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Found 544 Collections

 

Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era

Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era explores the events of civil rights and the Vietnam War as they impacted African American life and culture. The mid 1950s to the 1970s was an era of great change in America as new social, political, and cultural perspectives began to reshape the American landscape. In Vietnam and at home, African Americans were impacted by these events resulting in a greater expression of political and cultural identity. This was the era of street demonstrations and court battles; of protest and musical expression; of Black arts and Black Power. African American men and women, Soul Soldiers, battled on two fronts, for equality at home and democracy abroad. Their service in war was valor and their activism in civil rights was historic.

This collection of materials was designed by the Heinz History Center for classroom use. Be sure to click on the info tab and/or paperclip icon on each time for additional information and suggested learning activities.

HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
24
 

The Darkest Month: Coal Mining Disasters of December 1907

The Darkest Month contains activities, primary sources, and other information to help teach students about the effect of transportation in western Pennsylvania  (be sure to click on the paper clip and/or info icon on each item to find out more about it). 


This resource was originally created to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Darr and Monongah coalmining disasters – two of the worst coalmining disasters in American history. Occurring in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, and Monongah, West Virginia, these devastating mine explosions revealed the overly hazardous conditions faced by immigrant coalminers drawn to the Pittsburgh Coal Seam by the prospect of work. The story of the miners who perished in December of 1907, known at the time as the “dreadful month” because of a string of mining disasters nationwide that left nearly 3,000 miners dead, affords a long overdue opportunity to discuss the historical impact of coalmining on the greater Pittsburgh region. It also illuminates larger social history themes including the interrelationship of immigration, industry, capitalism, and organized labor. The fact that these industrial disasters occurred in 1907, the peak year of immigrant arrivals to Ellis Island, underscores the centrality of immigration to the American coalmining story. With heavy attention on ethnic life, these resources show how European immigrants modeled their Old World lives within their new industrial homes and used these institutions to survive their day to day work in an extremely dangerous industry.

HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
42
 

Pittsburgh Youth Activism

Pittsburgh Youth Activism explores the history of youth activism in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Specific examples include Pittsburghers who participated in the 1964 Freedom Summer voter registration campaign in Mississippi and the 1968 Wilkinsburg race riots. This teaching resource includes two parts: a primary source exploration and conversation and the call to action. Be sure to click on the paper clip and/or info icon on each item to find out more about it. 

HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
15
 

Green City Remix: Pittsburgh's Smoke Control Campaign

Green City Remix was a collaborative project of the Green Building Alliance and the Senator John Heinz History Center to create exhibits developed and designed by local high school students. In the 1940s efforts were made to combat Pittsburgh’s reputation as the nation’s smoky city, changing both air quality and the city’s image. Using the Allegheny Conference on Community Development collection in the Detre Library and Archives, students researched the Smoke Control campaign, which included legislation passed by city government in 1941 that significantly improved Pittsburgh’s air quality by regulating factors such as fuel sources and the equipment used in industry and in homes.

Through a visit to the Green Building Alliance and conversations with local activists, the students explored ways in which Pittsburgh can continue to improve on its legacy as a smoky city. Students examined art installations at The Mattress Factory and with the help of local artist, Danny Bracken, designed art installations remixing the story of Smoke Control in a way that demonstrates its relevance to today.

This collection includes primary source materials used by the students to explore Pittsburgh's response to air quality challenges. How might these resources inspire your own students to explore the ways changes is made in their city?

HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
26
 

Pittsburgh's Urban Renewal: Resources for a Deliberative Forum

This collection was created to support a workshop on integrating primary sources and student writing for teachers at Peters Township High School. These resources can be used to design a document-based question to answer the following inquiry:

Were Pittsburgh's urban renewal programs in the 1950s and 60s ultimately helpful or harmful?

Teachers may want to excerpt the documents included in this collection before giving them to students to use. You may also want to introduce students to the concept of "purposeful annotation" as they read through the documents (resources included).

