Found 1,658 Learning Lab Collections
This collection includes instructions and ideas for a classroom activity designed to get children and their families talking and creating together. It is suitable for K-5 classrooms, as an art, English, or social studies-based activity. Included here are examples of student work (images and video of students reading their books), as well as images from classroom displays.
In this activity, a 1st grade teacher from a bilingual school in Washington, D.C., used what we called the "Connections" handmade storybook design to have her students share important family lessons. She described how she did the activity: "I loved the book project and found that it was a way to get parents involved in making a book with their child at home. I pre-made the books since I thought the instructions were a little tricky. The instructions were to discuss and write about a Life Lesson that their families taught them. Our students created bilingual Spanish/English books. The format was perfect for this because it could be English on one side and Spanish on the other. Students enjoyed hanging their books up outside of the class for others to read and then sharing them with the class. It really helped them to understand what important life lessons families teach them and it helped to bring students' home knowledge into the classroom. We connected the books to our Life Lessons unit and plan to do the same thing this year."
This project is based on a handmade book design that can be found, along with several others, in another collection: Fun for the Whole Family: Making "Family Memory" Storybooks: http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/1tozk88HXhnFBU6d.
This collection contains assets and resources designed to help teachers (art, English, ESOL, social studies, and media technology), museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate their own "Today I Am Here" project, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community.
The "Today I Am Here" book is a wonderful classroom activity, made from one sheet of paper, in which students can share their family stories. The design of the book works well for a K-5 classroom displays, and helps to show the breadth and diversity of the class and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. The project also works extremely well with ESOL students of any age, although the teacher will need to be prepared for possible difficult issues to surface.
Included here are instructions to make the book, examples of student work (images and video of students reading), as well as images from classroom displays.
The book design is one of many available in another collection: Fun for the Whole Family: Making "Family Memory" Storybooks: http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/1tozk88HXhnFBU6d.
Compelling Question: Does war divide or unite a country? #TeachingInquiry
A glance at how the aesthetics of Asian Pacific American cultures have been presented, embraced, celebrated, and manipulated in society. For this collection, I went through searches around Asian Pacific American cultures to look at both things that were considered traditionally beautiful and things with beauty not as direct. Examining objects from paintings to designed plates helped to explore what was considered beautiful in many different lenses. The goal was to look at and analyze the presence of beauty in different forms, from stereotypes in Hollywood to architecture, and interpret what these symbolized for a larger society.
This collection serves to show how average children lived in the 18th and early 19th century. Children lived quite differently than kids do today. As infants, mothers tried their best to keep their children safe, but their child care methods were unconventional and sometimes unnecessary due to the lack of information available to them about child development. Families often had many children to counteract the high infant mortality rate of the time. In many cases, a parent would die young as well, leaving widows with no choice other than to give their kids up for adoption and hope that a wealthy family will take good care of their child. Growing up, there was a clear divide between girls and boys and their path in life. Both sexes were educated, but boys had the opportunity to learn more, while the goal for a girl was to be taught how to become a good wife. The strict culture prevented much free time for playing games and simply being a kid. Religion played a role in how children were raised and behaved. Rules and discipline kept them in line from as young as when they learned to walk. Each piece in this collection will further illustrate the contrast between colonial and modern day childhood.
This collection, first of all, is a work in progress and may change as time goes on. The collection includes pieces that are meant to prompt students to think how to create a "just society" and potential consequences when those ideals don't become reality. #SAAMteach
This collection features a series of three independent activities around one singular portrait of Bayard Taylor (formally titled A Morning in Damascus) painted by Thomas Hicks, 1855. Taylor was one of America's foremost and most popular travel writers of the mid to late 19th century.
These activities were created for my Advanced Placement World History course to practice close reading skills as well as historical thinking skills. The notations provided here are for teacher reference and would not be given to students.
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
This learning lab will help aid the unit plan based on engineering and design. The learning lab "A Plane's Purpose" will be used during the first of three lessons in the unit plan.
The first lesson is where the students will learn all about the functions and purposes of certain planes. This lab can be used during and after the lesson. When used during the lesson, the instructor can use it to provide information about the planes. After the lesson, students can refer back to it on their own to help them with research, details, or ideas.
When using the learning lab during the lesson, make sure to go over each plane and what is was used for. The last plane in the learning lab should specifically be the Douglas C-47 because it is a plane that had a variety of uses. Emphasize that the way that the C-47 was designed, allowed it to be versatile, which is why design is important when the students begin their own. With the different images of the C-47, you can show how it is used differently in each mission. At the end of the lesson, go back and review the different aircrafts and what they were used for. You can also introduce other aircrafts that have other uses that were not mentioned in the lab.
