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Found 671 Collections

 

Recognizing the American Dream Lesson


#SAAMteach

Maria Ryan
6
 

Metadata and Tagging Activity

This activity, designed as a group exercise, asks participants to assume the role of a college student researching American women's work in the early 20th century, as an entry point to consider what is useful when tagging, searching, and creating digital resources. The collection includes the images that participants considered, followed in each case by a PDF of their responses. For the activity instructions, see the second tile of the collection.

This activity was conducted at the inaugural meeting of the Smithsonian Digital Resources Steering Committee, a group convened to share knowledge and explore best practices, issues, and strategies that arise in using and creating digital cultural museum resources.  

Kayo Denda, Librarian for Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University and Visiting Fellow at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, created the activity reproduced here.  As a Fellow, Ms. Denda is exploring how libraries, museums, and archives develop metadata for content on women in American history.  


#DCRSC



Philippa Rappoport
17
 

Genetics and Stereotypes

This collection uses a print by Enrique Chagoya, “Aliens Sans Frontières (Aliens without borders),” as a starting point to explore our assumptions about certain groups of people and how genetically similar all humans are despite our tendency for 'othering.' "After researching his DNA ancestry, Chagoya learned that his ancestors were Native American (Central Mexico), European, Ashkenazi, Middle Eastern/North African, Sub-Saharan African, and East and South Asian.” In this print, Chagoya presents six self-portraits, “each drawing on a pernicious stereotype of a certain ethnicity". Chagoya “uses his art for activist causes and also uses seemingly cartoonish or naïve imagery as an entryway for discussions of complex cultural and geopolitical issues”. (https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/aliens-sans-fronti%C3%A8res/ywEBemoMJCIUFQ)

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (genetics unit), Theory of Knowledge (to discuss ways of knowing such as language or consider bias), Geography or History. An interesting interdisciplinary exploration could be connecting a science class with a language class where students read written works from some of the same geographic regions as Chagoya's genetic breakdown.

Annotations attached to the print and video resources provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines.

Extensions:

Articles from New York Times: The first article included in the collection is an opinion piece written by David Reich, whose research focuses on population genetics of ancient humans, including their migrations and the mixing of populations, discovered by analysis of genome-wide patterns of mutations. The second article includes a selection of public comments on the original article as well as responses to each comment from David Reich.

Connection with Skin color, race and migration connection (presently working on this collection, will need to link collection before publishing!)

Emily Veres
7
 

Acting to Overcome Systems of Oppression

This collection is designed to extend students' thinking about acting to overcome systems of oppression after they read a memoir that focuses on social justice and activism. In our English program, students in 6th grade read I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousazai; in 7th grade, students read March: Book One by John Lewis; and in 8th grade, students read Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi. All use the Project Zero thinking routine "Think, Feel, Care" to explore Malala's, John Lewis's, or Marjane's reaction to the system of oppression they face in their story. To engage with the thinking routine, we ask the following questions:

Think: How does the character understand the system and her/his role within it?

Feel: What is the character's emotional response to this system and her/his position within it?

Care: What are her/his values, priorities, and motivations with regard to this system? What is important to her/him?

From there, students analyze the question: How does the character act on what is important to her/him in response to this system?

We use this collection and the "Think, Feel, Care" routine to look at how others have responded to and acted against different systems of oppression. After spending time with this collection, we end with the "Circle of Action" thinking routine to help us think about the potential for our own action against systems of oppression.

This collection could be used in conjunction with any unit that focuses on social justice or activism. 

#GoGlobal

Marissa McCauley
14
 

Behind Design: Exploring American Indian Cultures Through Artifact Investigation

Introduction

How might we learn about cultures through the study of artifacts? What role could the study of design elements and process play in in deepening our understanding? How could we leverage student agency of the design process to gain opportunities to recognize relationships between artifacts and culture.

This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover complexity by looking closely and making connections between cultures and the design process behind the artifacts. Student claims are based on evidence using provided resources for investigation. The Artifact Investigation Map serves as a visible thinking tool for documenting our understanding of a culture by making connections between the artifact and our research.

Procedure

Begin by looking closely at an artifact, Lone Dog Winter Count, using a Project Zero Routine, See, Think, Wonder. Through close examination, we begin to develop hypotheses about the object and the connections to the culture. While a main goal is to learn more about the culture related to the artifact, we are also building a capacity for using this thinking process to build understanding. Record and display class ideas generated through this routine. In the discussion of culture, we are looking at how people live: What do the people value? What are their priorities and motivations?

