This collection serves as a companion to the presentation People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Smithsonian Collections given at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) 2019 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo on November 23, 2019. Targeted to language educators, this presentation explores how museum resources, Global Thinking Routines, and the Sustainable Development Goals can help students understand how art reflects culture, increase their language proficiency, and develop global competence and 21st century skills. The presentation shares three case-study collections designed for the Spanish-language classroom: Night of the Dead by Alan Crane, Caja De Memoria Viva II: Constancia Colón de Clemente by Adrián Román, and Méndez v. Westminster 1947.
This collection includes presentation slides, links to the three case-study collections, museum resources, Project Zero thinking routines, examples of student work, and more.
Presenters: Marcela Velikovsky (Bullis School), Tess Porter (Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access), and Vicky Masson (Norwood School).
#Arago #Rafael Lopez #Spanish / English #Mexican-American #California #Latino Civil Rights #Empathy #Desegregation #Critical thinking #Curiosity #Stamps #LatinoHAC
The resources in this collection are pulled directly from the National Gallery of Art’s online course Teaching Critical Thinking through Art. Based on the popular Art Around the Corner professional development program for teachers in Washington, D.C., this five-unit online course provides everything you need to begin creating a culture of critical thinking and collaboration for any classroom, subject, or level. You do not need an art background or museum access to successfully integrate the course materials into your teaching. Your willingness to experiment with new teaching practices is all that is required.
Find demonstrations, lesson plans, and videos here on the edX platform! Now in English, Español, Français, and 简体中文
Use this collection to help jumpstart your brainstorming process. As you examine how two designers went from brainstorm to final product, you'll practice three brainstorming strategies:
- Generating as many ideas as you can
- Keeping the flow going by saying "Yes, And..."
- Generating new ideas by combining 2 existing ideas
Introductory Activity: Print image cards for small group collaboration. Students will sort images into three categories:
- Representational Art (realistic imagery)
- Abstract Art (recognizable imagery that does not reflect actual appearance)
- Nonrepresentational Art (does not represent a depiction of the physical appearance of people or objects)
Formal Analysis Activity:
Choose a few images to compare and contrast: How did the artist use line, shape, color, balance, repetition, or overall composition to convey
- The illusion of movement or rhythm
- Visual tension
- A mood or feeling
NOTE: pdf file of these images is meant to be printed front-to-back so that citations will appear on the reverse side of each image.
Welcome to the Grade 4 Beliefs Unit Collection. Please enjoy. Below there is information about:
- How the lesson was used specifically at Washington International School (WIS) in Washington DC in 2019
- The role of STEAM at WIS
Additionally, within the collection, the markers will help guide the teacher through each component. The collection is broken up into: Educating the teacher team (preparing for the unit), STEAM teacher resources, Student activities, and Student learning extensions.
Enjoy and all feedback is welcomed.
Washington International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB), Primary Years Program (PYP). I am the STEAM Specialist who integrates 21st century skill inquiry projects, hands on science and engineering, and digital tools/technology. This collection is to support many teachers who will contribute to content for this unit. The Language specialists, art teacher, design technology, STEAM Specialist and physical education.
STEAM at WIS:
My role will be to host an experience that role-plays early civilizations and their interactions with sun, moon, and stars. Students will interpret their experience and create a piece of art that demonstrates their translation of the experience. The follow up will be to help the students connect their experience with ancient cultures. Then, the conversation will further develop to challenge the students to think how science changes our understanding of our universe. The overall theme is to encourage students and give them confidence to explore various belief systems, challenge their own understanding of the world through their beliefs, experiences, and science.
These exercises scaffold learning to align student inquiry to the Social Studies standards:
- Distinguish between personal beliefs and belief systems (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
- Define the elements of a belief system (creed, codes of behavior, rituals, community.) (AERO CC+ G5 p22 4.5.f)
- Identify the major religions of the world in terms of their beliefs, rituals and sacred texts. (referenced: AERO CC+ G6 p30 4.8.f)
- Reflect upon how beliefs affect the individual and society (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
Important to know: The teachers at WIS took the students on two days of field trips to visit various areas of "worship" in the DC/MD/VA area: Buddhist Temple, Mosque, Jewish Temple, Catholic Church, and African American Christian Church. Students had worksheets to complete for each location that included observations of icons, the use of shapes in the visual devotional symbols, and to draw the various religious icons. After, they engaged in discussion about their experiences. If your school does not have the ability to do an elaborate field trip like this, we recommend having devotional leaders and/or parents visit as subject matter experts to demonstrate their systems of faith, icons, devotions, and symbols.