The purpose of the lab is to help students identify details that they might want to incorporate when designing their plane.
These items are housed in the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum and appear in the exhibit A Right to the City curated by Samir Meghelli.
"The history of Washington neighborhoods reveals the struggles of DC residents to control—or even participate in—decisions affecting where and how they live. Prior to passage of Home Rule in the 1970s, Congressmen, private developers, appointed members of the local government, and even sitting Presidents decided the course of the city’s development, often with little or no input from residents.
In the mid-twentieth century, massive federal “urban renewal” projects, school desegregation, and major highways, both proposed and built, spurred civic engagement, protest, alternative proposals for development, and a push for self-government. By 1968, “White man’s roads through black man’s homes” became a rallying cry, pointing to the racism that afflicted the urban and suburban planning of the era.
A Right to the City highlights episodes in the history of six neighborhoods across the city, telling the story of how ordinary Washingtonians have helped shape and reshape their neighborhoods in extraordinary ways: through the fight for quality public education, for healthy and green communities, for equitable development and transit, and for a genuinely democratic approach to city planning."
Shape-note singing is a tradition that began in the American South as a simple way to teach the reading of music to congregations. Each note head has a distinctive, easy-to-remember shape. What a great way, then, to introduce the reading of music to children!
In this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, "A Shape-Note Singing Lesson," you'll find a lesson plan and a background essay. Click the PDF icon to see the issue. Click the last box for audio samples of shape-note hymns from the Smithsonian Folkways archives.
There were hundreds of different native communities, and with each, there was a distinct history, language, and musical culture. Musical culture played a vital role in the life of Native Americans. It was used for recreation, healing, expression, and ceremonial purposes.
Music was the foundation of Native American culture that worked its way into rituals, customs, and daily life. Much of the foundational personality and uniqueness of Native music that is known, originates from the instruments themselves, most notably, drums, rattles, and flutes/pipes.
Originating in the 1500's and ending in the 1700's Native Americans adopted and adapted many European instruments. However, before learning of the European instruments, the natives already had many of their own. Even though their instruments weren't as advanced as those of the Europeans, they had what they needed which were these beautiful percussive and woodland instruments. Still, when borrowing and adapting European instruments, the Native Americans managed to make these them their own by decorating them.
Decorations would often have some sort of spiritual significance, or could oftentimes refer to sacred narratives. However, it is not only the decorations that tell stories. Usually, the names of the instruments themselves reflected some sort of symbolic significance. Also, some instruments are thought to be sentient and require special treatment.
There are several techniques that are employed in making these instruments. One of the most abstract being the art that was often carved, painted or placed on these instruments. Some devices would take an hour or two to make and were able to be built by practically anyone in their tribe. However, some instruments were so complex that only certain tribe members could make them and it could take up to weeks to finish.
Unlike the Europeans, instruments were much more than just instruments to the Native Americans, they were spiritual symbols and carried a lot of cultural significance for their individual tribes.
Native Americans put a lot of work and effort into these devices, and even though they didn't have the modern tools and knowledge that we have today, they had what was necessary for their practices.
In lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, portraits of Lincoln introduce a study of the Civil War. An analysis of the portraits—including the famous “cracked-plate" photograph, two plaster “life masks," and an eyewitness drawing of Lincoln's arrival in the enemy capital of Richmond, Virginia—leads to an analysis of the times.
Click on the PDF icons to download the issue and larger images of the portraits.
UNSTACKED is a wonderful way to spark inquiry, analysis, and discussion. By visually exploring our images, you can bring the Smithsonian Libraries' collections into your classroom. Use UNSTACKED as a morning exercise, a way to introduce a new topic, or to discover your students' interests. Picture your world, dive into the stacks!
The research and creation of this project was funded by the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool Award.
IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.
Exploring: Ancient Egypt, the Nile River, and glass museum objects, papercraft, and sand art
Rationale for Instruction:
- Through the introduction, museum visit, and activities, students connect with an ancient and diverse culture in ways both conceptual and concrete. The ancient Egyptians shaped our modern civilization in fundamental ways and left legacies that are still present today.
- Explain features of the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian living on the Nile River, including boat transportation, dress, and animal life.
- Explore the ancient origins of glass making in Egypt.
