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Found 562 Collections

 

Wounded Knee, Past and Present

Wounded Knee is often portrayed as the closing point of the wars between Native Americans and the United States government in the late 19th century. However, the place also marks a moment of historic protest. This collection can be used to explore the importance of place in protest movements as well as the history of violence and resistance for indigenous people in the United States.

  • How should the site of Wounded Knee be remembered?
  • Why did the activists choose to occupy Wounded Knee? What is the significance of that place?
  • How were the actions of the American Indian Movement activists similar or different to their ancestors? Consider motives, strategies, and successes, and partnerships.
tags: Sitting Bull, Oglala, Sioux, Lakota, occupation, massacre, DAPL, Dakota Access, Red Cloud, Kicking Bear, Ghost Dance, cavalry
Kate Harris
9
 

Understanding Opera

A learning resource for students about opera. The images in this collection focus on different portrayals of opera singers and different types of spaces. As you look through them and complete the activities, think about how they change your viewpoint and understanding of opera.

#SmithsonianMusic

Alexander Graves
12
 

Sorting Activity New Deal Organizations: Relief, Recovery, or Reform?

First, review the images in the collection and the information provided with each, then determine which New Deal organization it is representing. Think about whether that organization is a good example of relief, recovery, or reform. At the end of the collection, you will be asked to sort the images into categories and answer some evaluative questions.


tags: Great Depression, FDR, Roosevelt, New Deal, Agricultural Adjustment Act, Tennessee Valley Administration, 1930s, sort

#historicalthinking


Kate Harris
23
 

Globalization and Cultural Diffusion

This student activity focuses on the concepts of globalization and cultural diffusion. Students will look at a variety of artifacts and explain how they illustrate the two concepts and/or help answer the guiding questions below:

  • What is globalization and how does it affect people and places?
  • What leads to cultural diffusion?
Kate Harris
10
 

Persuasive Techniques in 1950s Advertising

This is a student activity about rhetorical strategies for persuasion using both text and images. The images in this collection are different advertisements published in the United States during the 1950s. As you look through them, think about these three questions:

-What is being advertised?

-How is the advertisement attempting to persuade you to buy the product? Use concrete details from the text and the images.

-Do you think the advertisement is effective? Why or why not?

Alexander Graves
5
 

Women in 1950s America

A learning resource to help develop students' ability to analyze an image and form an argument. The images in this collection are different portrayals of women in the United States during the 1950s. As you look through them, have your students think about these three key questions:

-What is being shown in the image?

-How is the woman represented in the image? Use concrete details from the image.

-Does the image compare to modern representations of women? Why or why not?

The collection ends with a quiz that can either be used as assignment to gauge the students' ability to pull together their analysis into a conclusion or a class discussion.

Alexander Graves
7
 

Journey of the Vin Fiz

The Vin Fiz was the first aeroplane to cross the United States from coast to coast. At a maximum speed of 51 mph and many in flight set backs, the Vin Fiz made the crossing in over 84 days.

Arthur Glaser
26
 

The Melting Pot at the United Shoe Machinery Corporation

This student activity includes a set of archival documents from the United Shoe Machinery Corporation. These documents can be used as resources to help students investigate the relationship between industry, education, and immigration in the early 20th century.

As students explore the collection, they should consider how each document helps them answer the following questions:

-Is it in the best interests of business to encourage citizenship and education? Why or why not?

-What do these materials say about what it means to be considered "American" in the early 20th century?

tags: school, learning, English, language, migration, Ellis Island, manufacturing, Progressives

Kate Harris
8
 

What stories do artifacts tell?

This student activity asks students to develop a story about a mystery artifact, editing and adjusting their narrative as they discover more information. Students will develop historical thinking skills while learning more about the experience of living in a specific time and place.

tags: Japan, internment, incarceration, Manzanar, World War II, World War 2, WW2, Executive Order 9066, Roosevelt, FDR

#historicalthinking


Kate Harris
12
 

Modernism

An exploration of primary sources related to modernism and Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.

Lisa Koch
39
 

Creative Questions about the Great Wall

This collection highlights the Creative Questioning thinking routine from Project Zero. Students will watch a video clip about the Great Wall of China and generate questions they have about the topic. Then, they will use the question starters to improve and expand upon their questions. Finally, they will choose one of their questions as the starting point for further research.

tag: Great Wall, China, military, inquiry

Kate Harris
6
 

Frederick Douglass

In this collection, students will review the life of Frederick Douglass and learn about one of his most famous speeches, "The Meaning of Fourth of July for the Negro" (it is also commonly referred to as "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July). They will examine primary and secondary sources related to the speech to determine what Douglas's goal was with this speech and how it is often percieved today.

