Skip to Content
  • Language
  • End User
  • Educational Use
  • Time Required
(388)
(1,289)
(1,453)
(1,284)
(1,623)
(30)
(667)
(560)
(285)
(940)
(328)
(348)

Found 1,677 Collections

 

St. Lawrence Island Yupik Language and Culture videos

The Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center hosted a language and culture seminar at the Anchorage Museum in 2011, bringing together seven fluent St. Lawrence Island Yupik speakers for five days to discuss cultural heritage objects from their region in the Smithsonian exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum. This video set presents a range of information about life on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska for the Yupik people: hunting tools used for living from the land and sea to ceremonial items used at celebrations and gatherings to everyday clothing to cultural traditions and values. The videos are in St. Lawrence Island Yupik with subtitles in English and Yupik, for following along in both languages. An educational guide with twelve lessons is included below, along with links to objects discussed from the Smithsonian collections. 

 Tags: Alaska, Native art, Native culture, Indigenous, museum, education, language, St. Lawrence Island, Yupik, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
26
 

Sewing Salmon videos

The Sewing Salmon project was hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska and brought together three contemporary Alaska Native artists: Audrey Armstrong (Koyukon Athabascan), Coral Chernoff (Sugpiaq) and Marlene Nielsen (Yup'ik). Together they learned and taught about creating work from salmon skin through studying historic museum objects and through sharing and comparing techniques they developed. Each artist has a commitment to this almost-lost art and shared their knowledge with students and visitors, and with curators and conservators who care for museum collections. The video set presented here introduces the artists and their techniques. Links to a selection of Alaska Native objects from the Smithsonian collections made from salmon skin are included below.

Tags: Alaska, Native art, museum, education, Indigenous, sew, salmon, fish skin, Athabascan, Sugpiaq, Alutiiq, Yup'ik, Iñupiaq, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
15
 

Iñupiaq Language and Culture videos

The Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center hosted a language and culture seminar at the Anchorage Museum in 2011, bringing together eight fluent Iñupiaq speakers for four days to discuss cultural heritage objects from their region in the Smithsonian exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum. This video set presents a range of information about life in northwest Alaska for the Iñupiaq people: hunting tools used for living from the land and sea to ceremonial items used at celebrations and gatherings to everyday clothing to cultural traditions and values. The videos are in Iñupiaq with subtitles in English and Iñupiaq, for following along in both languages. An educational guide with six lessons is included below, along with links to objects discussed from the Smithsonian collections.

Tags: Alaska, Native art, museum, education, language, Indigenous, Iñupiaq, Inupiaq, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
16
 

Quill Art videos

Athabascan peoples harvested porcupine to eat and also carefully processed its quills into a fine material to beautify special items. Some artists continue to use quill in their work. In 2013, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska hosted the Dene Quill Art project, bringing together two Athabascan artists and an ethnographic conservator to share quillwork techniques and develop new ones by studying historic museum pieces. They shared their expertise with students, museum visitors and local Alaska Native artists, along with conservators who learned how to better care for quillwork objects in museum collections. The video set presented here introduces participants and provides detailed demonstrations of how to work with quill from cleaning and dying, to sewing, wrapping folding and weaving. Links to a selection of Alaska Native objects from the Smithsonian collections made with porcupine quill are included below.

Tags: Alaska, Native art, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Athabascan, Dene, museum, education, Indigenous, quill, porcupine, conservator, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
15
 

Unangax̂ Bentwood Hat-Making videos

Unangax̂ men of the Aleutian Islands wore hunting hats and visors that were shaped from carved, boiled and bent planks of driftwood, intricately ornamented with paint, beads, walrus ivory and sea lion whiskers. The hats were practical headgear for kayak hunters and at the same time works of art expressing the spiritual connection between human beings and animals of the land, sea and air. In 2012, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska hosted a bentwood hat making residency at the Anchorage Museum where Unangax̂ hat makers Patricia Lekanoff-Gregory and Michael Livingston worked with advanced apprentices Delores Gregory and Tim Shangin. They examined bentwood hats and visors from museum collections, and they carved, bent, and decorated their own, sharing their expertise with visiting students and museum guests.

