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Found 445 Collections

 

History and Portraiture: Utilizing Art to Teach American History, Colonial America to the Civil War

This Learning Lab contains a five unit curriculum that puts students in conversation with a diverse group of significant Americans from the colonial era to the present. Lessons on the Elements of Portrayal, Symbols, Labels, Letter Writing, and Portrait Pairing prompt students to analyze the lasting impact of remarkable individuals from the Portrait Gallery’s collection. This collection was originally created in collaboration with Alice Deal Middle School in Washington D.C. 

#NPGteach

Briana White
84
 

Coral Reefs and Climate Change

Explore coral reefs and climate change through real-world sources and data and meet Smithsonian experts in the field. This collection includes instructional strategy, student activities, assessment, and extension ideas. Organization is made visible by divider tabs indicating such components as concept understanding, Project Zero thinking routines, and calls to action.

This collection was developed by Sandra Vilevac, STEAM Specialist, Washington International School. See Sandra's other collections.

Thank you to our sponsor, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

#SmithsonianSTEAM


Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
42
 

Volcanoes

Explore volcanic eruptions and their effect on rock formations through real-world sources and data and meet Smithsonian experts in the field. This collection includes instructional strategy, student activities, assessment, and extension ideas. Organization is made visible by divider tabs indicating such components as concept understanding, Project Zero thinking routines, and calls to action.

This collection was developed by Sandra Vilevac, STEAM Specialist, Washington International School. See Sandra's other collections.

Keywords: plate tectonics, seismic activity, geologist


Thank you to our sponsor, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

#SmithsonianSTEAM


Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
28
 

Lives of Stars

Explore the life cycle of stars and learn about the connection between elements and space through real-world sources and data and meet Smithsonian experts in the field. This collection includes instructional strategy, student activities, assessment, and extension ideas. Organization is made visible by divider tabs indicating such components as concept understanding, Project Zero thinking routines, and calls to action.

This collection was developed by Sandra Vilevac, STEAM Specialist, Washington International School. See Sandra's other collections.

Keywords: supernova, electromagnetic spectrum, nuclear fusion, space, planetary science


Thank you to our sponsor, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

#SmithsonianSTEAM


Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
28
 

Forensic Anthropology: What Bones Reveal

Explore what human bones reveal about the past through real-world sources and data and meet Smithsonian experts in the field. This collection includes instructional strategy, student activities, assessment, and extension ideas. Organization is made visible by divider tabs indicating such components as concept understanding, Project Zero thinking routines, and calls to action.

This collection was developed by Sandra Vilevac, STEAM Specialist, Washington International School. See Sandra's other collections.


Keywords: anthropology, archeology, archaeology, carbon dating, chemistry, data, heredity, evolution, carbon 14

Thank you to our sponsor, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

#SmithsonianSTEAM

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
46
 

Bees

Explore bees' behavior and their role in pollination through real-world sources and data and meet Smithsonian experts in the field. This collection includes instructional strategy, student activities, assessment, and extension ideas. Organization is made visible by divider tabs indicating such components as concept understanding, Project Zero thinking routines, and calls to action.

This collection was developed by Sandra Vilevac, STEAM Specialist, Washington International School. See Sandra's other collections.

Keywords: animal, insect, plant adaptation, animal communication, flowers, pollen, honey, hive, engineering, entomologist, pollinator, colony, system


Thank you to our sponsor, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

#SmithsonianSTEAM

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
61
 

Climate Change and Alexis Rockman's Manifest Destiny

In preparing to paint his large-scale mural, Manifest Destiny, a commission for the Brooklyn Museum's re-opening in 2004, Alexis Rockman consulted with climate change experts to imagine what Brooklyn might look like several centuries in the future when the glaciers have melted and sea levels have risen.

Teachers can use this painting as a starting point to discussing the issue of climate change, understanding what's at risk, and exploring mitigation strategies coastal cities might take to prevent an outcome like the one Rockman predicts.

Phoebe Hillemann
5
 

Representation of Self and Others: Digital Storytelling As a Teaching Strategy in the Smithsonian Learning Lab

This Learning Lab collection was made to support university students in the Museum Education program at the University of Roma Tre to reflect on the use of digital storytelling as a strategy in the Learning Lab. During the three-day workshop,  co-facilitated by Dr. Antonia Liguori (Loughborough University, UK, https://learninglab.si.edu/profile/24977) and Dr. Philippa Rappoport (Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, https://learninglab.si.edu/profile/212), participants will be introduced to both the Learning Lab and Digital Storytelling (DS) as platforms to explore the concept of representation. We will consider the curator’s voice, the artist’s representation of self and others, and the museum visitor's interpretation. We will also consider self-representation in social media and its place in the cultural and visual landscape of the 21st century. 