Brian Tharp
8
 

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?

Jean-Marie Galing
16
 

Animal Sculptures

Images support second grade paper sculpture lesson. View a few images and lead a discussion with questioning:

  • What do you notice about this picture?
  • Where do you think this is located?
  • If you were here and saw this animal, what would you be thinking?
  • Why do you think the artist chose to put this animal in this spot?
  • How do you think the animal affects people who use this space?
  • Can you think of a space in your community where an artist might place an animal sculpture?
Jean-Marie Galing
7
 

Forced Removal during Apartheid: Examining Historic Photographs

How did apartheid affect the lives of blacks living in Johannesburg in the late 1940s and early 1950s? What was the purpose of forced removal?

This student activity uses the examination of historical photographs as an entry point to learning about the forced removal of blacks from urban areas to townships & homelands under apartheid in South Africa. The images here are all from Sophiatown and Soweto. What details emerge about the life changes that resulted from being moved? What questions remain?

Kate Harris
19
 

Holocaust

Students are to read a series of primary sources from the survivors or witnesses to the Holocaust during World War 2. Students then look at various memorials that were created to remember the Holocaust and decide which is the most applicable to their person. Students need to explain using evidence from both the primary source and the memorial.

Wendy Moore
18
 

Image Analysis: "Girl at Gee's Bend, Alabama" by Arthur Rothstein

Developing an inquiry-based strategy to support students can allow them to investigate objects and images as historians do. In this example, students try to reveal the story behind the image. They raise questions for their own further research. Because the image has only a title, the photographer's name, the "sitter"'s name, the place and the date, students have to rely on their own analysis of evidence in the image, rather than someone else's interpretation. When they read the expert's analysis, they will have already considered many of the elements that the expert highlights and can compare their interpretations.

"Girl at Gee's Bend, Alabama" is a provocative photograph that can be used in discussions ranging from history of the South during the Great Depression, to social justice.

Ashley Naranjo
3
 

Heat Shields - Keeping It Cool

This collection explores the function and chemistry of heat shields on spacecraft and their evolution over the years.

#MCteach

Virginia Miller
17
 

The Gunboat Philadelphia

Through photographs, text, videos, interviews, a map & a 3D model, students can explore the history of the oldest surviving American naval vessel, the Gunboat Philadelphia, which is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The Philadelphia (1776) played an important role during the Revolutionary War. The first five resources in this collection show the discovery and preservation of the sunken boat, while the last three offer more information on its historical significance.

This could be used by students to consider what each type of media reveals. What information can you learn from the single resource? From the collection of media combined? What more context is needed?

Ashley Naranjo
8
 

Soap – History, Uses, and Chemistry

Soap is a common household chemical used around the world. Using the See/Think/Wonder visible thinking tool, this collection explores:

  1. The history of soap,
  2. Why Ivory soap floats,
  3. Why soap can be used for cleaning, and
  4. How is soap made.
Kitty Dang
10
 

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
 

Attention-grabbing headlines don't always tell truth!

Attention-grabbing headlines don't always tell truth!

Pictures are powerful, sometimes edited!

Twitter doesn't tell whole story.


In the era of "fake news" and information overload, we all need to become better readers of the words and pictures that are used to explain what is going on in the world around us. In this activity, students and teachers will consider:

How can the choice of image or words convey different messages about current events? How do journalists and editors shape the news through their choices?

This student activity asks students to look at several images of young people resisting a law or recent event. Their task is to write two different headlines for that image designed to appeal to different audiences. They will also be asked to research the context for the image and to consider how that might impact their headlines.

The goals of this lesson are to:

  • explore image and word choice as news drivers (factors that make items newsworthy or appealing to readers)
  • determine how journalists and editors shape the news through their choices
  • encourage news literacy and a critical reading of headlines and photojournalism in the future.
Kate Harris
15
 

Are student rights protected in school?

This collection explores a number of Supreme Court cases all looking at the rights students have in the American public school system. Students will encounter these court cases through primary and secondary sources, videos, photographs, podcasts, and historical objects. At the end of the lesson, students should be able construct an argument based off the compelling question "Are student rights protected in school?"

Leah Knecht
16
 

The Ramayana

This teaching collection and student activity includes the resources necessary to teach an EDSITEment lesson on the Ramayana where students read closely to find examples of the Hindu concept of dharma.

Guiding questions are:

  • What is dharma?
  • How does the Ramayana teach dharma, one of Hinduism's most important tenants?

tags: Hinduism, Hindu, India, dharma, Ramayana, rama, epic, Vishnu

Kate Harris
11
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