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Found 453 Collections

 

Depictions of Water in American Impressionist Painting

This collection explores different water scenes painted by nineteenth and twentieth century American impressionists. It looks at both technical vocabulary for art, and Impressionism as a movement. It uses multiple mediums and explores different artists over the period.

This lesson aims to:

  • Introduce students to Impressionist techniques in art, we well as specifically introduce American Impressionist painting.
  • Encourage discussion of the representation of water in the context of the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibition Water/Ways.
  • Teach some foundational artistic concepts and vocabulary at the intermediate level to students, including: basic color theory, brushwork, expression, and mood.

Students should be able to:

  • Describe visual elements of painting with specific vocabulary.
  • Compare multiple paintings and artists, in terms of specific visual elements.
  • Compare artwork based on the representation of a specific subject: water.
  • [Optional Activity] Reproduce at least one technique from the following categories: color and brushwork.  
SITES Museum on Main Street
18
 

Allies in the Fields

Most people are familiar with the Farm Workers Movement but many do not know the long history of resistance in the fields.  This activity will provide an introduction into the role Asians and Asian Americans played in providing food across the United States and the pivotal role they played gaining farm worker rights. #APA2018

You will find student instructions for each section on the arrow slide dividers. Click on each for instructions.   

Throughout this experience consider the 3 Ys:

  1. Why might this snapshot of the role of Asians and Asian Americans in the fields matter to me?
  2. Why might it matter to people around (family, friends, fellow students, community)
  3. What might it matter to the world?

At the end of this activity focus on what it means to be an ally and revisit your Universe of Obligation activity.

 

Merri Weir
23
 

China’s Terracotta Army: The Terracotta Warriors

In this activity, students explore the Terracotta Army, a group of approximately 7,000 terracotta figures of warriors and horses made for China’s First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE). After learning about Qin dynasty (221 – 206 BCE) afterlife beliefs analyzing the types of figures, layout of pits, and other object included, students will create their own arguments about what the Terracotta Army reveals about Emperor Qin Shihuang. This collection is Part 2 in a series of collections created for a social studies classroom; for more information, click “Read More.”

Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history. They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. 

Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Tags: archaeology; archaeologist; ancient history; artifact; afterlife; funerary practices; burial; death; spiritual beliefs; military; soldier; sculpture; chinese; world; asia; asian; xi'an; empire; cross-cultural comparison; think puzzle explore; strategy; project zero; visible thinking routine; terra cotta; qin shi huang; shihuangdi; shi huang di; earthenware; ceramics

Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army
18
 

China’s Terracotta Army: Introduction to China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Army

In this activity, students will learn about the life, achievements, and historical legacy of the First Emperor of China, Emperor Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE). In order to understand why he, and the developments he shaped, are so historically significant, students will explore objects from the Qin (221 – 206 BCE) and Han (206 BCE – 220 CE) dynasties and use information learned to create arguments about the past. This collection is Part 1 in a series of collections created for a social studies classroom; for more information, click “Read More.”

Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history. They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. 

Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Tags: archaeology; archaeologist; ancient history; artifact; afterlife; funerary practices; burial; death; spiritual beliefs; military; soldier; sculpture; chinese; world; asia; asian; xi'an; empire; leader; see wonder connect; headlines; strategy; project zero; visible thinking routine; terra cotta; qin shi huang; shihuangdi; shi huang di; earthenware; ceramics

Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army
10
 

Ancient Egyptian Religion & Social Hierarchy: Pyramids

This student activity examines the importance of religion and social hierarchy in Ancient Egypt through the construction of pyramids. Details evolution over time and encourages cross-cultural comparison. Includes photographs, an artifact, a video, a reading-level appropriate article, and opportunities to learn more at the Met Museum website and Google Street View.

Big Questions: 

  • How did the pyramids evolve over time? 
  • How does this evolution reflect the importance of religion and social hierarchy in Ancient Egyptian urban society?