Introduce the points of The Artifact Investigation Map. Ask students, “How could this be used to organize the ideas documented from the thinking routine about the artifact and the people who created it?”. (Students may recognize this as the Engineering Design Process.) Building on our initial See, Think, Wonder documentation, the group connects the artifact ideas to the map points. Different questions within each point may serve as prompts to continue making connections and lead to more questions about what we still wonder, guiding the next research steps. Provide a space to record and share new questions during the process.

Begin the research process with the first video Lakota Winter Counts. Using information from the source, model the process of organizing the findings using the different points on The Artifact Investigation Map. Be sure to highlight unanswered questions in the map as the class decides the future steps in the research. Support the student use of resource-based evidence starting from this Learning Lab collection when making and documenting claims. Depending on the learners, this phase may vary in the structure of guidance and interaction. Documentation is shared with an emphasis on providing opportunities to discuss the claims, findings, and analysis.


Guiding Points for Inquiry using The Artifact Investigation Map:

Ask: What needs or problems might this artifact address/solve? Does this design reflect empathy for a particular group or person?

Imagine: What possible prototypes or variations might have been produced in the timeline of this artifact? Could there have been earlier versions leading to this one?  

Plan: Identify and describe what could have been key factors influencing design process. Examples: materials/natural resources, people power, skills, technology/tools, historical and natural environment….

(Re)Create: Describe the possible steps taken to create the artifact. What could this look like? Options include for this exploration: Try to create a mini-version or reenact one of the steps of the process. Use observations of the process to draw possible conclusions about the culture. Sketch or act out the steps. Take a part of the process and use the Step Inside thinking routine. *Document and share this process with the group in order to prepare for the next phase of The Artifact Investigation Map

Improvements: Since the creation of this artifact, what versions do we see today? What would the biography of this type of innovation look like? How might this type of artifact connect to modern innovation? *Extension for Improvements: Use the thinking routine Imagine If to evaluate a modern iteration of the artifact. How does it compare to the original?


Documenting Ongoing Conclusions/Questions/Reflections

Throughout the investigation, students share and post supported claims about the culture and reflect upon the process of using the design cycle to guide the study.

For the final reflection, use the thinking routine I Used to Think, Now I Think… to look for changes in thinking. Keep the process and research lines of thinking open for continued exploration with the unanswered questions.

#PZPGH

Andrea Croft
31
 

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
 

"Diary: December 12, 1941," internment in America, and the literature of exile

Beginning with Roger Shimomura's "Diary: December 12, 1941," students will engage with a variety of primary and secondary documents, works of art, and interviews as an entry point into Mohsin Hamid's contemporary work of magical realism, Exit, West.  

Aerie Treska
28
 

Teaching The Great Gatsby with Informational Texts

#SAAMteach

This collection complements teaching The Great Gatsby using the lens of economics. Informational texts provide foundation for questions like: why should we care about economic inequality?



Cristi Marchetti
28
 

Using Vietnam War art to introduce the novel "Inside Out & Back Again"

This collection is curated to introduce the historical background of the Vietnam War for the free verse novel Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, 2011, based on one year in the life of a Vietnamese refugee who came to America in 1975 after the fall of Saigon. I use these resources for a middle school classroom, but it can be modified for high school as well.

#SAAMteach

Karen LaVohn
13
 

Progress: Who's Affected?

Students often understand that technological innovation makes our lives better, but they do not see the backstory. There are people who lose their livelihoods as machines replace them. What was once a necessary job is now obsolete--even the people themselves might feel obsolete. This lesson is designed to help students understand the drawbacks of progress and, more specifically, how it affects those people who were replaced.

#SAAMteach

Madison Doss
9
 

Water, Art and Greek Mythology: Achelous and Hercules

A teacher's guide to the painting Achelous and Hercules, by Thomas Hart Benton. This 1947 mural retells an Ancient Greek myth in the context of the American Midwest. Includes the painting, a pdf of the myth "Achelous and Hercules", a supplemental picture guide to the story, a non-fiction article about fresh water from Readworks, and a supplemental worksheet.


Tags: greece, #SAAMTeach , water

Taylor Hummell
6
 

Reviewing Literary Devices Through Observation of American Art

This collection will support students in identifying and creating effective literary devices, as a review, in preparation for an upcoming poetry unit. Students will begin with a See-Think-Wonder activity, followed by a quick write, a review of five literary devices (diction, imagery, metaphor, simile, and tone), and ending with a small group See-Think-Wonder activity and the creation of sentences based on the images using the literary devices listed above. 