The video set presented here provides step-by-step instructions on how to make a bentwood hat and information on the use and significance of these hats in the past and today, along with artist interviews that provide first-hand information about the Aleutian Islands region and this important art form. Links to a selection of Unangax̂ bentwood hats and visors from the Smithsonian collections are included below.

Tags: Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Alaska Native art, Indigenous, Unangax̂, Unangax, Unangan, Sugpiaq, Aleut, bentwood hat, bentwood visor, chief's hat, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
14
 

Introducing Hokusai: Mad about Painting (Part One)

This Learning Lab Collection introduces three themes from the Hokusai:  Mad about Painting exhibition and provides works of art, classroom activities, and discussion questions associated with each theme.  Works of art selected for this Learning Lab highlight the first of two installations of the Hokusai exhibition, on view November 2019-April 2020.  The activities and discussions can be completed before or after your visit to the Hokusai:  Mad about Painting exhibition on view in the Freer Gallery of Art.  If you are unable to visit the exhibition, this Learning Lab allows you to virtually connect with the works of art and exhibition content on view for the first rotation of the galleries.  A second Learning Lab (Part Two) will be introduced in March for the second gallery installation.

Tags:  #AsiaTeachers; Be a Reporter; customs; daily life; dragons; Edo; Great Wave; Hokusai; Japan; nature; New Year; personification; poetry; power; Project Zero; Mount Fuji; See Think Wonder; Step Inside; symbols; thunder; woodblock print

About the tour:

Japanese Art and Culture
Grades K-12
Tour size limit: 45 students
Tour availability:  December 2, 2019 – November 13, 2020
One adult chaperone is required per each group of 10 students.
What can works of art tell us about cultural values?  How is the concept of “place” significant in Japanese art?  Transport yourself into misty mountains, rushing streams, and peaceful abodes when you explore the Japanese art of Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) in the special exhibition Hokusai: Mad about Painting.  Learn about the symbols and stories that make the works of art culturally significant for the people of Japan.

About the exhibition:

Hokusai:  Mad about Painting
November 23, 2019–November 8, 2020
Freer Gallery of Art, galleries 5–8

The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is widely recognized for a single image—Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa, an icon of global art—yet he produced thousands of works throughout his long life. Charles Lang Freer recognized the artist’s vast abilities before many other collectors, and he assembled the world’s largest collection of paintings, sketches, and drawings by Hokusai. In commemoration of the centennial of Freer’s death in 1919, and in celebration of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, the Freer Gallery presents a yearlong exploration of the prolific career of Katsushika Hokusai. Works large and small are on view, from six-panel folding screens and hanging scrolls to paintings and drawings. Also included are rare hanshita-e, drawings for woodblock prints that were adhered to the wood and frequently destroyed in the process of carving the block prior to printing. Among the many featured works are Hokusai’s manga, his often-humorous renderings of everyday life in Japan. Together, these works reveal an artistic genius who thought he might finally achieve true mastery in painting—if he lived to the age of 110.


Freer and Sackler Galleries
24
 

Becoming a Historian: Historical Context

Historical thinking skills allow historians to better practice and interpret history. This series teaches students how to develop these skills to become better historians themselves.

This Learning Lab will guide students through the process of defining historical context and practicing employing strategies from an example dealing with the 1968 Poor People's Campaign. 

 Historical context is the background information that informs a deeper understanding of a historical individual, group or event. Historical context is important because it allows historians to better understand history in the ways a historical individual or group understood the world around them, which leads historians to analyze the past more accurately. 

 Keywords: nmaahc, African, American, historical, thinking, skills, context, historical, contextualization, background, 1968, Poor People's Campaign, history, interpret, analyze

National Museum of African American History and Culture
16
 

Martin Luther King Jr.: The Later Years (1965 - 1968)

Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equality did not end with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In his last years, King’s focus shifted toward achieving economic equality and combating poverty in the United States, denouncing the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, and contending with the rise of The Black Power Movement.