- I used this collection to train the teachers about the new thinking routines (Beginning slides)
- There are samples from students learning about Sun, Egyptian use of sun in their beliefs (art and architecture)
- Students looked at Egyptian sun use and modern NASA sun data to inspire them for their STEAM Challenge
- Their STEAM Challenge was to create a pyramid (cardboard) with a devotion (clay), and decorate with sun symbols (crayons/markers).
- Our students just completed a cardboard challenge (Cain's Arcade - check out on Youtube) so they were cardboard construction "experts". Therefore, they only had 40 minutes for their challenge. You will need to either have a lesson on cardboard construction before, or give them more samples and/or time. Hypothetically, this could be a 1/2 day project for students.
- The goal is then for students to look at other cultures and other NASA data (Incas (or other Native American tribes) African Tribes, and/or Australian Aborigines, etc. and have them do the same STEAM challenge (format) by creating a model structure decorated by symbols inspired by both indigenous symbols and modern NASA data (sun, stars, planets, or Earth's Moon). Therefore, they will have a "Maker Collection" that demonstrates various engineering styles as well as belief systems.
International Baccalaureate Transdisciplinary Unit of Inquiry: Who we are. Beliefs - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships, including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Central Idea: Humans have common beliefs that attempt to answer life’s big questions.
- The main line of Inquiry this collection will align with is: Global religious beliefs and practices
The following subject teachers plan to do the following:
- Art = Beliefs and metaphors with clay
- Digital Technology = Building sacred structures
- STEAM = Engineering and Science of sacred structures globally and historically
Global thinking routines: Step In, Step Out, Step Back; Beauty and Truth; Unveiling Stories
STEAM Challenge: Students can further their inquiry from ancient beliefs with their experiences with modern organized religion into modern spirituality by analyzing the exhibition for Burning Man Festival. Students will complete a STEAM Challenge to build their own sacred structure that honors their own belief systems.
Digital Museum Resources for the High School Ethnic Studies Classroom (City of Austin Parks & Recreation)
This collection includes digital museum resources and replicable activities that will serve as a springboard for discussion during the Exploration of Ethnic Studies workshop at the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department on October 29-30, 2019. The collection models how digital museum resources can be leveraged to support critical thinking and deeper learning for high school Ethnic Studies curricula. The collection can be copied and adapted for use in your own classroom.
This collection was co-created with Ashley Naranjo. This program received Federal support from the Latino and Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pools, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Women’s Right to Vote
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
The suffrage movement of the mid-nineteenth century, recognized today as the first wave of “feminism,” continues to influence and inspire the ongoing struggle for women’s rights. Many of the methods and strategies of our early pioneers serve not only as inspiration, but, as a model for effective communication that is still relevant today.
“Man was given an eye for an ear.”
— Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage
The pioneers of the suffrage understood the power of the visual message. Their use of color, branded collateral, such as badges, banners, ribbons, and the promotion of their political messages, through the traditional means of posters and postcards, drew attention and created a precedent for protesting copied around the world by other political movements, including today.
These pioneering women used simple language and ‘conversations’ in an attempt to educate people about the injustices of the legal system. These messages were often hand generated in a vernacular manner. The poster, in particular, proved informative, accessible, and an effective medium for the dramatization of a specific point of view.
This collection serves as a brief visual research of language and methods of communication of the suffrage. Through a formal and conceptual investigation of hierarchy and composition using the timely messages of the suffrage, students will explore the process and historical method of poster making, the letterpress printing process.
Students will explore the vocabulary of the Women’s Voting Rights Movement through a series of typographic letterpressed permutations. Students will identify and explore themes that are different, as well as those that have remained the same for any disenfranchised individuals in the United States.
Each student is to choose one of the quotes provided in the presentation or find a relevant quote of the time. This will serve as the content for the typographic studies. Depending on the students’ concept for the poster, additional research and text may be required.