We will explore two exhibitions; one in Washington, DC, and one in Rome, Italy. The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery exhibition, Eye to I: Self-Portraiture as an Exploration of Identity   (https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/IgLygJNprGf3JA and https://npg.si.edu/exhibition/eye-i-self-portraits-1900-today) compels viewers to consider how self-portraits reflect an artist’s identity through what is revealed and concealed. The National Gallery of Modern Art's exhibition in Rome, Donne. Corpo e immagine tra simbolo e rivoluzione / Women: Body and Image between Symbol and Revolution, explores representations of the female body in the twentieth century, with a focus on the effects of World War II, Feminism, Freud, and a rapidly changing society. 

Program participants will have the opportunity to consider how multiple voices and stories can be revealed depending on the creator and viewer/listener, and how these multiple perspectives can lead to a deeper understanding of an object or concept.

You will find in this collection:

- a short icebreaker activity using exhibition images to start shifting from a cognitive appreciation of art to a personal connection to museum objects;

- some examples of annotated objects that demonstrate the functionality of the Learning Lab;

- some examples of digital stories made by other educators during previous Digital Storytelling workshops 'embedded' in the Learning Lab;

- a description of the Digital Storytelling process, with templates for storyboarding and a few tips for audio and video editing;

- participants' digital stories; 

- supplemental resources. 






Philippa Rappoport
47
 

Women of Japan

Time- 2 class periods

Description:

Using the Project Zero Design Thinking routines  "Parts, People, Interaction", this activity provides an understanding of the system of gender power at stake in the representation of Chapter 34 of Tales of Genji - Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess.  It then looks at a modernization of the illustrations and offers a reflection on what the new feminine contemporary perspective brings to the interpretation of the Third princess story. 

In exploring the representations of the tales of Genji, students have the opportunity to discover tales that have become a standard for Japanese culture. They look at the first known literature piece written by a woman, who shares a rare and intimate perspective of a woman on a world governed by men.  Students compare the representation of the tales from the XVIth century with one from the XXth century to identify in what ways they have been interpreted.

Day 1:

Step 1: Have students sketch The tale of Genji, chapter 34; Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess

Step 2: Debrief as a whole group

Discuss what the students have noticed.  Do not show the caption to the students yet. The observational drawing 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 3: Parts, People, Interaction

Once students have discussed the painting, guide them through the routine "Parts, People, Interaction". 

"This thinking routine helps students slow down and look closely at a system ( here the system of gender power.) In doing so, young people are able to situate objects within systems and recognize the various people who participate—either directly or indirectly—within a particular system. 

Students also notice that a change in one aspect of the system may have both intended and unintended effects on another aspect of the system. When considering the parts, people, and interactions within a system, young people begin to notice the multitude of subsystems within systems. 

This thinking routine helps stimulate curiosity, raises questions, surfaces areas for further inquiry, and introduces systems thinking." (PZ)

Step 4: Read the PDF "More about Chapter 34" and go back to the questions 

Have students read the caption, go back and look at the painting and ask them to take notes on how their understanding has shifted from their initial interpretation.

Step 5: Debrief the "Parts, People and Interaction" routine as a whole group:

During the discussion, here are some specific question students may want to address:  

  • What does the illustration of Chapter 34, Kashiwagi catches sight of the third Princess says about the system of power gender in place at the Japanese court in the XIth century? 
  • To what extent the architecture in the painting play a role in facilitating the superiority of men? 
  • How does the system in place impact relationship between men and women?

Day 2:

Step 1: "See, Think, Wonder" - The third princess with her pet cat, Yamato Maki, 1987

Have them do a quick "See, Think, Wonder" to encourages them to reactivate prior knowledge, pay attention to details and reflect on the effects of the modernization of the illustration of The tales of Genji though manga. Identify the audience and the context of the illustration.

Step 2: Read the caption as a group - notice what is important.

Step 3: "Layers"

This routine will encourage students to refine their first analysis of the illustration by looking at it through different angles (Aesthetic, Mechanical, Connections, Narrative, Dynamic). It will allow them to draw upon their prior knowledge and consider the impact of modernization of art on the public. 

Students can work in small group and cover between 3 and 5 of the categories.

