflect on how they arrived at their conclusions. Students are invited to sort the works into two categories, "good" or "bad" art.  Once they have sorted the works, they document the reasons for their choices and then compare with a partner,  followed by whole class sharing.

It is interesting for students to think about where their beliefs come from and the discussion may extend to the influence of culture, perspective, religion, or personal versus public opinion.

 In the second activity “Parts, Purposes, Puzzles students delve deeper into individual works.  Students make careful observations, analyze component parts, consider the purpose of the artists choices, and pose questions.

The activity can be done individually or in groups.

As a concluding activity, students might find it interesting to revisit their initial rankings, and consider what they might now change and why?

Lisa Holden
22
 

Exploring the Science of skin color

What was the role of Science in the construction of race? How can various written works and works of art begin a conversation about race as a social construct? These series of activities allow for a dialogue about this complex issue.

This collection includes a three-part activity that can be modified by choosing to spend more or less time sharing out as a group and whether TED Talks are watched as a class or individually as preparation for class. 

Part I begins with a work of art to stimulate thought using the Project Zero Thinking Routine "See-Think-Wonder."  Students will then read an article and view an advertisement. Another thinking routine is used here to uncover the complexities of this particular advertisement. In the next parts, students view TED Talks followed by different kinds of media. Several Project Zero Thinking Routines can be used to stimulate and record thinking.

 

Part I: Identifying the focus and beginning a conversation

Starting with an artwork by Byron Kim and Glenn Ligon, students use the "See-Think-Wonder" Project Zero Thinking Routine to try and make sense of the image. After a class discussion, students should be guided to read a short article about skin-colored ballet shoes that would be more representative of the skin tones of actual ballet dancers. Teachers could choose to help students digest this article or move directly into the Ivory soap advertisement. Using the "Beauty and Truth" Project Zero Thinking Routine, students can uncover the underlying complexity of this image.

 

Part II: The evolution of skin color and telling the story of a work of art

After viewing the TEDTalk by Nina Jablonski about the illusion of skin color, students can reflect individually by answering the question "Why is it problematic to view race as a biological concept and categorize individuals based on skin color?" Then, using Project Zero’s "The Story Routine," students can create meaning for a work of art. Students can share out in pairs first or simply share out to the whole group depending on class size, etc.

 

Part III: Photography, an essay on color and race and a work of art from that essay

  Angelica Dass’s photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. The TEDTalk describes her Humanae project and allows for further dialogue about the complexity of skin color. Teachers could choose to help students identify important aspects of the talk or move directly into silent reading of Zora Neale Hurston’s essay "How It Feels to be Colored Me." Students can use the "Step inside-step out-step back" Project Zero Thinking Routine to identify perspectives addressed in this essay. Glenn Ligon created a work of art using this essay and students can use this piece to further the conversation with the same thinking routine or simply as part of the reflection.  A final reflection about skin color and the social construct of race can be completed either as a group or individually using the "I Used to think…; But Now I Think…" thinking routine. Teachers should consider providing a more focused prompt that suits the goals/objectives of their lesson.

Emily Veres
12
 

Exploring the National Portrait Gallery's Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute

The Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute takes a broad look at the Portrait Gallery's collection. During the institute, the museum's curators and historians provide in-gallery content lectures, introducing the collection. Utilizing an interactive approach, NPG educators model a variety of "learning to look" strategies—unique ways to hook and engage students when they look closely at portraits.

This collection represents portraits the museum has highlighted during past institutes. 

The Portrait Gallery hosts two week-long institutes each summer:

-the first, the last week in June

-the second, the week after 4th of July.  

To learn more and apply, visit http://npg.si.edu/teacher-work....

#NPGteach

Briana White
17
 

Exploring the meaning of "social inclusion" through Digital Storytelling

This collection was made for a hands-on workshop organised by the Dresher Center for the Humanities at UMBC as part of the Inclusion Imperative Program.

During the workshop UMBC faculty and graduate students have the opportunity to learn some of the key elements of digital storytelling focused on questions of inclusion and justice. Some of the contents and tools were inspired by the EU funded project DIST - Digital Integration Storytelling http://www.dist-stories.eu/

Workshop participants will practice storyboarding and editing audio/visual materials as well as discuss how narrative structure and modes of storytelling vary in the diverse culture contexts in which we work and live. 

Antonia Liguori
25
 

Exploring the Cultural Markers of Identity

This collection serves as a preview for the third of six seminar sessions in the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.”