Keywords: archaeology

Tess Porter
12
 

Asian American Modernism

This collection is meant to build on two earlier collections, "Asian American Art: Emerging from the Shadows"  and "Asian American Artists and World War II" and to introduce the viewer to artists of Asian ancestry in America using Chang, Johnson & Karlstrom's text, Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (2008), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco's exhibition catalog "Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970" (2008),the vast resources of the Smithsonian Learning Lab, Project Zero's Global Thinking Routines and other resources.  This collection is part two of four that I have organized, chronologically, on Asian American Art.  The other three collections are "Asian American Art: Emerging from the Shadows",  "Asian American Artists and World War II" and "Asian American Contemporary Art".  It is my hope that these collections will serve as entry points to understanding the many contributions of Asian American artists in the U.S. from 1850 until the present time.

Visual art is a language that is socially and culturally constructed.  Socially constructed learning values diverse perspectives, engages with local and global experts, and employs inquiry, discovery and exploration to move students toward global citizenship.  Because the visual arts leverage the power of dialogue and debate to sharpen critical thinking, starting with the arts is a logical place to help students develop cultural intelligence.

Other purposes of these collections are to explore tangible and intangible cultural heritage; as well as jumpstart brave conversations about race, identity and immigration in the U.S. with teachers, tutors of English Language Learners and others who are interested in becoming cultural leaders in our public schools.

As Gordon H. Chang and Mark Dean Johnson state in the introduction of the exhibition catalog, "Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970" (2008):

"Forty years ago there were no Asian Americans.  There were Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, and others of Asian ancestry in the United States, but no 'Asian Americans,' as that term was coined only in 1968.  This population was commonly seen as foreign, alien, not of America.  Their lives and experiences were not generally accepted as part of the fabric of the country, even though Asians had begun settling here steadily in the mid-nineteenth century.

Then, in the late 1960s, as part of the upsurge in the self-assertion of marginalized communities,  'Asian America' emerged to challenge the stigma of perpetual foreignness.  'Asian American' was a claim of belonging, of rootedness, of pride and identity, and of history and community; it was also a recognition of distinctive cultural achievement"  (Chang, Johnson, 2008).

#APA2018

Julie Sawyer
18
 

Birds

Compare similarities and differences among types of birds.

Analyze bird sculptures: what shapes/forms help represent the body, head, neck, beak, or wings? Which type of bird would you like to sculpt in clay?

Val clause
19
 

Asian American Art: "Emerging from the Shadows"

This collection is meant to build on "Socially Constructed Learning through Art" and to introduce the viewer to artists of Asian ancestry in America using Chang, Johnson & Karlstrom's text, Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (2008), the vast resources of the Smithsonian Learning Lab, Project Zero's Global Thinking Routines and other resources.  This collection is part one of four that I have organized, chronologically, on Asian American Art.  The other three collections are "Asian American Artists and World War II",  "Asian American Modernism" and "Asian American Contemporary Art".  It is my hope that these collections will serve as entry points to understanding the many contributions of Asian American artists in the U.S. from 1850 until the present time.

Visual art is a language that is socially and culturally constructed.  Socially constructed learning values diverse perspectives, engages with local and global experts, and employs inquiry, discovery and exploration to move students toward global citizenship.  Because the visual arts leverage the power of dialogue and debate to sharpen critical thinking, starting with the arts is a logical place to help students develop cultural intelligence.

Other purposes of these collections are to explore tangible and intangible cultural heritage; as well as jumpstart brave conversations about race, identity and immigration in the U.S. with teachers, tutors of English Language Learners and others who are interested in becoming cultural leaders in our public schools.

In Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (Chang, Johnson, Karlstrom, 2008), Gordon H. Chang writes about Asian American art "emerging from the shadows".  He asks, "Why has this treasure been outside our vision?"  Historically, those of Asian heritage faced discrimination in the United States.  For instance, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prevented Asian immigrants from entering the country.  In 1945, the U.S. government forced Japanese Americans to move to remote internment camps.  Most of these people of Japanese ancestry were U.S. citizens or legal residents and they were forced to abandon their homes and businesses until the war ended.  In 1965, the U.S. finally lifted the last of the immigration laws that overtly discriminated against Asians.  