Finally, an articles on urban renewal today and a lesson plan from Global Oneness Project on gentrification and urban renewal in Seattle provide additional resources for teachers.

Tags: C3, Inquiry, urban renewal, demolition, construction, slums, Teenie Harris, Charles Olmstead, Pittsburgh

HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
19
 

Summer Teacher Institute

Shirley Chisholm's 1972 presidential campaign poster and paraphernalia

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

#NPGteach

#portrait

#learningtolook

#NationalPortraitGallery

Timothy Wilson
8
 

Feminist History

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to look Summer Teacher Institute. The activities, which should take 1 hour over two class days, use two photographs for student visual analysis, as well as a short reading on feminist history, to help students investigate context to further their understanding of characterization, theme, and plot elements in Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.  A page of teacher notes is included at the end of the collection, outlining suggested uses of the slides.


TAGS: #NPGteach, portrait, learning to look, National Portrait Gallery

Davina Smith
6
 

Social Justice: National Portrait Gallery Resources

This collection previews the fifth and final seminar of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, The Struggle for Justice. Two National Portrait Gallery staff members will lead this event: David Ward and Briana Zavadil White.

Resources and questions included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore and consider before the seminar itself.

#MCSI

David Bedar
24
 

Language, Gender, and Culture: What is the author’s or artist’s role in society?

Introduction. In this unit, students investigate literature and art by individuals who, through their work, reflect on the U.S.-American experience. Is it the role of the artist and the writer to make us more reflective? If so, to what end? If we look at a startling image or read an inspiring story, is it a momentary thing? Do we go on unaffected or are we somehow changed? Are we supposed to do more than reflect? Are we supposed to rethink the ways we interact with others? Revise the way we live? Are we meant to take action? Our answers to these questions help us to understand the role of the author and the artist in a society that is fraught with conflict and, in a sense, put on edge by questions of identity.

David Booth
11
 

Statue of Liberty and Symbolism

This collection includes a variety of representations of the Statue of Liberty--as a protest object, on an environmental campaign poster, on a postage stamp, and as a symbol used on patterned clothing. In small groups, learners will apply three scaffolded Visible Thinking Routines to a resource of their choice. First, they will use a "See, Think, Wonder" thinking routine to note their observations and interpretations as well as anything about which they are curious. Next, they will analyze the resource using the "Layers" thinking routine. As an optional step, they could also consider the artist or creator of the object's point of view/perspective in creating the resource, with the "Step Inside" thinking routine. Finally, they will create an artwork or representation that depicts a cause that is important to a community of which they are a member.

A final item from the American Jewish Historical Society includes information on a student contest running from September 2019 until May 2020, where students create a new poem based on Emma Lazarus' s"New Colossus" on the Statue of Liberty.

#visiblethinking

Ashley Naranjo
27
 

Constructing History: Exploring Primary Sources.

This unit explores different historical artifacts and the stories they tell. Students will investigate a range of objects, ranging from prescriptions to buffalo hides sourced from different Smithsonian collections.

Guiding Questions:  How do humans shape the narrative of History? Whose History is being told? Is it possible to have multiple versions of the “past”?

The collection consists of 5 sets of artifacts, connected by some aspect such as culture, time period, event or movement. However, these objects each tell a very different story. 

Working individually, in pairs or in small groups, students choose  a set to explore. The students spend time quietly and carefully looking at the sources and investigate what they can tell us about our world, both locally and globally.  This activity encourages students to reveal the multiple layers of meaning in an artifact from the most visible story to what it helps us to understand about the lives of our fellow human beings. 

Students can share their ideas in pairs, or small groups, before coming together as whole class to share their findings.

Time: 40-60 minutes

As a follow up activity, students reflect on what new connections and information they discovered, new ideas that came to light, and what they found puzzling.

Students can complete the handout individually, in pairs or groups. 

Time: 30-50 minutes depending on the length of the follow up discussion.

It might be interesting for students to watch the brief video included, where anthropologist Candace Green and curator Emil Her Many Horses, discuss the Lakota Winter Count as a form of historical record. 