The National Museum of African American History and Culture tells American History through an African American lens. Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Elaine Nichols, and Ariana Curtis will engage participants in an exploration of the cultural collections of the museum as markers of identity. A fuller description and presenter bios are included inside the collection.


Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.


#MCteach

Philippa Rappoport
12
 

Exploring Social Justice with “One Life: Marian Anderson” and “In Mid-Sentence.”

This learning lab is rooted in exploring the concept of social justice and activism through biography and curation. This learning lab explores the power of one's narrative being shown through multiple artifacts in order to paint a bigger and more accurate picture of their role in social justice and activism. 

#NPG

Asia Stanislaus
36
 

Exploring Portraits of African Americans with the Harmon Foundation Collection

The Harmon Foundation Collection, one of the treasures of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection, comprises a group of more than forty portraits of prominent African Americans. The portraits were part of an unprecedented attempt in the 1940s and 1950s to counter racist stereotypes and racial prejudice through portraiture.

#NPGteach

Briana White
43
 

Exploring Mickalene Thomas's Portrait of Mnonja

In this activity, students will explore Mickalene Thomas's process, artistic influences, and art historical context. Students will examine Thomas's Portrait of Mnonja (2010, Smithsonian American Art Museum) in depth, and use three supporting resources to build context.

1. Have students look at Mickalene Thomas's Portrait of Mnonja. Give them 2-3 minutes to do a quick sketch of the painting.

2. Next, ask them to note the part of the painting their eye went to first on their sketch with a star.

3. Next, ask students to draw a line through their sketch to show the path their eye used to travel through the painting. Use arrows to indicate direction.

4. In pairs or as a class, ask students to share where their eye went first, and why they think it went there. Was it the color? Light? Lines? The placement in the composition?

5. Next, students should write a list of 8-10 words and phrases describing the painting. Ask for volunteers to share out.

6. As a group, discuss students' impressions of the painting. Ask for visual evidence to back up claims. (e.g. A student says, "she looks powerful." You ask, "what do you see that makes you say she's powerful?")

7. To further the conversation, share some background information about the painting: the title, the date, and the artist. Explain a little about Mickalene Thomas's process: posing live models in sets with props and furniture, taking photographs, then painting from the photographs.

8. Next, break students into small groups. Each group should receive a printout of ONE of the three supporting resources in this collection. Ask them to compare and contrast their image with Portrait of Mnonja.

9. After 4-5 minutes, ask each group to share out the main idea from what they discussed. The teacher should add additional information as it is useful.

a. Mickalene Thomas set photograph: Shows the artist's process, how she uses real models and sets. Note patterns and 1970s motifs.

b. Romare Bearden collage: Thomas has cited Bearden as one of her artistic influences. Students should note similarities in color, pattern, and flatness.

c. John Collier painting: An example from the early 1900s of the "reclining woman" in art history. Students should discuss the passiveness/agency of each of these women, and how a male artist's depiction of a woman differs from a female artist's in this case. Thomas was well versed in art history and was consciously making reference to precedents like this.

10. Writing Activity: In small groups, have students write a dialogue between Mnonja and someone else. It could be the artist, the viewer, or someone from one of the supporting resources.


Optional: Have students view one or both of the short videos of Mickalene Thomas discussing Portrait of Mnonja

#BecauseOfHerStory

Phoebe Hillemann
6
 

Exploring Korean Art at the Freer|Sackler

This Learning Lab contains introductory materials to help educators explore Korean art from Freer|Sackler collections with students.  It includes the following:

  • a founding history of Korean art collections at the Freer|Sackler
  • an illustrated timeline of Korea
  • a map of major ceramic production sites in Korea
  • images and information regarding rare Buddhist paintings from the Goryeo dynasty (935-1392)
  • definitions and examples of selected clay, decoration, glaze, pigment, and symbol types in Korean art
  • Freer Gallery of Art audio tour selections of Korean art
  • curator videos from Discovering Korea's Past: Interdisciplinary Connections Summer Institute for Educators held at the Freer|Sackler, Summer 2018
  • related educator resources from other museums
  • teacher-created lessons and Learning Lab Collections from Discovering Korea's Past: Interdisciplinary Connections Summer Institute for Educators held at the Freer|Sackler, Summer 2018

Tags: Korea, Goryeo, archaeology, art, celadon, ceramics, painting, symbols, Buddhism

Freer and Sackler Galleries
114
 

Exploring Identity: How can portraiture conceal or reveal?

What is identity? How is it constructed? These activities investigate how portraits can conceal or reveal aspects of identity. How does the artist choose to portray an individual? How does the sitter choose to be shown?