Pieces included:

  1. Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1872
  2. Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1893-1901
  3. Thomas Moran, The Chasm of the Colorado, 1873-1874
  4. Thomas Moran, Mist in Kanab Canyon, Utah, 1892
  5. Thomas Doughty, River View with Hunters and Dogs, ca. 1850
  6. Asher B. Durand, Woodland Glen, ca. 1850-1855
  7. Frederic Edwin Church, Aurora Borealis, 1865

#SAAMteach

Charlene Harper
11
 

Mosquito! Podcasting Module

In this modular, multi-part lesson, learners will focus on a Sidedoor podcast discussing mosquitoes. Learners will focus on the content the podcast is delivering and then analyze the podcast for production techniques. The content of the podcast will give the team a base understanding for the focus of their own podcast.

#YAGSidedoor2019

Sidedoor for Educators
7
 

What makes you say that?: Marian Anderson in Concert at the Lincoln Memorial

This collection uses the Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking routine for interpretation with justification. This routine helps students describe what they see or know and asks them to build explanations. The strategy is paired with photographs from the National Museum of American History, an artwork from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a video from the Smithsonian Music initiative, featuring a curator from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Using guided questions, students will look at a single event through multiple media formats.

Tags: William H. Johnson, Robert Scurlock, Marian Anderson, Easter 1939 concert, Lincoln Memorial

#visiblethinking #BecauseOfHerStory #SmithsonianMusic

Ashley Naranjo
5
 

Slow Looking: Untitled, by El Anatsui

In this collection, students will explore an artwork by El Anatsui, a contemporary artist whose recent work addresses global ideas about the environment, consumerism, and the social history and memory of the "stuff" of our lives. After looking closely and exploring the artwork using an adapted version of Project Zero's "Parts, Purposes, and Complexities" routine, students will create a "diamante" poem using their observations of the artwork and knowledge they gained about El Anatsui's artistic influences. Additional resources about El Anatsui, how to look at African Art, and Project Zero Thinking Routines are located at the end of the collection.

This collection was created for the "Smithsonian Learning Lab, Focus on Global Arts and Humanities" session at the 2019 New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Arts Integration Leadership Institute. 

Keywords: nigeria, african art, textile, poetry, creative writing, analysis

Deborah Stokes
20
 

Gender

#SAAMteach

Cristi Marchetti
13
 

Argument & Art

Understanding what makes a text effective in terms of rhetorical strategies in increasingly important for students, especially as the ACT/SAT writing exams become more analytical. By pairing a visual stimulus with a somewhat abstract, difficult-to-place concept such as that of Rhetoric, students should be able to more wholly understand what comprises and defines each canon and be able to apply the canons to a broad range of texts, both traditional and contemporary. 

#SAAMteach

Kimberly Siemsen
12
 

Women and men who helped New York immigrates' living conditions during the 19th and early 20th century.

This collections shows men and women who helped change the living conditions of the immigrants that flooded into New York City during the 19th and 20th centuries. They changed the way people lived by shining a light on the poor living conditions of the newest Americans.  The following people are discussed in this collection: Lillian Wald, Jane Addams, Margaret Sanger, Jacob Riis, and Theodore Roosevelt.  The themes that are discussed are: tenement living, women's health, and immigrants. 

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019  Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute. 

#NPGteach


leigh lewis
17
 

Student Activity: Music as an Environmental Advocacy Approach

In this student activity, explore five musical artists and their connections to environmental advocacy as shared by a Smithsonian Folkways archivist. Inspired by these songs about water issues, you will write lyrics for a song on an environmental theme, incorporating relevant words and imagery.

#SmithsonianMusic

Ashley Naranjo
9
 

Media, Color, & Identity: George Gershwin as a Lens to Uncover Individual Identity

Inquiry Description

Throughout history, people have represented themselves and others through media (e.g. paintings, film, photos, song, social media, etc.). Artists and individuals make conscious and unconscious choices about how to represent a person using media and color. These representations are open to individual interpretation.