Asian Americans are now the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S., outpacing both Latinos and African Americans.  In 2013, there were more than 17.3 million Asian Americans living in the U.S. -- 6% of the population.  

So although Asian Americans have been making and exhibiting art in the U.S. since 1850, why is it still so difficult to define the style or content of Asian American art?  We will come back to this question in each of the four collections.

For early Asian American art, as Chang states in his forward, "The fascination with modern abstraction and nonrepresentational art, especially after World War II, turned public eyes away from art that appeared to have social messages or overt ethnic connections.  Art produced by Asian Americans, other racial minorities, and women in America that displayed such markers now appeared nonmodern and was eclipsed by the interest in abstraction.  Art that reflected the quandary of exile (such as that suffered by Chinese diasporic artists -- Wang Ya-chen, Chang Shu-chi, and Chang Dai-chien, for example -- in the mid twentieth century), displacement (such as that experienced by artists who worked in the United States during the height of racial antagonism, such as Yun Gee or Chiura Obata), and persecution (the Japanese artists who suffered internment, Eitaro Ishigaki and others, hounded because of their political beliefs) fell out of fashion." 

#APA2018

Julie Sawyer
24
 

Storytelling Training: What is Cultural Storytelling?

Whether you're participating in the Stories: YES program in conjunction with a Museum on Main Street exhibition or creating digital stories on your own, the six modules in the Storytelling Training Series will help you think through everything to help get started. In this short online course, you'll learn about what we call "cultural storytelling" and  what the value of cultural storytelling is to society at large. 

This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation. 

SITES Museum on Main Street
21
 

Storytelling Training: What Makes a Great Story?

Whether you're participating in the Stories: YES program in conjunction with a Museum on Main Street exhibition or creating digital stories on your own, the six modules in the Storytelling Training Series will help you think through everything to help get started. In this course, you'll  learn about the parts that make stories compelling, especially non-fiction narratives which are unique stories grounded in real-life perspectives and history. Explore how your story can be both personal and research-based at the same time. Even documentaries start with a script!

This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation. 

SITES Museum on Main Street
22
 

Storytelling Training: Research and Content Gathering

Whether you're participating in the Stories: YES program in conjunction with a Museum on Main Street exhibition or creating digital stories on your own, the six modules in the Storytelling Training Series will help you think through everything to help get started. In this short course, we'll talk about some basic steps for beginning your research. You will learn about local and specific national online resources that will help you gather all the facts!

This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation.

SITES Museum on Main Street
31
 

Storytelling Training: Creating Your Story

Whether you're participating in the Stories: YES program in conjunction with a Museum on Main Street exhibition or creating digital stories on your own, the six modules in the Storytelling Training Series will help you think through everything to help get started. Ready to start developing your story? In this short course, you'll get some tips on how to create a story board, writing a non-fiction script, and more. 

This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation.

SITES Museum on Main Street
26
 

Storytelling Training: Sharing your Story

Whether you're participating in the Stories: YES program in conjunction with a Museum on Main Street exhibition or creating digital stories on your own, the six modules in the Storytelling Training Series will help you think through everything to help get started. In this short course, you'll find tips for posting your stories online for the world to see, from the Smithsonian's Stories from Main Street website to SoundCloud and less common platforms like Clio and izi.Travel. There are also tips about protecting information from people you interview and yourself when using online platforms and social media. 

This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation.

SITES Museum on Main Street
17
 

Storytelling Training: Brainstorming and Going into the Field

Whether you're participating in the Stories: YES program in conjunction with a Museum on Main Street exhibition or creating digital stories on your own, the six modules in the Storytelling Training Series will help you think through everything to help get started. Unlike the other Storytelling Training courses where information is given to you, you'll be asked to contribute ideas for your own potential story in this course. There's no right or wrong answers here. It's a way to help you start planning. Remember to make a copy of this collection first if you want your answers to be saved so you can revisit them!