PHASE 1: Typographic Interpretations
Design a poster representing one of the historic statements of the suffrage. Your poster can remind people of the amendment’s original purpose and importance and/or raise awareness about a particular issue related to the amendment. There are plenty of high profile issues in the news now that directly relate this amendment. Your audience is college students.
“ All typefaces serve fundamentally the same purpose: to communicate. The purpose behind the communication –
for example, to inform, to entertain, or to persuade – is expressed, in part, by the typeface chosen. As the
communication objectives change, so might the typeface.” – Willi Kunz
Typographic Process and Checklist
1 review content – reading/understanding.
2 search for inherent structure/patterns/rhythms within the text.
3 develop preliminary plans for hierarchical structures.
4 sketches – create quick but meaningful “road maps” of your thoughts.
5 develop concepts of “center and support” configurations.
6 construct preliminary, secondary & tertiary alignments.
7 form constellations that house sub-thoughts within the text (grouping info.).
8 consider/reconsider overall composition while thinking about “activating the edge.”
9 play against the viewer’s expectations.
10 legibility (clarity and efficiency in reading) vs. readability (pleasure and interest in reading)– Willi Kunz
PHASE 2: Type & Image Interpretations
+ Integrate text + image using the four methods described in the book Type, Image, Message by Skolos + Wedell
+ Recognize the design opportunities that come with using type as an image
Type, Image, Message by Skolos + Wedell
Separation, Fusion, Fragmentation & Inversion
Separation – when the type & image operate independently. Reinforce messages. Type spaces & image spaces.
Fusion – when the type and image blend to form a unit. Type & image connected by perspective—blend 2 plus things that aren’t usually associated. Conceptually connected. Political or poetic statement. Metaphor
Fragmentation – when the type & image disturb or disrupt each other. Torn, divided, uneven, disparate. Scale, color, complication. Unpredictable, random, animated, energized message.
Inversion – form of fusion when type & image trade places & the type takes on pictorial properties or the image takes on type qualities. Harmonious. Type as photo, or hyper-realistic. Letters as frames for images.
• Two 14 by 17 inch letterpressed posters. One typographic solution. One type and image solution.
• Printed in 2- 3 color
• Quote selected must be included (but does not need to be the primary read)
Assistant Professor | Art Department | Pace University-NYC
Explore a few famous Americans in the fields of art and sports whose exceptional talents and tenacity raised the bar for everyone in their fields.
"Hyphenated Americans": When “Bricklayer Bill” Won the 1917 Boston Marathon, It Was a Victory For All Irish Americans
This collection explores the notion of hyphenated Americans, through the story of one man, William Kennedy, an American of Irish descent, born in New York in the late 19th century, who went on to win the Boston Marathon in 1918. Bill's nephew, in writing about his uncle, said, "When “Bricklayer Bill” Won the 1917 Boston Marathon, It Was a Victory For All Irish Americans." What did he mean?
To aid discussion, included in this collection are images, a cartoon, several articles, a story fro WBUR, and one thinking routine from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking - "Step In, Step Out, Step Back" - to "encourage learners to take other people’s perspectives, recognize that understanding others is an ongoing process, and understand that our efforts to take perspective can reveal as much about ourselves as they can about the people we are seeking to understand."
This collection complements chapter 6 ("The Flight From Ireland") of Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America, and supports Unit 2: What is the history?, and Unit 3: Local History and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.
My aunt remembers sitting at the kitchen table as a child while her parents, my grandparents, read the Yiddish newspaper, Der Tag. Often one would start crying, saying, nishta ("gone"), "this one nishta; that one nishta," in response to the paper's lists of towns in Europe overrun by the Nazis.
This collection examines the US response to the Holocaust, pairing historical documentation with four thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials - "Unveiling Stories," :Think, Feel, Care," "The 3 Y's," and "Circles of Action," - to prompt students to ask important questions about our individual and collective responsibility to humanity.
Included here are photographs, documentation, and resources from the National Museum of American History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), including a teaching resource and USHMM's online exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, which examines "the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide." Examined with thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials, students will explore complex and deeply troubling issues that continue to have relevance today.
This collection complements chapter 14 ("World War II and America's Ethnic Problem") of Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America, and supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, and Unit 3: Local History and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.
