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Found 456 Collections

 

Student Activity: Looking at the Holocaust through Art

This student activity explores the Holocaust through art - three sculptures and one photograph of an artwork, with additional references to give historical context . Using two of Harvard's Project Zero Thinking Routines, students take a deeper dive into the material through guided looking and by considering the significance of the Holocaust personally, to the country and to the world.

Philippa Rappoport
10
 

Student Activity: Exploring Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq"

This student activity explores Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq" using two Project Zero Thinking Routines to help students think critically and globally.  The work is a metaphorical representation of the unrest taking place in Iraq, and more broadly, an exploration of the human condition during times of crisis.

Included here are an image of the work from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an explanatory video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, two  Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero Visible Thinking and Global Thinking materials, an array of prompts and Learning Lab tools, and an assignment. This collection is adapted from a larger teaching collection on the same theme (Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq" ( http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll...), that includes extension activities. 

This collection was originally designed for a workshop for pre-service teachers at Trinity Washington University. It is intended to demonstrate, and asks workshop participants to consider, various ways to use the Learning Lab and its tools.  #TWUtech

Keywords: #LatinoHAC, Latinx, Latino, global competency, competencies

Philippa Rappoport
8
 

Student Activity: An Exploration of Immigration/Migration Experiences

With this collection, students can explore people's stories of moving to a new country or culture (both forced and voluntarily), and then walk, fly, or sail "a mile in their shoes" to imagine some of the challenges they encountered in moving to their new home.

Then, they can write up their own family stories, using a variety of resources including a "Today I Am Here" homemade book, or PBS Learning Media's resources, "Digging at the Roots of Your Family Tree."

#EthnicStudies 

This collection supports Unit 1: Precious Knowledge - Exploring notions of identity and community, Personal history / identit / membership / agency, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part A course.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. 

Philippa Rappoport
11
 

Storytelling through Dance

This collection explores the unique forms of storytelling found in choreography and portraiture. It demonstrates examples of artists that communicate universal narratives and express diverse perspectives without words. Photographs of war veterans by Louie Palu and the veterans’ experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) inspired the featured dance. Students can watch a video interview with the choreographer, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, and answer guided questions from Project Zero's "Claim, Support, Question" thinking routine.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

#APA2018

Tags: dance, dancing, choreography, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), narrative, interpretation, analysis

Ashley Naranjo
11
 

Steel Town: The Story of Homestead

This curriculum pack was produced by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania and includes everything you need to teach about the town of Homestead and how it reflects changes in American society. The student text includes readings that you can give directly to your students, and the info tab includes suggested teaching activities. Primary sources and biographies with suggested activities are also included (be sure to click on the paper clip and/or info icon on each item to find out more about it). 

HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
30
 

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
26
 

Stamp Design: Micro-Narratives

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

TYPOGRAPHIC
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. 

IMAGE
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.

FORM  
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. 

COLOR
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.

STRUCTURE
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
   as color.

CONNECTIONS
Formal (syntax) and conceptual (semantics) connections.

CONTENT
Information to be communicated or “story being told.” Thematic cultural, social, and historical reflection. Conceptual story, metaphor, or message.  

______________________________________________________________________________
VOCABULARY

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 

______________________________________________________________________________
Brenda McManus
Assistant Professor  | Art Department | Pace University-NYC   

Co-Founder
BRED | a collaborative design lab
www.brednation.com
Instagram: bred_letterpress

Brenda McManus
82
 

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
 

Socially Constructed Learning Through Art

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

This collection was created to support teachers and administrators who wish to better understand the various cultures in their schools.  Using both Project Zero's Global Thinking Routines and strategies from Amy E. Herman's Visual Intelligence book, participants will practice articulating cultural perspectives and communicating across differences using artwork and primary sources from the vast collections of the Smithsonian Learning Lab.  Participants will learn how to read a work of art, understand compositional hierarchy, and question what is missing.  The frameworks provided by Project Zero and Amy E. Herman will allow everyone, even those not accustomed to discussing art, a place from which to begin using art as a foundation for building culturally-responsive curriculum.

Participants will see museums as the cultural ambassadors that they are and ask whose culture is being represented and whose is missing and why.  Extending from this inquiry, participants will recognize the role schools play in nurturing and shaping the lives and identities of our students.

Julie Sawyer
24
 

Social Justice: Opening Panel Resources

This collection previews the opening panel of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, Social Justice: America's Unfinished Story of Struggle, Strife, and Sacrifice. Four Smithsonian staff members will speak at this event: Igor Krupnik (Arctic Studies Center, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History), Lanae Spruce (National Museum of African American History and Culture), Ranald Woodaman (Smithsonian Latino Center), and E. Carmen Ramos (Smithsonian American Art Museum).

Each text annotation in this collection contains each speaker's presentation title, description, and bio. Following each text annotation are resources and questions chosen by the presenters for participants to consider before the panel itself.

#MCteach

Tess Porter
17
 

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
 

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.

#MCteach

Tess Porter
24
 

Social Change in the Archives: ACC-PARC Records

First formed in 1951, the Allegheny County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (ACC-PARC) was established as a grassroots organization comprised of the parents of people with disabilities. The aspect of ACC-PARC’s daily activities most represented in these records are the efforts of the association to investigate the treatment of people with disabilities at residential care facilities in Western Pennsylvania during the 1960s and 1970s.

This Learning Lab collection is designed to highlight the specific steps taken by the parents and members of ACC-PARC as they advocated for change in residential care facilities in this region. Each document illuminates a specific step or tactic used by the parents as they attempted to raise awareness of poor treatment of people with disabilities, stop overcrowding and under-staffing in facilities, and push for legislation to ensure the well-being of residents.