In this inquiry, students  develop awareness of different perceptions and expressive qualities of color through an examination of historical sources. The first formative task entails a student exploration of the attributes of color through the "Interpreting & Communicating Color" task using paint color samples. Students then apply this understanding while analyzing portraiture and various other media through the lens of how artists represent a songwriter, George Gershwin. The second formative task involves students discussing and supporting claims about how Gershwin is represented in a text, The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue, and in his music and a portrait. Students then write and support claims about how Gershwin is represented in various media forms in the third formative task. The lesson concludes with a summative task during which students determine the best colors and media to represent their own identity within the creation of a self-portrait.

The 2017 NCSS Notable Trade Book, The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue, is intriguing because the illustrator chose to represent Gershwin in shades of blue. This text is ripe for color analysis. This Gershwin biography provides background knowledge about Gershwin's personality, thus acting as a resource that students may use to develop claims about artist's color choices as representations of Gershwin's identity. After acquiring knowledge of Gershwin's personality traits, students apply perceptions about the expressive qualities of color to various media (portraits, sculpture, photo, etc.). Many of these historical sources are from the National Portrait Gallery, a Smithsonian Institution museum, and represent treasured elements of our national history.

This inquiry will consist of four class periods [approximately].

 

Structure of the Inquiry

NCSS's Theme 4 Individual Development and Identity and the C3 Framework (i.e. D2.His.6.3-5.) expect that students investigate how individual perceptions effect how people are represented throughout history. Throughout the formative tasks, students gradually build skills needed to interpret and communicate about artists' color and media representations of people as well as individual perceptions about color usage within artistic works. Students interpret several portraits, namely, Wormley's 1936 George Gershwin; Auerbach's 1926 Gershwin at the Piano; and a 1934 Gershwin self-portrait. Additionally, students examine other forms of portraiture: Noguchi's 1929 Gershwin sculpture and a 1936 Gershwin photo. After examining these historical sources, students make a determination as to which historical source best represents George Gershwin and provides evidence as to why it is the best representation of Gershwin.

Students are expected to develop their personal identity as related to their time and place in society as stated in NCSS Theme 4 Individual Development and Identity. In the summative task, students apply these understandings to create a new historical source, a self-portrait, by making intentional choices about how to represent themselves through color within media.  

Inquiry Questions for the Lesson:

Compelling Question: What factors influence how individuals are perceived by others and themselves?

Supporting Question: What are the attributes of  color?

Supporting Question: How do media and color effect one's representation of identity?

Supporting Question: How are media and color used to represent George Gershwin's identity?

Supporting Question: What do media and color reveal about you?


These NCSS C3 Framework History Standards are the basis for the lesson content:

D2.His.10.3-5 Compare information provided by different historical sources about the past.

D2.His.13.3-5. Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic.

#SmithsonianMusic

Angel Bestwick
22
 

Slow Looking: Untitled, by El Anatsui

In this collection, students will explore an artwork by El Anatsui, a contemporary artist whose recent work addresses global ideas about the environment, consumerism, and the social history and memory of the "stuff" of our lives. After looking closely and exploring the artwork using an adapted version of Project Zero's "Parts, Purposes, and Complexities" routine, students will create a "diamante" poem using their observations of the artwork and knowledge they gained about El Anatsui's artistic influences. Additional resources about El Anatsui, how to look at African Art, and Project Zero Thinking Routines are located at the end of the collection.

This collection was created for the "Smithsonian Learning Lab, Focus on Global Arts and Humanities" session at the 2019 New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Arts Integration Leadership Institute. 

Keywords: nigeria, african art, textile, poetry, creative writing, analysis

Tess Porter
20
 

Compare/Contrast: Faith Ringgold and Jacob Lawrence

This collection includes self-portraits by two different artists: Faith Ringgold and Jacob Lawrence.  Both artists are generally known for their efforts to represent everyday life experiences, struggles, and successes of African Americans.  The purpose of the collection is to prompt a discussion comparing/contrasting each artist's content and media choice in the context of a self-portrait.  Students will be asked to reflect on stages of the artistic process in terms of artist intent, choice of media, and general content of a finished artwork.     

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.  #NPGteach 

Liz List
16
 

Immigration & The Face of American Identity

This collection provides resources that can be used to introduce and discuss the following essential questions, as part of a larger "American Identity" literature-based unit:  

1) In what ways do immigrants change America?

2) What would America be like without immigrants?

3) How do immigrants' experiences contribute to a complex and multifaceted American Identity?

#SAAMteach

Joanna Dickinson
13
 

Mini Unit Recognizing the American Dream


#SAAMteach

Maria Ryan
10
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