The duration of the video is just under  5 minutes.

For more information about the thinking routines visit:

http://www.visiblethinkingpz.o...

Lisa Holden
18
 

Liberty Bonds of World War I (WW1)

This collection presents three different liberty bonds primary sources dating from 1918: a postcard, sheet music/song, and a celebrity aviator's brochure. With these resources students will explore Liberty Bonds, also called war bonds or liberty loans, which were essentially loans from the American people to the U.S. government to fund the Allies' involvement in World War I. Many public campaigns presented purchasing bonds as the patriotic way to support the war from the home front. Carefully chosen words and imagery conveyed this message and persuaded Americans to act quickly, through both subtle and direct messaging. 

Essential questions: What role did Liberty Bonds play in financing the U.S. WWI effort? How did persuasive language techniques and visuals lead many Americans to see Liberty Bonds as part of their patriotic duty on the home front? 

Keywords: primary source, secondary source, soldiers, World War I, Great War, Ruth Law, "What are you going to do to help the boys?", army, military, Uncle Sam, WWI, persuasion, advertising

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Postal Museum's "My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I" teacher workshop (July 19, 2017). It focuses on one of the many postcards from this topical collection to demonstrate its use in the secondary classroom. #NPMTeacherPrograms

#historicalthinking


Ashley Naranjo
6
 

Braceros - Using Paintings and Photos to Analyze Mexican Immigrant Labor

This lesson will teach students about the bracero guest worker program, as well as painting, photograph, and textual analysis.  Students will use the Domingo Ulloa painting as a jumping off point for an analysis of working and living conditions of migrant Mexican workers in the United States.  Photographs from the American history collection will show workers's lives in America, while a primary source will show the effects of the bracero program on an individual.  Finally, students will connect the bracero program of 1942-1964 to immigration issues of today by analyzing statements made by Donald Trump in the context of the bracero program.

Daniel Sawyer
26
 

We the People: a Deeper Understanding of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution

This lesson works best for 8th grade U.S. History, after students have learned how the original plan for government (the Articles of Confederation) was failing the newly independent America and how the state delegates met in the summer of 1787 to correct these failings and ended up writing a new Constitution. 

Students start by using the VTS thinking routine to examine Preamble by Mike Wilkins, an engaging and accessible way to 'read' the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.  

After 'decoding' the words and noticing all the details they can, students use a handout to analyze the language of the actual Preamble and discuss word choice and intended meaning (they might also look at the photo of the actual Constitution at this point to compare the original with Mike WIlkins' work).  

They then read and analyze 4 quotes from The Federalist Papers defending the Constitution to the states who were about to vote to ratify it as a jumping off point to discuss what the Constitution was meant to achieve for the newly formed states.  Discussion about reasons why states would not want to join this union will also add to the understanding of what was at stake for each state. In addition, looking at a graphic organizer showing state and federal powers under this plan for government will help students see how this system divides power between the states and the national government.

Students then return to the original artwork, and decide if analysis of the meaning of the Preamble and the ideals of the Constitution affect how students 'see' the artwork. Using the 'connect/extend/challenge' visual routine, teachers can record what the students connected to, what new ideas pushed their thinking in different directions, and what is still challenging or confusing about the artwork or the Preamble.  

Some possible extension ideas are included in the collection to highlight the differences between the states as well as their similarities/unity, such as creating another artwork using an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence (while adhering to state DMV rules for vanity plates), and  comparing front pages of different states' daily newspapers. #SAAMteach

Aileen Albertson
9
 

​Native Americans and Manifest Destiny

A collection of images focusing on the Native Americans and their vanishing cultures due to Manifest Destiny.

Lesson Concept

Travis Meserve

Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green, KY

Grade levels: 9-12

11th grade American Literature Focus for English Second Language Learners

Lesson Time: 50 minutes

Procedure:

1.  Show the students a copy of the painting “Westward the Course of Empire Makes Its Way” by Emanuel Leutze (1861). Ask the students to spend a few moments observing the work in silence, noticing any details that draw their eyes.  Ask the students to let their eyes touch every part of the canvas/picture.