This collection includes a three-part activity that can be modified by choosing to spend more or less time sharing out as a group. It begins with a discussion about identity, using the Chalk Talk Thinking Routine and a comparison of two portraits to further push students' thinking on how portraiture can both conceal and reveal aspects of identity. In the next parts of the activity, students are able to choose from a variety of portraits for individual reflection and then come together as a group to discuss a larger work to about culture and identity. Several Project Zero Thinking Routines can be used to stimulate and record thinking. 


Part I: Chalk Talk and comparing portraits

Students participate in the Chalk Talk Thinking Routine using the questions provided. A quick gallery walk where students circulate and read all responses can allow the class to get a feel for the many (or singular) perspective(s) of identity. Using the See-Think-Wonder Thinking Routine, students compare and contrast two portraits: LL Cool J by Kehinde Wiley and John D. Rockefeller by John Singer Sargent. Students can share with a neighbor and then out to the larger group or simply share out as a large group depending on class size, etc. 

 

Part II: Portraiture and Identity

Using the Individual Exploration of Portraiture worksheet, students can choose one image from the fifteen provided and spend some time exploring their selected portrait. Students can be given 5-10 minutes to interact with their chosen image. Using one of Roger Shimomura’s portraits, students will use the Unveiling Stories Thinking Routine to better understand the many layers to this work of art. Again, students can share out in pairs first or simply share out to the whole group depending on class size, etc.

 

Part III: Returning to chosen portrait and final reflection

Students will once again return to their selected portrait and complete the "second look" section of the Individual Exploration of Portraiture worksheet. A final reflection about identity and portraiture can be completed either as a group or individually using the I Used to think…; But Now I Think… Thinking Routine.

#NPGteach

Emily Veres
23
 

Exploring identity - Japan and the Western culture

Using "See, Think, Wonder" and "Parts, Perspective, me", this collection explores how cultural shock influences the way artists see themselves or are perceived by others. The careful analysis of 100 Pounds of Rice by the artist Saeri Kiritani provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the similarities and differences with the novel Fear and Trembling by the Belgian author Amelie Nothomb. It also invites students to reflect on their own cultural identity.

Time- 1 or 2 class periods with optional homework and extension activities

Guiding Questions:

  • How do art and literature shape our understanding of cultures?
  • What kind of knowledge about a literary text and about art do we gain when we compare and contrast them?
  • How does language in art and literature represent cultural distinctions and identities?

Context:

In Fear and trembling, Amélie, who is the main character of this autobiographical novel, shares her struggles as a foreign employee in a big Japanese corporation where she is confronted with Japanese protocols and habits that are culturally new to her. In her story, Japanese culture is exposed through a foreign perspective. The aim of the collection is to bring a different perspective to our study, these of a Japanese women living in the US, in order to build a better intercultural understanding of the Japanese culture.

Prior knowledge:

Students have read the novel Fear and Trembling and analysed the way Western and Japanese cultures are perceived by the different characters. They have explored how the autobiographical novel offers insights on the Japanese workplace culture and reflected on its limitations (a single story embedded in fiction). This teaching unit can be done without the comparative component of literature. It can also be adapted to any other literary work that explores the topic of identity. 

Day 1:

Step 1: Have them do "See, Think, Wonder"individually with 100 Pounds of Rice by Saeri Kiritani. Do not show the caption to students yet. The "See, Think, Wonder" routine is good to help students pay attention to details and unveil the artist's choices. It also encourages them to initiate a first interpretation.

Step 2: Debrief as a whole group- Discuss the self portrait of  Saeri Kiritani. 

Step 3: Show the Saeri Kiritani 's youtube video

Once students have discussed the sculpture, show them the video and ask them to take notes on the new information the artist provides.

Next, go back and look at the sculpture and see how their understanding has shifted from their initial interpretation.

Step 4: Read the caption

Have students read the caption and answer the questions of the Design Thinking routine "Parts, Perspectives, Me". The routine encourages students to consider the various viewpoints of an object, its users, and stakeholders, and reflect on their own connections and involvement with it. It helps them connect with the perspectives taken in the novel as they are complementary, yet different. It also lead them to reflect on their own identity and prepares them for possible extensions to the activity. 

Step 5: Debrief the questions as a group

Day 2 or Homework

Step 6: Have them write an individual synthesis:

  • What did I learn about Saeri Kiritani self-portrait? Fear and trembling? Me?
  • How do Saeri Kiritani and Amelie Nothomb express how they experience cultural differences?
  • What are the similarity and differences between them? How does it impact your understanding?