 This Learning Lab highlights documents, images, objects, and media from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and other Smithsonian units that help to tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s final years, his assassination, and his enduring legacy.

Keywords: nmaahc, Martin Luther King Jr, MLK, Jr., African American, civil rights, last years, Chicago, Vietnam, poverty, Poor People's Campaign, Resurrection City, Memphis, assassination, legacy, Coretta Scott King, Reverend 

National Museum of African American History and Culture
48
 

African American Historians of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

An innate function of being human is to preserve and share our experiences and stories.  African American men and women have researched and recorded their history despite enslavement, racism, segregation, sexism, and opposition. Their research helped expand the known narratives of American and international history through the African American perspective and interpretation of historical sources. This Learning Lab explores selected African American historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their research and works were critical to the foundation of African American studies and their activism helped open doors for future African Americans to enter and contribute to the field of history.  The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, situated in the heart of the nation’s capital, serves as the physical manifestation of the efforts of African American historians featured in this lab.

Keywords: NMAAHC, NMAAHC Education, African American, historians, history, primary sources, stories

HOW TO USE THIS LAB:

Use the book excerpts, documents, images, objects, and media related to a highlighted historian in the Learning Lab to answer the questions provided in the Discussion Question page  and/or or use them comparatively with information in your history textbook about the highlighted historical period.

FEATURED HISTORIANS 

  1. Revolutionary War (Squares 3 - 10)
    William Cooper Nell (1816 – 1874) was born to a prominent African American abolitionist family in Boston, Massachusetts. As a young man, he was mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, wrote for Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper the Liberator, and was influential in the fight against segregation in Boston’s public transportation and accommodations during the 1840s and 1850s. In 1855, Nell authored The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution, making it one of the first historical works to focus on African Americans.
  2. Civil War (Squares 11 - 18)
    George Washington Williams (1849 – 1891)
    was born in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania. At the age of 14, he joined the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he finished his education in Massachusetts, became a minister, and founded a newspaper, The Commoner. By 1880, Williams moved to Ohio and became the first African American elected to the Ohio General Assembly. As a historian, Williams is most famous for writing the first comprehensive history of African Americans in the United States, a two-volume work called the History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880; as Negroes, as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens (1882). In 1887, he published A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion.
  3. Reconstruction (Squares 19 - 25)
    William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868 – 1963)
    was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. His studies, which focused on African American history, anthropology, and sociology, took him to study in Tennessee, Germany, and finally back to Massachusetts where he became the first African American to graduate with a PhD from Harvard. In the quest for civil rights, Du Bois helped established the Niagara Movement, and its successor, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As a historian, he wrote widely on the African American experience, but one of his best-known works was Black Reconstruction in America (1935). While Black Reconstruction was refuted during the early twentieth century, the work is now considered one of the foundational texts of how Reconstruction is interpreted by today’s mainstream historians.
  4. Women and Gender History (Squares 26 - 31)
    Anna Julia Cooper (1858 – 1964)
    was born to her enslaved mother and her white slaveholder father in Raleigh, North Carolina. She pursued education from an early age, as well as fought for women’s rights and gender equality. As a scholar at Oberlin College, she protested sexist treatment of women by taking courses and gaining degrees in subjects typically designated for men. She became an influential educator in Washington D.C. who saw her students attend some of the most prestigious colleges in the country. In 1925, Cooper completed her graduate studies at Sorbonne, University of Paris. She became the fourth African American woman to earn a PhD in History. In 1892, she wrote, A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South, focusing on the history and experiences of African American women in the South, and the need for their education to uplift the African American community as a whole.
  5. The First World War (Squares 32 - 37)
    Carter Godwin Woodson (1875 - 1950)
    was born in New Canton, Virginia. He is known as the “Father of Black History” because of his numerous contributions to the field.  Woodson was the son of poor, but land-owning former slaves. As he worked to support his family’s farm he did not enter high school until age twenty. Woodson earned his first degree from Berea College in Kentucky. He then worked, studied, and taught internationally before receiving his Bachelors and his Masters from the University of Chicago, and later his PhD from Harvard University. In 1915, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History), and in 1916 published the Journal of Negro History (now the Journal of African American History). In 1926, he established Negro History Week, which would later become Black History Month. In 1922, Woodson wrote The Negro in Our History, which covered African American history from African origins to the First World War. Woodson believed that history should not be a mere study of facts but the analyzation and interpretation of historical evidence for a deeper meaning.
  6. African American History: Slavery and Freedom (Squares 38 - 46)
    John Hope Franklin (1915 – 2009)
    was born in Rentiesville, Oklahoma. In June 1921, the Franklin family endured and survived the deadly Tulsa Race Riots. Franklin earned his Bachelors from Fisk University, and would complete his Masters and PhD at Harvard. In 1949, he became the first African American historian to present at the Southern Historical Association. He was also the only African American to serve as the president of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. Franklin wrote widely on the African American experience, with his most notable work being the 1947 publication of From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans. Today, the work is in its tenth edition and is a staple of American history courses.