2. Using the teaching strategy “See Think Wonder” ask the students to volunteer details in the work that they see.  Ask them to describe only what they observe in the work (e.g. “I see a man in a fur hat holding a gun”). After the student makes a factual observation, ask the student “What do you see that makes you say that?” if the student says something that is not immediately obvious (e.g. the student sees a wooden sailing ship trapped in sea ice but describes it as a cabin).  Do not correct the student.  Let other students make observations and possibly correct each other through observation and discussion.  After the student is satisfied with an observation, follow up with the question “What do you think about that?” Allow the student to offer any interpretations of what the detail means for the content of the work, the tone, the theme etc.  Avoiding any value judgements, summarize back to the student his or her interpretation and evidential observations supplying any vocabulary the student might lack, asking for the student’s approval of the final summary. Continue this procedure until the students exhaust their observations or the class time restraints are reached.  Finally, follow up with the question “What does this work (or specific observation) make you wonder about?”

3. At this point, ask the students to note anything that they do not see but would expect to be represented in the scene.  Second Language Learners who have been in the USA for 2-3 years would probably have some general ideas about the history of the USA and may be able to offer such absences.  If not, the teacher may need to point out that no Native Americans appear in the main scene.  If the students do not notice the border of the work, point out that there are small scenes in the border that add content/connections to the main scene. Point out that two Native Americans appear there, small and crawling.

4. Ask the students to make a journal entry writing their thoughts about the work, specifically noting the Americans who are represented as moving across the land and the Americans who are not represented.

Extensions:

  1. If the students have enough command of the language, the teacher can discuss representing fact versus propaganda.  Discuss the painting as advertisement for the movement west despite its factual inaccuracies (e.g. the painting depicts California as visible from the Rocky Mountains although it is actually 1,200 miles away).  Contrast this with a handbill distributed in the Dust Bowl areas advertising workers needed in California to pick crops (in reality the number of workers was greater than the jobs available). A possible literary connection could be to The Grapes of Wrath.

  2. Use the painting periodically through the course of American Literature.  Students’ reactions to the work may evolve as they expand their ideas of American history, manifest destiny, and the immigrant experience.  Allow students to write new journal entries each time they revisit the work with new knowledge.  Discuss the dialogue that gets created between the artist, the work, and the viewer based on what the viewer brings to the experience.

Purpose

Objective: The student will be able to make a factual observation about the painting and offer interpretation (where possible) citing evidence from the work.

Follow-up lessons: On subsequent viewing of the work, the student will be able to identify themes in the painting that connect to texts from American Literature (e.g. attitude toward nature, the west, immigration, manifest destiny, etc.)

Rationale for using this artwork: The painting by Leutze encapsulates many themes that permeate American Literature and lends itself to an introduction to the course as well as an anchor for the course that will bear repeated viewing.

Rationale for the the methodology: The English as a Second Language student often does not bring a lot of background knowledge about American history or art.  The See-Think-Wonder technique allows the student to engage with the work as an expert would: one who makes observations and interpretations that allow claims backed by evidence.

Skills:

Differentiating Observation (fact) from Interpretation (opinion).

Making claims based on evidence.

Practice speaking in front of peers using the target language of English.

#SAAMteach


Travis Meserve
28
 

Gender Inequality and Identity: Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York) 1918

This collection includes a multi-day lesson plan built around Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York), 1918, and is designed to explore the effect that gender inequality can have on identity. Lessons are designed for an eleventh-grade, American Studies, Humanities-style course, and the historical context is the Gilded Age and the Women's Suffrage Movement. The plan for this mini-unit includes the analysis of visual, literary, and historical texts, and while it has a historical context, the goal is also to make connections to American life today. The essential question for this mini-unit is this: How can unfair gender norms affect what it feels like to be a human being? Included, you will find a lesson plan as well as digital versions of the artistic, literary, and historical texts needed to execute that plan. #SAAMteach