This teaching collection asks students to consider photographs and documentation about early 20th-century Jewish immigrant activist Clara Lemlich (1886-1982, leader of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and founder of the Progressive Women’s Councils), in the larger context of New York's Garment Industry, the New York Shirtwaist Strike of 1909, and the 1911 Triangle Waist Factory fire. By pairing historical documentation with three thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials - "Step In, Step Out, Step Back," "Think, Feel, Care," and "Circles of Action," - the collection encourages students to explore complexity and perspective, and fosters a disposition to participate.
Included here are photographs, documentation, and resources from the Jewish Women's Archive's Encyclopedia of Jewish Women, the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives at Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations School, the Tenement Museum, and the National Museum of American History.
This collection pairs well with chapter 11 ("Jews are Pushed from Russia") of Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America, and supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, and Unit 3: Local History and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course.
Native American Beading: Examples, Artist Interview, Demonstration and Printable Instructions for Hands-on Activity
This collection looks at examples of bead work among Native American women, in particular Kiowa artist Teri Greeves, and helps students to consider these works as both expressions of the individual artist and expressions of a cultural tradition.
The collection includes work samples and resources, an interview with Ms. Greeves, demonstration video of how to make a Daisy Chain bracelet, and printable instructions.
This collection includes digital museum resources and replicable activities that will serve as a springboard for discussion during the Exploration of Ethnic Studies workshop at the Irving Arts Center on October 16, 2019. The collection models how digital museum resources can be leveraged to support critical thinking and deeper learning for high school Ethnic Studies curricula. The collection can be copied and adapted for use in your own classroom.
This program received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Keywords: Ethnic Studies, Mexican American Studies, MAS
Image analysis of these photos can reveal how community life in the Tahoe area has changed over time, and with it so has the environment. This exercise can help students to understand how our lives are different from those who lived here in the past, and how they are similar. Students will also be able to differentiate between things that happened long ago and things that happened recently. This can provoke thought and discussion about how events from the past still have an effect on the landscape today. Simply click the paperclip in each image to see the questions or prompts pertaining to the time period in which the photo was taken.
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 by searching the Learning Lab for #SmithsonianSTEAM.
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.
Put the ARTS in STEM - From Egypt to South Africa, take a brief tour of the African Cosmos and have your students discover the intersection of Art and Astronomy in the southern hemisphere. Explore constellations only seen on the African continent. See why the Goliath beetle became a symbol of rebirth for the Egyptian scarab. Learn about celestial navigation by people and animals.
Create Your Own Constellation!
I created this small collection for my students to consider the roles of each individual in this photograph. When they engaged in the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine many of them wanted to know more about the white man wearing a medal and why he wasn't raising his fist. They generated many additional questions around this idea. I added the ESPN video to help the think more about the photo and its meaning. We had a class discussion that revisited their questions from the day before.
I created this collection to have my students understand better the role children played in the past. Considering how quickly I have to teach history to my 4th graders I wanted to rely on photographs to help orient the students into time and place. I focused on the late 1800s into the mid-1900s. The students in my class wanted to know more about children's lives during the time period we were learning about. The purpose of the collection is to push the students to think beyond what they immediately see and consider the bigger ideas captured in these photographs.
Students engaged in thinking routines during this activity:
See, Think, Wonder
- What do you see?
- What do you think?
- What do you wonder?
- What is the story?
- What is the human story?
- What is the world story?
- What is the new story?
- What is the hidden story?
This collection allows students and teachers to gain an understanding of the Design Thinking process utilizing Cooper Hewitt learning lab resources as well other materials.
Can a Video Game Capture the Magic of Walden?
Henry David Thoreau’s
This collection was created to complement a National Art Education Association (NAEA) webinar, "Constructing Curriculum with the Smithsonian" (December 11, 2019) featuring resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Learning Lab.
The webinar features inquiry-based strategies in examining the American experience depicted through portraiture and unpacking the context of historical narratives communicated through art with students.
This collection was created in collaboration with Briana Zavadil White (National Portrait Gallery) and Candra Flanagan (National Museum of African American History and Culture).
This collection includes resources about focusing on the story of Jim Eng (Ng San Wah) who immigrated to Texas when he was seven years old. Included are the various documents that he and his mom needed to immigrate and excerpts from his oral history are included.
Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions , such as those about immigration policy and/or discrimination. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. Documents are included to guide students through analysis activities of the documents, photos and oral history.
