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Found 942 Collections

 

Analyzing Photography in the U.S. History Classroom

Resources supporting the March 2017 Google Hangout facilitated by the National Museum of American History's curator of Photographic History, Shannon Perich, in coordination with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. Suggested questions for analyzing photographs, yearbooks, photo albums and portraits are included. The archived version of the online session is available at the end of the collection for viewing.

Tags: Migrant Mother, Napalm Girl, Tank Man, Times Square Kiss, 1943 Rohwer Center High School Yearbook, WWI Photo album, Robert Wiengarten, Hank Aaron

Shannon Perich
23
 

Analysis of an Artwork by Maya Lin

Chinese American designer and artist Maya Lin (b. 1959) achieved national recognition as a Yale University undergraduate student when her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial won a national competition. 

In this activity, students will analyze a unique artwork-filled room designed by Maya Lin, first using only a still visual with little context, then a hyperlapse video of the artwork's installation,  then the artist herself discussing  her process, materials used, and vision. Students will make predictions based on visuals, gradually learn about the context of the artwork, and reflect on how their perception of the artwork changed with the addition of new information. 

This activity can be used as an entry point into studying Maya Lin's artwork and other artworks inspired by experiences with the natural environment. This activity opens with a Project Zero See-Think-Wonder routine and asks learners to look closely, prior to revealing additional contextual information. To learn more about other Asian Pacific American Artists, visit this collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/asian-pacific-american-artists/bW68eE1p6kHVzsC7#r

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Keywords: Chesapeake Bay, Maya Lin, Asian American, marbles, Renwick Gallery, waterways

#APA2018 #BecauseOfHerStory

Ashley Naranjo
13
 

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 Japanese Painting

This collection was designed by the Education Department of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery as a basic introduction to Japanese painting for educators. It is a collection of artworks from the museum's permanent collection that draw from a wide variety of formats, styles, media, and subjects that represent many of the major trends in Japanese painting. Each image includes key information about the artwork, as well as ideas for class discussion, lesson components, and/or links to resources such as videos and articles which provide additional information about the artwork. Feel free to copy the collection and adapt it to your own use. 

Keywords: Buddha, Hokusai, Mount Fuji, watercolor, bodhisattva, Fugen, Sōtatsu, cherry blossoms, seasons, Genji, crane, emakibyobukakemono, ukiyo-e, map, teacher, student, autumn, Japan, Japanese art, landscape, Edo period, Buddhism, Heian period, water, ocean, wave, boat, flower, insect, Muromachi period, river, surimono



Freer and Sackler Galleries
12
 

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
 

An Evolution of Expression

The eclectic and time-honored art form of quilting has been used as a material expression of ideologies, social stances, and culture. Though the basic process of quilting involves the sewing of two or more layers of fabric, quilters have increasingly integrated materials, symbols, words, and individual styles with communicative, celebratory, and decorative intentions.

This collection displays digitized images of quilts that reflect the diversity of the quilting tradition in America. Some quilts have been displayed at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and others at the National Museum of the American Indian. The Smithsonian’s National Quilt Collection is housed at the National Museum of American History. 

This collection includes an article that explores the evolution and artistry of quilting and a list of discussion questions that can be used to analyze the collection.

Keywords: African American, NMAAHC, American History, Quilts

Le'Passion Darby
9
 

American stereotype: All Black Pilgrim Attire

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.

Arthur Glaser
21
 

American Indian Heritage Month Resources

These classroom resources from different Smithsonian museums focus on American Indian history and culture. 


Philippa Rappoport
11
 

American Flag/Washington DC Flag Lesson, One or Two Part

With this collection, students will use a version of the Zoom In thinking routine to analyze several flags with an eye toward creating their own flag at the end of the lesson.

The Guiding Questions used in this lesson are:

-How did the United States flag change over time?

-Why do countries feel that it's important to have a single flag?

The Big Idea for this lesson is:

Simple symbols, like the those presented on flags, can represent a lot about a country's past and what makes that country unique.  

In this lesson, students will begin by exploring the collection and answering, using the quiz tool,  the questions embedded about the two early versions of the American flag.  The questions push students to analyze each flag, consider how versions of the American flag changed, and think critically about how symbolism can be used in a flag to represent unique and/or historical aspects of a country. 

Once students have completed the quiz questions, the teacher will call them together to discuss  the evolution of the American flag and what the elements of the flag's current and former designs represent.  The teacher will then turn the class's attention to the Washington DC flag and reiterate that its design was taken from George Washington's English ancestry.  Using this as another example of a flag drawing upon elements of history, the teacher will  make the point that the DC flag hasn't changed in appearance in over 80 years.  