This archival collection and the materials presented in this Learning Lab collection are housed at the Detre Library and Archives at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA:

Title: Bob Nelkin Collection of Allegheny County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (ACC-PARC) Records

Dates: 1953-2000

Creator: Nelkin, Bob

Catalog Number: MSS 1002


HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
34
 

SOB, SOB and Homegoing: Black Representation and Identity in African and African American Art

The collection contains work from an SAAM summer session from 2018 inspired by SOB,SOB by Marshall and is centered around the reading of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It is meant to be a resource for teachers seeking to consider identity critically, incorporate meaningful diversity, and promote the importance of complex representation. #SAAMteach

Loren Lee
76
 

Soap – History, Uses, and Chemistry

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

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

Smithsonian Pioneer: Solomon G. Brown

In 1852, Solomon G. Brown of Washington D.C. became the first African American employed by the Smithsonian Institution. He was an unusual man of his time, as he was a literate free person of color in Washington D.C., where slavery was legal until 1862. Additionally, Mr. Brown was an influential member of the African American community in Washington D.C, before and after the Civil War. For 54 years, Mr. Brown worked at the Smithsonian Institution in a variety of positions. He saw the institution change and grow. In 1902, the Smithsonian honored Mr. Brown for his time and service.

 This Learning Lab explores the experience of Solomon G. Brown and his work at the Smithsonian Institution. Exploring his career can highlight the complexities of slavery, freedom, race, and citizenship that African Americans experienced in Washington D.C. through the latter half of the nineteenth century, which included the late Antebellum Period, the Civil War, the Gilded Age and the beginnings of the Jim Crow Era. His life poses an interesting contrast to the more normative narratives of African Americans during the mid to late nineteenth century.

Discussion questions are included at the beginning of the Learning Lab.

 

Keywords: nmaahc, African American, Smithsonian, Institution, museum, castle, secretary, freedom, slavery, Washington D.C. DC, district, Columbia, research, pioneer, Solomon, Brown, first, civil war, antebellum, reconstruction, Jim Crow, 19th century, 20th century

National Museum of African American History and Culture
23
 

Slaves and Religion: A Blend of African Religion and European Christianity

This collection of items shows things like items and objects that were used to carry out religious ceremonies of the enslaved African people. This collection will also look at what exactly religion was and looked like during slavery times. The Africans that were brought over to the Americas for the purpose of slavery had no knowledge of Christianity or any other European religion. Africans had their own beliefs and since brought over to slavery, could no longer practice them freely. Slaves were eventually exposed to Christianity by their slave masters  and that was the only religion that the master permitted. Slaves ultimately saw the European religion, Christianity, as possible freedom.  The slaves often resisted the teachings and exposure of Christianity because of their strong commitment and belief in their motherland religion. Eventually there was a mixture of the slaves original religion back in their homeland and the newly learned Christianity. Enslaved people also eventually appealed to Christianity and turned it into a possible road to freedom. This was no good sign for slave masters, which soon leads to punishment of things like open worship and Bible reading. We will be looking at many things in this collection from items to secret gathering places that the slaves used.

Tyeema Brockington
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
 

Six Degrees of Separation: An APUSH Review Activity

Use this collection as a starting point for an AP United States History review activity that emphasizes connections and cause-and-effect. Students will copy the collection and add in four resources that form a chain of connection from one item to another (ending with six resources total). For each resource, they should add an annotation describing each of the events or items included, analyzing any important details in the resources themselves, and explaining how each connects to the next one.
Hattie Petty
2
 

Sites Unseen: Navigating Complexity and Grappling with Uncertainty

Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen combines the disciplines of art, science, and investigative journalism to bring unseen and, at times, unsettling elements of our contemporary world to light. Zooming outward from personal, to local, and finally global implications of this work, participants will work collaboratively to identify extensions and troubleshoot any challenges of this content for the classroom.

All Grade Levels

Elizabeth Dale-Deines
15
 

Shoes: Exploring Culture, History, Place, and Innovation

Teacher's guide for using shoes to explore culture, history, place, and innovation. Includes images of thirty shoes and three different strategies, located at the end of the collection, for using these objects in the classroom. 

Strategies include: a small-group object analysis activity; a poster, "If You Walked in My Shoes," introducing students to basic primary source analysis questions through six pairs of shoes; and a vocabulary exercise for ESL learners.

Tess Porter
33
 

Shaping America: Early America to the Civil War Portraits

Meet the politicians, reformers, inventors, authors, soldiers and others who shaped the course of American history from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War. Students will analyze portraits to learn about the diverse and significant contributions to American society made by individuals in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

#NPGteach

Miranda Daniels
25
 

Shaping America: Early America to the Civil War

Meet the politicians, reformers, inventors, authors, soldiers and others who shaped the course of American history from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War. Students will analyze portraits to learn about the diverse and significant contributions to American society made by individuals in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

#NPGteach

Briana White
25
 

Self-Portraiture: Purpose and Audience

Without even perhaps realizing it, we create self-portraits all of the time - in the form of selfies, in photos with friends, or in photos of exotic locales. Every time we share a self-portrait, we have a purpose and an audience, even though often we don't think explicitly about those things. First and foremost, often we (understandably) want to portray ourselves positively, as attractive and interesting people. Sometimes, however, our purpose is more complex, even if we don't realize it consciously. Let's take a look at three different types of self-portraits to gain a better understanding of purpose and audience. 

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2018 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

#NPGTeach

Sherry Brown
9
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