William Connell
21
 

Arguments to meditate: an introduction through American Art

This collection is for use with an introductory lesson for a 12th-grade rhetoric course's unit on "arguments to meditate," which are defined in the text "Everything's an Argument" by Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz as, to paraphrase, those arguments which are abstract and/or which lack a clear, explicitly stated thesis and that therefore depend on thoughtful meditation by the audience to arrive at an understanding of the rhetorician's intent. The purpose of this lesson is to (1) establish students' understanding of the definition of an argument to meditate and (2) provide students with a beginning ability to assess the thesis and supporting ideas that comprise arguments to meditate in the form of American Art. The details of the lesson itself are included in a document within the collection.

#SAAMteach

Marshall Harris
10
 

American Revolution

Lesson plan for 5th grade (90 minutes) for use with Mike Wilkins Preamble, Schoolhouse Rock video, etc. #SAAMteach

laurawest200
5
 

History & Hair: Lesson and Collection

What does your hair reveal about your identity? This guided lesson and image gallery invites students to explore their  identity and  to interrogate the role that hair plays in the presentation of self. Using artful looking techniques, students can think critically about the dynamic between the subject and the artist. 

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute. 

#NPGTeach #Hair #History #SocialStudies #Afros #Identity 

DanSymonds
22
 

Self-Portrait - Katie O'Hagan

This collection is designed to help students learn and understand the idea, artistic approach, decision making and creative processes that come to play when one creates a self-portrait.

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute. 

TAGS: #NPGteach, learning to look, National Portrait Gallery, self-portrait, portrait, figurative painting

Elena Murphy
8
 

Anna May Wong

Movie Star

A complementary collection of extension activities is available here: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/anna-may-wong-extension-activities/Eo4txiDzJnf8arqN#r

NPG Final Project July 2017

mae
1
 

A Morning in Damascus

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.

#NPGTeach 

#historicalthinking

Lauren Hetrick
12
 

Introduction to Primary and Secondary Sources

In this activity, students will learn about the differences between primary and secondary sources by comparing and analyzing different resources from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement

This collection provides ideas and strategies on how to spark discussions in the classroom about these types of resources, focusing primarily on students' interpretations of resources found here in Smithsonian Learning Lab.

Students will examine three different types of sources (documents, images, and objects). The activity consists of the following:

  •  In small groups, have your class examine the primary source, and have them summarize and report on its content, and discuss its strengths and limitations
  • For each primary source, review the groups' responses as a class.  
  • Then, have each group analyze the corresponding secondary source. Have them spot the differences between the primary and secondary source, and evaluate the reasons for using a primary source versus a secondary source. 
    • The primary and secondary sources in this collection focus on the same topic (the documents are about the Black Panther Party, the images feature Marian Anderson, and the objects relate to Rosa Parks)
  • Near the end of the collection is the students' task to sort through sources to identify which are primary vs. secondary sources.  
  • The final activity will call on students to reflect on the information that they have learned from the collection and ask them to think about how they would categorize digital resources  such as texts and tweets as either primary or secondary.

This collection and activity is based on the “Engaging Students with Primary Sources” guide from Smithsonian’s History Explorer, which can be found here: https://historyexplorer.si.edu/sites/default/files/PrimarySources.pdf. The guide is also included at the end of the collection, and can be used to develop other activities and/or collections on the topic of primary and secondary resources.


Alexander Graves
18
 

More Perfect: The Political Thicket

Baker v. Carr (1962) was a landmark Supreme Court case regarding the political question doctrine. The case decided that the redistricting of state legislative districts is not a political question, and thus justiciable by the federal courts. Designed to complement the WNYC Studios podcast More Perfect, this collection explores the case and the Justices central to its history. 

Students will analyze this important Supreme Court decision involving the political question doctrine, and consider the opinions by the majority and the dissent. Students will also study how this case set a precedent for future cases regarding the Equal Protections Clause and the role of the Court.

sheishistoric
16
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