The class will brainstorm what they feel are the most important and/or interesting aspects of DC history based on what they have studied.  They will then brainstorm symbols that could be used to abstractly represent elements of DC's unique past, status, and culture.  

Once a number of good ideas have been generated, each student will have the chance to create their own version of the DC flag, either modifying the exiting version of creating a completely new design.  On the draft sheets will be a checklist that focus's students attention on the  most important aspects of any flag, namely its symbolism and its connection to the history of the place it represents.  

If the teacher wishes to make this a longer activity featuring multiple drafts, he or she can consider looping in the art teacher to discuss concepts of sketching and design.  

#LearnwithTR



Peter Gamber
5
 

American Enterprise: Corporate Era (Great Depression, New Deal)

During the Corporate Era, the United States experienced its most serious economic crisis; in response, political leaders intervened in the economy in innovative ways. In this collection, you’ll explore life during the Great Depression and evaluate New Deal policies by participating in a learning activity the teacher specifies.
Zach Etsch
5
 

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
 

American Art

In American history, art was an important aspect of everyday life for the colonists. Their expressions of art came in many forms such as sculptures, paintings, dishes, quilts and metalwork. As showcased on some the collections, they used this artwork to express their views on certain problems they were faced with such as the Stamp Act teapot. For other pieces of artwork it was a way to show off wealth. The dishes and portraits in the collection displayed a form of wealth to colonists in this period of time. Today, arts displayed in homes are still shown as a form of wealth. Although modern art is much different than those shown in this collection, these various forms of art have influenced the art we create today.

Maci Sims
10
 

American Art

In American history, art was an important aspect of everyday life for the colonists. Their expressions of art came in many forms such as sculptures, paintings, dishes, quilts and metalwork. As showcased on some the collections, they used this artwork to express their views on certain problems they were faced with such as the Stamp Act teapot. For other pieces of artwork it was a way to show off wealth. The dishes and portraits in the collection displayed a form of wealth to colonists in this period of time. Today, arts displayed in homes are still shown as a form of wealth. Although modern art is much different than those shown in this collection, these various forms of art have influenced the art we create today.

Maci Sims
10
 

America and the Holocaust

This collection will take a deeper look into anti semitism in America juxtaposed to the upstanders who fought back.  By looking at the Holocaust in American society through this dual lense, it illustrates the two extremes in the society.  Bitter and severe hatred was seen on one side as anti semitsm was fueled by racist and elitist attitudes.  But this does not tell the whole story; many efforts were taken by Americans, specifically the Jewish American community, to raise awareness for the cause and in many instances take active steps to help those suffering in Europe.

Allie Doyle
17
 

America and the Holocaust

This collection addresses the issue of antisemitism in the United States leading up to and during the Holocaust.  Anti semitism was displayed in America through cartoons, preferences of American citizens, discriminatory policies, as well as support for the Nazi party. There was anti semitism present throughout America, and such anti semitism became obvious through a lack of action during the Holocaust.  Juxtaposed against this striking anti semitism are the American people and groups that worked to help Jews and fought for their equality.  Despite the inaction promoted through anti semitism, many groups did work against discrimination and the Nazi goal.

Fiona Mulla
17
 

America & Athletics

Christina Ratatori
13
 

Amelia Earhart: America's Aviatrix

Students will use the elements of portrayal to analyze portraits of Amelia Earhart and listen to a speech to learn biographic details.

#NPGteach

Christy Ting
10
 

Alphabet

early childhood 

Christina Ratatori
24
 

All You Need is Love

The best of love-themed graphic design in the Smithsonian Institution's collections.

Kate Harris
12
 

All Access Digital Arts Club: Activities + Plans for Neurodiverse Teens

SCLDA's All Access Digital Arts Program (2012-2016) provided skill-building opportunities in digital arts and communications, creative expression, and social inclusion to a spectrum of teen learners in the Washington, DC metro area. Participating youth visited Smithsonian science, history, and art museums, created digital and physical artworks based upon a tailored curriculum, engaged in social interactions online and in-person, gained digital literacy skills, and developed friendships with other teens. Through once-per-month club outreach activities and summer intensive camps and workshops, students were exposed to communication, collaborative learning, research, and problem solving. The program served up to 20 youth per session, ages 14 through 22 with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The youth experienced skill building, leadership opportunities, and social integration through Smithsonian resources, socialization opportunities, and computer skills. Youth participated in 1.) One- and two-week multi-media digital arts workshops whose outcome was student-produced artworks, songs, and movies that were shared with family and friends at openings and online via a social network; and 2.) Club activities--to build upon skills developed during the summer, and maintain social connections. 

