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.
Marian Anderson faced many challenges during her career making her a hero to many. Facing discrimination with dignity and grace endeared her to her fans and generations yet to come.
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
This collection has students compare and contrast two artistic representations of American writer Gertrude Stein, a sculpture and a lithograph/collage. Included for the teacher is the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading Portraiture Guide for Educators" from which the questions here were adapted.
Resources providing background information for students include a video about the importance of body position and an article revealing philosophical influences on Stein.
Use strategies suggested in the Guide, or the following questions, after students have read and reviewed the provided resources:
1. Look at the first image (titled "Gertrude") and the second image (titled "Daibutsu Great Buddha") in this collection and write down observations.
2. How are "Gertrude" and "Daibutsu Great Buddha" similar and different?
3. Watch the video and take note of the ways how the statue (titled "Gertrude Stein") represents Gertrude Stein. In what ways are "Gertrude Stein" similar and different to "Gertrude"?
4. In the article "A Sort of Modern Buddha: The Influence of of Yogic Philosophies on Gertrude Stein's Method of Writing" Marcie Bianco suggests in the second paragraph starting with, "What these philosopher's show..." that a statue of Stein was necessary to capture her character and personality. How do the ideas in this paragraph reflect how Stein is depicted in the "Gertrude"?
5. In the article paragraph eleven starting with "What these philosophers show..." the writer suggests how Gertrude Stein wrote poetry utilizing a mind-body connection. How does this idea connect to how she is depicted in "Gertrude"?
6. After completing these steps, type in "Gertrude Stein" in the Learning Lab search engine and look at other portraits of her. How is she represented in other portraits?
7. How are the portraits alike and different? Compare these portraits with "Gertrude," "Gertrude Stein," and "Daibutsu Great Buddha".
Tags: Gertrude Stein; poetry; American novelist; literature; Buddha; sculpture; visual art; portrait; analysis
Pick two objects. Compare/Contrast the two objects you chose.
Why are they in a collection together? Why is the title of this collection "portraits"?
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
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.
This lesson plan was developed for 7th grade Language Arts as a workshop for students who are writing and revising a personal narrative. The lesson creates an opportunity to see with a piece of artwork how visual details create mood.
This is a collection that allows students to examine the role of the worker in the American Experience and how it has changed over time. #SAAMteach
This unit explores the idea that "as is painting, so is poetry." It invites students to learn to "read" art in the same way they read poetry, and likewise to imagine poetry visually. This bank of resources provides pairings of American poems and paintings.
Students will begin by examining Tooker's "The Waiting Room" using the "See/Think/Wonder" methodology. Then, they will examine five poems and argue (using evidence from their chosen poem as well as the painting) which poem is closest in tone and theme to the painting. I've included additional images to further the discussion.
This topical collection features more than a dozen postcards that were distributed during the World War I era. These postcards will serve as inspiration and a starting point for teacher-created Smithsonian Learning Lab collections during the National Postal Museum's workshop, "My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I" (July 2017).
Objectives: To build reading comprehension skills through analyzing texts and to build writing skills. These skills will be acquired through student engagement built by participating in activities which work together to help students consider the unifying theme of Community.
Skills Taught: Students will be able to discuss a theme that is common to various works of media including visual art and text. Students will be able to provide supporting evidence for their responses in both discussion and writing in order to support their comprehension building skills and to demonstrate their comprehension.
In this collection, students will explore how portraits can be used to reveal biographical information about a subject and time period. This collection focuses on a few portraits of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii (1795-1893). Students will be asked to think critically about each portrait. This activity is based on the "Reading Portraiture" Guide for Educators created by the National Portrait Gallery. The guide can be found at the end of the collection. The collection also includes an article from Smithsonian magazine that provides a brief history of Hawaii to provide further context for the images.
One of the final activities requires students to compare the monarchs' portraits to contemporary images of Hawaii (after it became a part of the U.S.). Students will also be asked to find an image of a famous person from Hawaii to compare and contrast with the previous images. This assignment tasks the class to think critically about their preconceptions and background knowledge on this part of history.
Resources would work best in a social studies class (either U.S. or World History) in a unit focusing on Hawaii. This collection can also be revised to fit into an Art History class. To learn more about the theory behind this approach of analyzing portraits of a subject before reading their biography, please see the last resource "'Reading' Portraiture Guide for Educators."
Context: A lesson for a U.S. History/American Literature humanities class. This lesson will come towards the end of our study of the Revolutionary period.
Essential Question: What does it mean to be an American in 1782?
- How does Crevecoeur define an American here? How accurate is his definition for that time period?