Step 4: Each group of students present their learning to the class 


Anne Leflot
7
 

Recognizing the American Dream Lesson


#SAAMteach

Maria Ryan
6
 

Beauty

Essential Questions:

-How are perceptions of beauty and creativity established? 

-How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life?

This collection was created by Vicky Masson. 

#Spanish #Global Competence #Global Thinking Routines #Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines 

Vicky Masson
17
 

Lactase Persistence and Human Migration

How can genetics help us to understand human migration? In this collection, students will use maps, articles, and videos to analyze genetics research about lactase persistence before building their own maps to understand the co-evolution of genes and culture. 

This collection can be used in a Biology classroom with units on enzymes, genetics and/or human evolution, in an interdisciplinary unit to link Math with Biology (students to use ratios, statistics, and data to build a map) or in a Geography course.

Students should be either given a color copy of the lactase persistence map or it could be projected. Once students have been given the time and opportunity to look at the map, the following questions should be asked.

  1. What do you notice about this map?
  2. What questions do you have about this map?
  3. What can this map show us about human migration?

Next, ask students to work in groups, each choose one of the following three articles to read, then share a brief summary of their article with those in their group. These articles are excellent resources that provide different perspectives on lactase persistence and evolution. The first article (the source of the lactase persistence map) provides a clear explanation of what we can learn from milk fats found on ancient pottery shards and the link between lactase persistence and migration. The second article focuses on animal domestication and the third on the nutritional benefits of being able to digest lactase as a selective advantage.

The third article also connects lactase persistence, the shift to agricultural communities, and human migration with the genetics of human skin color. This could provide an opportunity for students to discuss the inheritance of skin color and perhaps skin color and race. A separate collection has been made to help discuss this and can be found here.

In the activity section, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute BioInteractive (HHMI) video summarizes some key aspects about the genetics of lactase persistence as well as some of the history. If students have already read and shared out to show understanding, the video could be used to meet the needs of students who tend to be more auditory learners. The activity “Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence,” also from HHMI, guides students though an understanding of the co-evolution of genes and culture. “Students analyze data obtained from published lactase-persistence studies involving many populations sampled around the world. The activity involves calculating percentages, drawing pie charts, plotting the pie charts on a world map, and analyzing the data. This lesson provides an interdisciplinary approach to studying lactase persistence, connecting biological concepts and data analysis to world geography and culture”. (https://www.biointeractive.org/sites/default/files/Patterns-in-the-Distribution-of-Lactase-Persistence-Educator.pdf)

The map the students create can be compared to the initial image provided (a map of lactase persistence) as well as the information provided by the Smithsonian Magazine articles to predict the path of human migration. Based on the initial map, reading and activity, students can show their understanding of the connection between genetics and human migration by using the Project Zero thinking routine ‘Claim, Support, Question’. Claims can be made based on their new knowledge and then supported with evidence from the map, reading or activity. Then, students can pose questions for further research or discussion.

In the additional resource section, a YouTube clip has been provided to further extend the conversation. Sarah Tishkoff, from the earlier HHMI video, does an excellent job explaining the co-evolution of culture and the gene for lactase persistence.

Emily Veres
10
 

Skin color and Race

What is the connection between skin color and race? Historically, science and genetics have been used to support racist world views, yet we know there is no scientific evidence to determine race. This collection uses the painting “Black & White” by Glenn Ligon and Byron Kim and the Project Zero thinking routine “See, Think, Wonder” that has been adapted, making it “See, Wonder, Connect”. Students should not be told of the background of the painting ahead of time, but this can be revealed once they have completed the thinking routine 

Additionally, the collection includes a TedTalk by Angélica Dass called “The Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color”, which students will watch next. “We still live in a world where the color of our skin not only gives a first impression, but a lasting one,” says artist Angélica Dass. She is from Brazil, and her family is “full of colors.” She describes her father’s skin as “deep chocolate.” He was adopted by her grandmother, whose skin is “porcelain,” and her grandfather, whose skin is “somewhere between vanilla and strawberry.” Her mom is “cinnamon.” Her sisters are more “toasted peanut.” (https://blog.ted.com/angelica-dass-reveals-her-art-at-ted2016/). Students should watch the talk and answer a few questions. While these can be done in small groups or as a class, due to the nature of the questions it may be best to allow students time to reflect individually and perhaps share out using a quiet thinking routine called ‘Chalk Talk’. This routine allows students to move around the room, recording responses on large poster paper or a board without needing to use their name. Students can then rotate through, reading the responses of others. If the teacher wants, comments or questions could be added in a non-verbal discussion through interacting on poster paper.