All Access Club activities were offered to alumni of the summer workshops, and were held once monthly on Saturdays during the year to build upon skills developed during the workshop, and maintain social connections. During the club, teens practiced social skills through guided activities and Smithsonian museum visits, and produced original digital and hands-on art projects at the Hirshhorn ARTLAB+. Educators led the group in a series of planned educational activities related to the day’s theme—such as “the universe” or “oceans”.  Volunteers assisted club members to use social media, tablets, cameras and laptops to facilitate the digital experience. The activities and resources promoted digital literacy skills, and can motivate families to visit museums to learn, and for teens to build self-esteem. An evaluation session on the final day allowed teens to express their thoughts to the club organizers.

Special thanks to colleague Joshua P. Taylor, Researcher, Virginia Commonwealth University


Keywords: access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, self-determination

Tracie Spinale
19
 

All Access Digital Arts Camp (plans and activities for teens with cognitive and intellectual disabilities)

SCLDA's All Access Digital Arts Program (2012-2016) provided skill-building opportunities in digital arts and communications, creative expression, and social inclusion to a spectrum of teen learners in the Washington, DC metro area. Participating youth visited Smithsonian science, history, and art museums, created digital and physical artworks based upon a tailored curriculum, engaged in social interactions online and in-person, gained digital literacy skills, and developed friendships with other teens.

Through once-per-month club outreach activities and summer intensive camps and workshops, students were exposed to communication, collaborative learning, research, and problem solving. The program served up to 20 youth per session, ages 14 through 22 with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The youth experienced skill-building, leadership opportunities, and social integration through Smithsonian resources, socialization opportunities, and computer skills. Youth participated in 1.) One- and two-week multi-media digital arts workshops whose outcome was student-produced artworks, songs, and movies that were shared with family and friends at openings and online via a social network; and 2.) club activities--to build upon skills developed during the summer, and maintain social connections.

At the Access Summer Camp workshops, teens learn to tell their own stories through digital arts and media. They focused on a specific story to tell based upon their interests. Content for their artistic self-expressions took the form of printed digital portraits and “sonic self-portrait” digital music compositions, as well as documentary iMovies. Teens toured Smithsonian museums, visited exhibitions and interviewed curators and educators, as well as conducted internet research. Teens ate lunch together and socialized during game breaks. Volunteers worked with teens to provide individual supports and facilitate the experience. Smithsonian educators and neurotypical teen youth mentors guided Access teens to edit their content using photo, sound, and movie editing software.   The movies, portraits, and songs premiered at the Hirshhorn Museum’s ARTLAB+ for family and friends, with teens themselves providing introductory remarks for their artworks. Each teen received a certificate of completion, a digital copy of their artwork, and a framed self-portrait. An evaluation session on the final day of the workshops allowed teens to express their thoughts to the workshop organizers. 

Tracie Spinale
3
 

Alison Bechdel

Lehrer's multi-media portrait of acclaimed cartoonist and graphic novelist , Alison Bechdel, is an engaging image. I envision that it could help facilitate a lively discussion and inspire an exploration of self-identity with students at the secondary level in the visual as well as the language arts.

Riva Lehrer's interest in figuration and portraiture stems from living with a visible and significant disability. "Being stared at, and looking back, has colored my work for twenty years. Most of my collaborators have been people with impairments, visible or not. Some have no impairments but qualify for other reasons. We start with long interviews, in order to get a strong narrative sense of the relationship between their body and their life." Lehrer started this portrait of graphic novelist Alison Bechdel while Bechdel was working on Are You My Mother, a follow-up to her memoir, Fun Home. Bechdel provided a full-scale drawing of her mother, which Lehrer then transferred onto paper with blue acrylic. Lehrer says the portrait "grew out of discussions about being haunted by a lost parent, and [the awareness] that one's mother is the ultimate mirror of the self for a daughter."

Alison Bechdel (the sitter)
Riva Lehrer (the artist)
Chicago, IL
2011
Charcoal, mixed media, and 3-D collage on paper
Sandy Hindin Stone
Tammy French
1
 

Albert Bierstadt and the Lure of the West

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.

Arthur Glaser
13
 

Alaska Native Territories

Alaska is home to over 100,000 Indigenous residents who represent twenty distinctive cultures and languages. The map shows cities, towns and villages where most people live today, but depicts Alaska Native territories as they existed in about 1890, before the main influx of Euro-American settlers. 

Map information is courtesy of Michael Krauss, Igor Krupnik, Ives Goddard and the Alaska Native Language Center (University of Alaska Fairbanks). Map courtesy of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center.

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
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