This training module was created by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in conjunction with the MuseWeb Foundation.

SITES Museum on Main Street
12
 

Women's Suffrage in Idaho

Idaho was among the first states to grant women the right to vote. In this collection, we examine the journey to passing the law allowing women to vote, social views of the roles of women, as well as the similarities and differences between Idaho's women suffrage movement and the nationwide suffrage movements. 

Idaho State Museum
32
 

NHD at NMAAHC Collection Connection Grid 2019: Triumph and Tragedy in History

Welcome to the National Museum of African American History and Culture's Collection Connection Grid for National History Day 2019!

Below is an assortment of selected documents, images, objects and videos that highlight the African American experience in relation to the 2019 NHD theme: Triumph and Tragedy in History. Use these items as inspiration for a project topic, or use the items to help expand your research on a topic you have already selected.  This collection is designed to be self-guided by students and educators participating in National History Day.

 #NHD2019

Keywords: African American, NMAAHC, National History Day, NHD, Collection, Connection, Grid, triumph, tragedy, history, project, topic, ideas, 2019

NMAAHC Education
96
 

Engaging Families through Art and Technology Programs: "Discovering US/Descubriéndonos"

This collection contains assets and resources designed to help teachers (art, English, social studies, and media technology), museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate our very successful Discovering Us/Descubriéndonos program as is, or design their own, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community. 

Discovering Us/Descubriéndonos was a Spanish-language workshop for students and families in the Fairfax County Public School's Family and School Partnerships Luther Jackson Middle School Parent Leadership Program. Pairs of immigrant mothers and their middle school-aged children worked together to create portraits and multimedia production pieces that communicate their family history and their future hopes and dreams.

Included here are examples of student work (videos and portraits), and classroom images of the creative process. The videos were created in iMovie, but there are a variety of other free movie-making apps available. 

#LatinoHAC

Philippa Rappoport
24
 

Art and Technology Projects for Museums and Classrooms: From "Today I Am Here" to "Discovering US/Descubriéndonos"

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. 

"Today I Am Here" is a project in which students make a handmade book from one piece of paper, that tells the story of how they got to where they are today. This project is wonderful in a classroom to show the breadth and diversity of the class, and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. 

Inside you will find instructions and images for the various components of the project, as well as samples of student work. 

#LatinoHAC

Philippa Rappoport
14
 

Engaging Families through Art and Technology Programs: "Illuminating the Self"

This collection details an art and community engagement project that the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access did with educators from the National Portrait Gallery and the Fairfax County Family Literacy Program. It includes assets and resources designed to help teachers, museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate the program as is, or design their own, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community. 

"Illuminating the Self / Illuminándonos" was a five-day bilingual program in which pairs of immigrant mothers and their middle school-aged children worked together to learn about portraiture from the 2016 exhibition of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition winning portraits. First we talked about portraiture in general, and then focused the discussion on light and shadow. Next, students took portraits of each other and chose one to recreate. We projected the portraits in black and white onto a wall, and had the students trace the outlines of their photographs on their blank drawing paper. They they worked with charcoals to fill in their portraits and refine their drawings. Participants also visited the Outwin exhibition. Finally, their portraits were displayed at the National Portrait Gallery's Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day.

Program surveys indicated improved literacy, technology, and communication skills to share heritage, traditions, and talents; increased sense of empowerment and self-esteem, strengthened parent-child relationships and community bonds, and creation of a core of mentors. One mother reported that before the program she would never have entered an art museum because she wouldn't have known what to do, but that now she would not be able to pass by without stopping in. As well, several family participants have returned to the Smithsonian asking to volunteer at future Smithsonian events.

This program received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

#LatinoHAC

Philippa Rappoport
38
 

Classroom Activity Using Images of Immigration and Identity from the National Portrait Gallery, the New York Times, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Students can use the "What makes you say that?" and the "3 Ys" thinking routines to explore two modern portraits about identity and immigration from the National Portrait Gallery. The first thinking strategy asks students to look at a work of art for several minutes before answering two questions: "What's going on?" and "What do you see that makes you say that?" (See https://learninglab.si.edu/res... for more information.)