An optional set of extension discussion questions has been provided, but these are suitable for older students. Also, as an additional resource, a link to Byron Kim’s “Synecdoche” at the National Gallery of Art and the Washington Post article about the piece has been included. Students could engage with this work as an extension or look at both pieces side by side in a comparison before any final class reflection. 

Then students will finish by using the Project Zero thinking routine “The Three Y’s” as a reflection. 

Connection with genetics:

From an evolutionary perspective, skin color evolved as a mechanism to protect against UV radiation. UV radiation stimulates skin cells to produce melanin, a pigment that can be found in skin, hair and eyes. People living closer to the equator experience a greater exposure to UV A and UV B radiation and therefore need more protection from the sun – hence, more melanin and darker pigmentation. People living in areas farther away from the equator experience less exposure and need far less melanin to protect, so have lighter skin tones.  Skin color is an example of a polygenic trait, a characteristic that is controlled by more than one gene, which allows for continuous variation depending on what collection of genes are inherited from parents. If this collection is used within a genetics unit where students learn about these kinds of genes, then students may already have some previous knowledge about the subject. If more information about the science of skin color is needed, I have included a TedTalk by Nina Jablonski entitled “Skin Color is an Illusion” within the collection. Also, more information about the science of skin color can be found in the Discover Magazine article provided. 

Advances in genetics have proven that we are all very closely related and differ in our genes by only a very small percent (0.1% on average). With this in mind, we must consider why daily rhetoric continues to perpetuate racist ideas. This collection can be used in several classroom settings, including: Biology (genetics or human evolution unit), Human Anatomy, History (when studying slavery, apartheid or colonialism in general), or Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge, language as a way of knowing, or making knowledge claims about evidence). 

Emily Veres
11
 

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
 

Climate Change and Migration

What will the future reveal about our choices and attitudes toward the natural world? This collection uses the painting 'Mamakadendagwad' by Tom Uttech and two Project Zero routines, ‘Ten Times Two’ and ‘Unveiling Stories,’ to start or continue a dialogue about the impact of humans on the environment. 

“Tom Uttech's visionary paintings emerge from a deep sense of communion with nature. As an accomplished birdwatcher, conservationist, wildlife photographer, and hiker, Uttech (born 1942) has spent his life engaging with the unspoiled wilderness of his native Wisconsin and the neighboring woodlands of northern Minnesota and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Yet while Uttech's experience of the landscape is grounded in firsthand knowledge and close observation, his paintings do not represent specific scenes. Instead, he uses his understanding of the ecosystem's animals, plant life, light, and atmospheres to conjure fantastic reconstructions of the natural world.”. (https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/mamakadendagwad-110761

Climate change is expected to cause larger migrations both within and across borders - displacing individuals from their homes. This movement is the result of many complex factors such as: sea level rise, desertification, extreme weather events, etc. While humans are certainly impacted by climate change, so are other living organisms.  

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (ecology unit or any units that address human impact on the environment or relationships between living organisms), IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies (many connections with content throughout the course), AP Environmental Science (many connections with content throughout the course), Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge or exploring knowledge claims about evidence), or Geography. 

This collection could be used at the start, middle or end of a unit as there are valuable connections possible at any point; however, I think this would be a fantastic starting image for a unit. In the absence of any context of what is being learned in class, students may come up with a larger variety of observations and perhaps a more emotional connection with the painting.

Annotations attached to the painting provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines. 

Extension: The first additional resource is a map showing the average direction mammals, birds, and amphibians need to move to track hospitable climates as they shift across the landscape. The following three articles are related to the moving map and should be used along with the map. Teachers could start with this moving map before showing the painting depending on their students’ level of interest and knowledge. Another extension could be analyzing data to draw conclusions about how migration changes biodiversity in various ecosystems. The last article from National Geographic explains that “…as the planet warms, species are shifting where, when, and how they thrive. They are moving up slopes and toward the poles. That is already altering what people can eat; sparking new disease risks; upending key industries; and changing how entire cultures use the land and sea”. (https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/climate-change-species-migration-disease/) Each of these articles highlight an aspect of the complexity of climate change and its impacts on the environment. 

Emily Veres
10
 

Climate Change and Human Impact on the Environment

What will the future reveal about the choices we are making and our attitudes toward the natural world? How might future generations judge these choices and attitudes? This collection uses the painting ‘Manifest Destiny’ by Alexis Rockman and two Project Zero routines, ‘See/Think/Wonder’ and ‘Unveiling Stories,’ to start or continue a dialogue about the impact of humans on the environment. 