This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Keywords: chinese exclusion act, 1882,
This collection starts with monarch butterflies and their migration. My hope was to remind the second graders about what they have already learned about monarchs.
Once the students' background knowledge is activated then the students can participate in the Tuning In activity. Students will analyze the art piece using the Harvard's Project Zero Thinking Routine: See, Think, Wonder.
Once the students have made their thinking visible then the class will find more out by learning about the art piece from the artist and learning about bird migrations. The students will engage in the Harvard Global Thinking Routine The 3 Ys.
To push the students beyond flying animals the Going Further section will expose the students to migrations of animals on land, air, and see. The students will end this section using the Thinking Routine Think, Puzzle, Explore. Students can then have time to research about animals on their own.
The postage stamp has a long and rich history within our visual culture. It is a carefully crafted micro-narrative, which often exhibits everyday representations or the spirit of a nation. A good micro-narrative can have a substantial impact in a quick timeframe. They often come from our shared culture – they are parts of stories we communicate, that mark our achievements, struggles, and understanding of our collective culture. They are concise and lead us quickly into making better sense of the world we are in and designing for.
The postage stamp in its limited real estate, is a wonderful study of a carefully crafted micro-narrative. It can build a shared sense of national belonging amongst humans or a sense of tribalism through national identity. They are composed of three essential pieces of information in their design: subject, stamp value, and country of origin. The reference of the country provides context for the subject, which often reflects the country’s national and cultural identity.
This collection serves as a visual aid to expose and explore the design principles and techniques necessary to communicate a concise message within a restricted space.
CONSIDERATIONS: use of visual components in a formal, conceptual, and systematic method
The design and arrangement, or appearance of typeset matter.
+ Type as a system and vehicle for communication.
+ Type used as image, type as form, typographic color, typographic structure, typographic systems
and hierarchy, active white space as punctuation, tempo, and rhythm.
A tangible or visible representation and/or a vivid or graphic representation or description.
+ Images used as a vehicle for communication and storytelling.
+ Photographs, illustrations, and visual representations like icons, indexes, and symbols. Images
used as type, images used as form, images used as color, and images used as structure.
+ The Hierarchy of images, i.e. alpha, beta, infra.
The shape and structure of something as distinguished from its material. Geometric and organic form, graphic simplification, patterns, textures, abstractions, reductions.
+ Form used as type, form used as image, form used as color, and form used as structure.
+ Form/counter investigations, navigation and direction, active white space.
A phenomenon of light or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects.
+ Color can be used in both a functional and symbolic role.
Something arranged in a definite pattern of organization. Grid systems, visual organizations, and compositions.
+ Structure used as type, structure used as image, structure used as form, and structure used
Formal (syntax) and conceptual (semantics) connections.
Information to be communicated or “story being told.” Thematic cultural, social, and historical reflection. Conceptual story, metaphor, or message.
Semiotics - se.mi.ot.ics: a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols that deals primarily with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactic, semantics, and pragmatics.
• Semiotic theory is a branch of linguistics that has become a useful tool in two-dimensional design for understanding the relationships between the viewer/user, the form that conveys a message, and the message’s meaning.
Syntactics – syn.tac.tics: A branch of semiotics that deals with the formal relationship between signs or expressions in abstraction from their signification and their interpreters.
• Syntactic refers to the formal relationship among elements in a composition or among related forms. When analyzing a form for its syntactic qualities, you might ask yourself: Are all the parts of the form arranged to appear unified?
Semantics – se.man.tics: a branch of semiotics dealing with the relationship between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth: the meaning or relationship on meaning of a sign or set of signs.
• Semantic refers to the relationship between form and its meaning. When analyzing a form for semantic qualities, you should ask yourself: Does the form adequately reflect its meaning? Is the meaning singular or multiple, ambiguous or clear? Which of these is more desirable?
Pragmatics – prag.mat.ics: relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters: Practical as opposed to idealistic.
• Pragmatic refers to the relationship between a form and its user. This aspect examines a sign when it is applied. When analyzing a form for its pragmatics, consider these questions: Is the form related to its context? Is it understandable in its context?
• Excerpts from Introduction to Two-Dimensional Design: Understanding Form and Function by John Bowers, pg. 22
Assistant Professor | Art Department | Pace University-NYC