To further and deepen the discussion, I've included a link to a September 2016 New York Times Op-Doc entitled "4.1 Miles," about a coast guard captain on a small Greek island who is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. (If it doesn't show up easily, you can view the original video on Times Video at https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000004674545/41-miles.html.) I've also included two sculptures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and an interview with Lisa Sasaki, head of the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center.

You may wish to use the "3 Y's" thinking routine here as well, which asks students to consider the following questions:

1. Why might this [topic, question] matter to me?

2. Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, city, nation]?

3. Why might it matter to the world?

(See https://learninglab.si.edu/res... for more information.)

#APA2018, #LatinoHAC


Philippa Rappoport
12
 

Head of State – Power and Authority or Propaganda?

In this collection the theme is "Head of State". Students are to question representation of in terms of power, authority and or propaganda. Included are Houdon's bust of Washington as well as his full length statue; the statue Augustus of Primaporta; and Greenough's statue of George Washington. This collection was created for AP Art History, however it can be used in lower level art history and art appreciation classes as well.

The premise is that students should be able to analyze the differences between two or more styles in terms of composition, choice of subject matter, proportion, color, and so on. Understanding the distinction between styles is especially important in French art (Houdon), where the inheritors of these artistic traditions will become the earliest modernists. Furthermore, artists in the new United States of America tried to capture the spirit of their fledgling republic in their art, but comparing the art of the young nation (Greenough) with that of its European antecedents (Augustus of Primaporta) reveals strong influences as exemplified here.

In addition, students need to be able to answer several key questions when looking and writing about works of art: Why do the historical contexts of the images inform our view of the person depicted? How does the depiction reinforce the image? What message is conveyed in the sculptures? What is the relationship between those portrayed? Finally, how do the works of art relate to specific cultures and the time period in which they were made?

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2018 Summer Teacher Institute. #NPGTeach #visiblethinking

Jennifer Hendricks
11
 

AMERICAN EXPERIMENTS Where Do You Stand? Protest

This collection contains supplemental artifacts and resources for Where Do You Stand? PROTEST, part of the American Experiments suite of educational resources from the National Museum of American History.  

These interactive resources and games challenge students to think about their roles and responsibilities within their democracy. Where Do You Stand? PROTEST invites students to critically think about the nuances and complexities of issues and learn from the experiences and reasoning of their peers as they form their own opinions and responses to a range of prompts. The learning begins with the guiding question: What would you do to support what you believe in? 

Visit Smithsonian's History Explorer to learn more!  

#historicalthinking

NMAH Education
14
 

Yup'ik Parka: Object Analysis

This introductory student activity explores the Yup'ik gut parka, a type of garment created from the intestines of sea mammals to protect sea hunters from wind, rain, and stormy seas. The Yup'ik, native to Alaska and coastal Canada, used these not only for hunting but also spiritual occasions, such as religious ceremonies. Collection includes: two parkas, one for hunting and one for ceremonies; a map of the geographic boundaries of the Yup'ik before the arrival of Euro-American settlers; and a video of modern Yup'ik discussing the traditional process of creating these garments and the importance of conserving and continuing this tradition today.

Collection can be used as an introductory activity to an investigation of: Yup'ik culture, Yup'ik relationships to their environment, Arctic cultures, Native American innovations, or the importance of continuing traditions.

Keywords: eskimo, native american, american indian, sea mammals, gutskin, conservation, yupik

Tess Porter
5
 

Why Move West?

Each resource symbolizes a reason why Americans chose to move west.  For EACH one, complete the following activity:

1) Source it: What is it? Who made it? When was it made? What is the author's purpose/why was it made? Hint- click the i on the left side of the screen to learn more about the source.

2) Identify at least 3 details that you see in EACH image.

3) Why would this resource motivate people to move West? Use a specific detail that you saw to prove your point.

Terri Duncan
12
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