Step 7: Debrief in pair or small group, then as a whole group

Extensions

Creative project: 

Step 1 - Once they have completed these activities, ask them:

  • What material or fabric would better represent who you are? Why?
  • What part of you would better represent who you are? Why?

Step 2 - Debrief in group - reflect on the idea of cultural stereotypes: what role do cultural stereotypes play in the construction of self-identity? To what extent do cultural stereotypes limit or facilitate self-identification? Identification of others?

Step 3 - Have them sculpt their self-representation with the material of their choice.

Step 4 - Exhibition and presentation of the creative process.




Anne Leflot
7
 

Exploring Food in Basque Culture

Get hungry while you explore the unique and delicious traditions of the Basque people through food. 

BasqueMuseumBoise
3
 

Exploring Ava DuVernay's "Selma": History as Visual Culture

The guiding questions of this Learning Lab are

  • What is visual art’s connection to historical events? Why is it important that we recognize these connections?
  • What does studying art add to our understanding of historical events and time periods?

The goals of this Learning Lab are

  • Bridge the gap in understanding between art analysis and historical analysis
  • Explore the inherent ties between art pieces and their surrounding historical context
  • Introduce the foundations of formal art analysis and develop close looking skills for visual art pieces

If you are new to Learning Lab, visit https://learninglab.si.edu/help/getting-started to learn how to get started!

#NPGTeach


Special thanks to National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Folkways, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) for inspiring this learning lab and for their resources.

Keywords: Portraiture, African American, American, Selma, Alabama, visual art, Civil Rights Movement, United States, visual literacy

Ashleigh Coren
46
 

Exploring Art with Quilts at the Anacostia Community Museum

This collection of quilts offers material to challenge conventional definitions of art and artists, explore the many different ways to tell a visual story and spark discussions about the traditions that are passed down in families. This resource is structured around 2 hour-long lessons in art analysis, a creative task and a reflection session.

A range of styles and traditions are represented here, as each quilt and quilter has their own story to tell. The story can be evident in the visual content of the quilt, but the context in which it was created can be equally important. Quilting is an art form taught between generations and amongst friends, bridging the gap between material culture and intangible heritage.

By encouraging young learners to look closely and develop evidence-based arguments, we can hope to build their skills to think deeply about the interrelationship of art, memory and community.

Enclosed in the Teacher's Resource is a list of quilts, short biographies of the artists and potential discussion questions. Also included are suggested art and craft activities, and an annotated bibliography for educators who want to do more research on the topic.

Goals:

  • How can we express things that are important to us?
  • How can quilts teach us about community?

Objectives:

  • Challenge and expand definitions of “art” and “artist.”
  • Develop a toolkit for visual analysis.
  • Understand different forms of creative self-expression.
  • Learn about traditions we share in our communities and pass between generations.
  • Empower students’ creativity.
Celine Romano
14
 

Exploring American Ideals in Art

How can American ideals be defined and expressed in different ways? The United States of America is associated the ideals of Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality. Those values have served as sources of inspiration for artists as goals that the nation aspires to (even if they are not always achieved). This collection contains artworks inspired by one or more of the ideals listed above. Students should choose a work and identify which ideal it relates to: Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality.

In a short essay based on the artwork, students should answer the following questions:

-How would the student define Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, or Equality?

-What is the artist trying to communicate about how this idea plays out in America?

-Does the student agree or disagree with the artist's interpretation?

If desired, students could create their own artwork based on one of the American ideals.

Kate Harris
21
 

Explore: Mask Design

In this collection, explore the history, evolution, and meaning of masks through multiple perspectives. Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines are included at the end to help guide discussion and reflection of design choices, local and global impact, and ways that masks protect and conceal the wearer. 

Suggested instructions for use: This collection was designed to be modular and a survey of the masks available at the Smithsonian. Each section begins with an essential question, followed by several masks that help explore the key concept. Teachers may facilitate Project Zero Thinking Routines before and/or after students look closely at each section. Students may want to jot down notes in response to the essential question in preparation for a group discussion.

Additional questions to guide investigation:

  • How does belief shape our response to worldly concerns?
  • How does the body's needs and shape dictate the designs we create?
  • How does new knowledge change our decisions? What "old" knowledge gets carried forward and why?
  • Where are we vulnerable in our bodies?

This collection was created in collaboration by:

To read more about the research process the team used in creating this collection, please visit the supplementary Smithsonian Learning Lab blog post.

Keywords: cfch, chsdm, nmah, saam, sclda, ppe, face covering, protection, design, making, community, fashion, production, identity, inquiry, art, culture, medicine, science

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
74
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