- To whom is Crevecouer making this appeal? What sort of person would be motivated by these passages?
- Who is included in Crevecoeur's appeal? Who is left out?
- How is "this new man" different?
- How does Crevecoeur help build the ideals and myths of America?
- How does this letter build on the idea of American Exceptionalism? America as the land of "new and improved"?
Students will have read Letter III before class.
Using the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the text excerpts below (or the entire text of Letter III), students will identify three key quotes or words and find artwork that connects to chosen text. Three total text excerpts and three works of art. The works of art can support, refute, or simply connect to some aspect of the quote and the idea of what it means to be an American.
Students will share their chosen artworks and quotes via the class Google classroom.
We will use the images as the basis for a class discussion on what it means to be an American.
After the class discussion, students will write a short paper on "What is an American?"
1.. Using the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the text excerpts below (or the entire text of Letter III), identify three key quotes or words and find artwork that connects to chosen text. You can use the images below as a starting point, but don't feel limited to these. The Smithsonian has an amazing and extensive collection. Take time to use the search function and explore the collection. You have all period to do so. Be original.
2. By class tomorrow, post on the google classroom your text excerpts and accompanying three works of art. The text can be a whole sentence or just a few key words. The works of art can support, refute, or simply connect to some aspect of the text and the idea of what it means to be an American. Be sure to include the title, artist, and date for each artwork. Your artwork doesn't have to come from the Revolutionary time period. The important thing is that you use your critical reading and thinking skills to make a connection between the text and the art work.
3. Tomorrow we will have a class discussion based on the images and excerpts. Be prepared to share your thinking on your choices with the class.
As always, remember to consider speaker, audience, and purpose. Who is speaking? To whom is he appealing? Why?
Not sure where to start? Find what you think are the ten most important words in the passage. Narrow it down to the top three.
Based on our studies so far, what are the different groups, ethnicities, races, religious affiliations make up the population at this time? Which of these does Crevecouer include? Leave out?
How did these people come to be in America? Does that matter in Crevecouer's writing?
by J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur
"What then is the American, this new man?...He is an American, who, leaving
behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new
mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. He has
become an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater.
Here individuals of all races are melted into a new race of man, whose labors
and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the
"After a foreigner from any part of Europe is arrived, and become a citizen; let him devoutly listen to the voice of our great parent, which says to him, "Welcome to my shores, distressed European; bless the hour in which thou didst see my verdant fields, my fair navigable rivers, and my green mountains!--If thou wilt work, I have bread for thee; if thou wilt be honest, sober, and industrious, I have greater rewards to confer on thee--ease and independence. I will give thee fields to feed and clothe thee; a comfortable fireside to sit by, and tell thy children by what means thou hast prospered; and a decent bed to repose on. I shall endow thee beside with the immunities of a freeman. If thou wilt carefully educate thy children, teach them gratitude to God, and reverence to that government, that philanthropic government, which has collected here so many men and made them happy. I will also provide for thy progeny; and to every good man this ought to be the most holy, the most powerful, the most earnest wish he can possibly form, as well as the most consolatory prospect when he dies. Go thou and work and till; thou shalt prosper, provided thou be just, grateful, and industrious" (Letter III, 1782).
Artworks to be used to with Black Boy, by Richard Wright, his autobiography which chronicles his search for identity while growing up in the Jim Crow South.
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.
English, Hispanic History, House on Mango Street, Braceros, Hispanic American, American History, camps, workers, labor, Latino Americans, Sandra Cisernos, Domingo Ulloa
All resources that I've gathered to teach Adiche 's novel in Fall 2017.I have also begun a collection specific to Smithsonian exhibits and resources.
By using Chimamanda Adichie's "The Dangers of a Single Story" as a lens, students will begin to analyze how urban artists draw awareness to single stories and challenge them through their artwork.
Topics and Hashtags
Urban Art, Stereotypes, Art, Social Action, Social Justice, Cities, City, Down These Mean Streets, Maristany #SAAMteach
A two-day lesson for middle schoolers to introduce some of the themes in The House on Mango Street through art representing Latino/a Americans in the 1900s.
tags: immigrant experience, culture, gender roles, women, class divide, jigsaw, see think wonder
Craft can be used to respond to and record events in the world. How can an artist successfully translate a personal or national reaction into a craft work? Which moments are “remembered” this way? Students will learn to analyze an object and explore the interconnected nature of moments in the past to better understand the complexities of today.
Examine your portrait with your partner. Answer the three questions in your writer's notebook, being sure to write the portrait's name and artist in your notebook for reference! What OBSERVATIONS have you made? What INFERENCES have you made?
Be prepared to courageously share your findings with your classmates!