“Alexis Rockman is a contemporary American painter known for his fantastical paintings of dystopian natural environments”. (http://www.artnet.com/artists/alexis-rockman/) He depicts the future where creatures struggle to survive toxic conditions and invasive species. In Rockman’s paintings we see an absence of human beings, only the altered landscapes they have left behind. (https://www.artworksforchange.org/portfolio/alexis-rockman/)

Climate change is expected to cause larger migrations both within and across borders - displacing individuals from their homes. This movement is the result of many complex factors such as: sea level rise, desertification, extreme weather events, etc. There is a direct impact on availability of resources such as food and clean water as well as a crisis of public health. 

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (ecology unit or any units that address human impact on the environment), IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies (many connections with content throughout the course), AP Environmental Science (many connections with content throughout the course), Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge or exploring knowledge claims about evidence), or Geography.

This collection could be used at the start, middle or end of a unit as there are valuable connections possible at any point. An interesting interdisciplinary exploration that I have seen in the middle school Science setting is for students to visit local waterways affected by human impacts and take samples back to their lab to test for pH, phosphorus, etc. Then, students read about the importance of water ways in the spread of humans in their humanities or language class before writing poetry about the human impact on the environment in their second language class (half of the students took French while the other half took Spanish). 

Manifest Destiny could be integrated at any point during the interdisciplinary unit. For example, in the beginning to encourage questions or determine previous knowledge, the middle to spark curiosity, or at the end after students have more information about human impacts on the environment.

In addition to or in place of visiting a local waterway, a link to an interactive map can be found in the additional resources section of this collection. Students can research what communities will be impacted by rising water levels. A scale bar allows users to shift the water levels and observe changes to the area. A possible extension could be to consider how vulnerable communities tend to be the most impacted by water level rise. Two articles included within the additional resource collection provide perspectives from the United States and Australia.

Annotations attached to the painting provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines. Annotations attached to each website include possible questions to consider when using each additional resource. 

Emily Veres
9
 

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
 

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
 

Scientific Instrument Collection: Exploring Acoustics

This collection includes videos demonstrating key principles of the science of sound, using some of the Smithsonian's scientific instrument collection. These videos are paired with the Visible Thinking Routine, "What's going on? What do you see (or hear) that makes you say that?" as a way to check for understanding. Learners can select one or more of the videos to watch and then provide their interpretation of what's happening and support it with a justification from the video. Learners can also explore additional short experiments, under the heading "Additional Resources" to further understand these principles in action.  #SmithsonianMusic

Ashley Naranjo
21
 

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
 

The nature of Japanese Ceramic

Description:

This collection, based of the exhibition "Imperfectly Beautiful: Inventing Japanese Ceramic Style" is integrated in a unit on Francis Ponge’s collection of poems called The nature of things, 1942, France. In his poems, Ponge has a unique way of focusing on everyday life objects and symbols that he describes in very tiny details. The goal is to explore how Ponge’s perception of objects and symbols can be used as an entry point for an exploration of key components of other cultures. This collection is an opportunity for the students to understand how micro perspectives can lead to global and intercultural understanding.

The collection represents tea pots used for the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu). Through slow looking techniques, students explore them and write poems using the thinking routine "Creative Comparison".

Step 1: choose one of the tea pot and sketch it

Step 2: Pair and Share - Explain your choice. What did you notice? what do you notice in your classmate's choice/object?

Step 3: Creative Comparison

The thinking routine " Creative comparison" encourages metaphorical thinking – central to the work of any artist and to creative thinking in any discipline. Metaphors provoke our imaginations to create comparisons between dissimilar things, often leading to deeper and richer understanding of each." (PZ)

Step 4: Pair and Share (with someone else) - Explain your choice. What did you notice? what do you notice in your classmate's choice/object?

Step 5 : read the description of the exhibition and the caption. Answer the questions: 

  • In what way this new information influences your interpretation? 
  • What does it confirm? What new ideas do you have? 
  • What could you do to integrate them in your poem?

Step 6 : write a poem, using Francis Ponge's approach to objects.

Possible extension:

Ask the students to reflect on ways to curate their poems, using the thinking routine "Layers".

For instance, my students decided to do a a pop-up exhibition. They turned their poems into bilingual bookmarks for the school fair. It was a good opportunity for us to talk about translation.


Anne Leflot
36
 

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
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