- Examine how glass making relates to object making, animal representation, and the desert environment of Egypt
- Plan, create, and share digital and physical works of art that represent ancient (sand art) and modern art forms (digital photography with filters) as well as representational art (papercraft) landscape.
EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Nile, Nile Crocodile" << CLICK HERE >>
SET THE STAGE:
- Maps - Look at the maps in the Smithsonian collection; Where do you think you'll journey to in this collection?
- "This is Sand" App - an tablet app that changes the pixels on the screen into digital sand.
- Video about The Nile (for learners who prefer a concrete example)
- Thought journey down the Nile River; Ask questions about observations along the way. If you are able to transform the furniture to reflect a boat, do so.
- Glass making video as well as a primary source text from 1904 (for learners who prefer a concrete example); Help make the connection between the desert sand environment and glass making.
- Go to the gallery; read the panels and explore the objects. The gallery has been re-created in the Learning Lab collection
- Explore the glass vessels-->What do you notice?
- Observe the glass animals-->Take turns reading the informational texts; What do the animals represent?
~ BREAK ~
ACTIVITY STATIONS (rotate between activity stations)
- SAND ART - Create your own ancient Egyptian glass vessel through a sand art design similar to the decorated glass in the museum.
- "ANCIENT" PHOTOS - Use digital tablets to take photos in a museum gallery and use the built-in filters to create 'ancient-looking' photos like the ones that document historic museum excavations.
- PAPERCRAFT LANDSCAPE - Create a three-dimensional landscape of ancient Egypt based on the animals and structures observed in the museum gallery and in the introductory materials. Templates and examples are included. Document your results using photography.
Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program
This inspiration collection of nostalgic popular "pop" culture from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s—super heroes and super villains, Muppets, cartoon characters, Star Wars, Disney and Pixar characters, Transformers, and movies was used for a collage activity and discussion prompt in an informal learning activity, "Me & My World: Personal Ecology/Interest Inventory" with a group of teens with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. Students were asked about their favorite pop culture influences from the past and present. Use the visible thinking routine, "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for a discussion prompt, and the images for inspiration.
Tags: decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program
This topical collection of people—together in groups with friends or families (mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmother, and grandfather); different genders, ages, and ethnicities, and "selfies"—was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials); and as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program. Use the visible thinking routine, "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for the writing prompt, and the images for inspiration.
Tags: decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program
This topical collection of artworks is based upon a wide variety of places and travel spots, both "real" and "imagined." It features castles, mountains, beaches, forests, capital cities, and fantasy movie landscapes. It was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials); and as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program. Students were asked about famous places they have visited or would want to visit, as well as favorite vacation or travel spots. Other suggested uses beyond collage and discussion prompts would be a writing exercise, "If you could travel anywhere, where would you go, and who would you travel with, etc...?" Use the visible thinking routine "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for the writing prompt, and the images for inspiration.
Tags: Decision Making, Disabilities, Self-Determination, Self-Efficacy, Student Empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program
Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will examine the 1947 mural "Achelous and Hercules," by Thomas Hart Benton. This artwork explores the relationship between man and water in post-war agricultural America through the retelling of an Ancient Greek myth. Collection includes a video analysis by a museum director and an interactive exploring areas of interest in the artwork.
Tags: greece; agriculture; agricultural; missouri river; marshall plan; truman; cultural connections; midwest
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.
This teaching collection asks students to consider photographs and documentation about early 20th-century Jewish immigrant activist Clara Lemlich (1886-1982, leader of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and founder of the Progressive Women’s Councils), in the larger context of New York's Garment Industry, the New York Shirtwaist Strike of 1909, and the 1911 Triangle Waist Factory fire. By pairing historical documentation with three thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials - "Step In, Step Out, Step Back," "Think, Feel, Care," and "Circles of Action," - the collection encourages students to explore complexity and perspective, and fosters a disposition to participate.
Included here are photographs, documentation, and resources from the Jewish Women's Archive's Encyclopedia of Jewish Women, the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives at Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations School, the Tenement Museum, and the National Museum of American History.
This collection pairs well with chapter 11 ("Jews are Pushed from Russia") of Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America, and supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, and Unit 3: Local History and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.
This topical collection includes resources related to featured women activists. This collection includes portraits of the activists, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the life stories of activists, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study.
Keywords: Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Edith Windsor, Wilma Mankiller, Grace Lee Boggs, Pauli Murray, Shirley Chisholm, Rachel Carson, Zitkala-Sa, #BecauseOfHerStory