National Museum of African American History and Culture
69
 

Discover: Buffalo Soldiers

Utilizing primary sources and other material, students can explore the subject of Buffalo Soldiers and their role in American history.

Keywords: NMAAHC, African American, soldiers, westward, buffalo soldier, primary sources, multiple perspectives

National Museum of African American History and Culture
14
 

African Americans and the Civil War

This collection highlights the enslaved and free African American perspective and experience during the Civil War with collection objects from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, other Smithsonian units, and relevant media.

Keywords: NMAAHC, NMAAHC Education, African American, Civil War, United States Colored Troops, soldier, war, emancipation, history, primary sources

National Museum of African American History and Culture
45
 

Read Between the Brushstrokes: Using Visual Art as a Historical Source

This Learning Lab from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will explore the connection between visual art and history. 

When studying history, it is important to remember that all historical sources do not look the same. Visual art, being an active response to a stimulus, serves as a mirror to the contemporary landscape. Art engages in a conversation with history while acting as a visual expression of contemporary thoughts and ideas.

Through the visual art piece "New Age of Slavery" by Patrick Campbell (2014), students will learn more about the events and cultural context of the contemporary landscape including the pattern of police brutality against African Americans and the Black Lives Matter Movement while honing their visual literacy competency. The questions, prompts, and information provided in this Learning Lab will help students hone their skills in visual literacy competency. Students can use this Learning Lab collection to help sharpen their historical thinking skills and expand their conceptions of historical sources.

The guiding questions of this Learning Lab are

  • What is visual art’s connection to historical events? Why is it important that we recognize these connections?
  • How do contemporary events shape artists’ responses in their art making?
  • What does studying art add to our understanding of historical events and time periods?

The goals of this Learning Lab are

  • Bridge the gap in understanding between art analysis and historical analysis
  • Explore the inherent ties between art pieces and their surrounding historical context
  • Introduce the foundations of formal art analysis and develop close looking skills for visual art pieces

If you are new to Learning Lab, visit https://learninglab.si.edu/help/getting-started to learn how to get started!

Keywords: NMAAHC, African American, slavery, flag, American, 13th Amendment, visual art, Black Lives Matter, lynching, United States, visual literacy

National Museum of African American History and Culture
12
 

The NHD @ NMAAHC Collection Connection Grid 2017: Taking a Stand in History

Welcome to the National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection Grid for the 2017 NHD Theme!

Below are some objects and videos to help you explore the 2017 NHD theme: Taking a Stand in History. These objects will help you consider the perspective of the African American experience in history.

These objects may help you form an idea for a project topic or they may help to expand the narrative of your selected project. Click on the text icon for possible project connections and/or the hotspots to reveal object questions to spark your curiosity.

The artifact questions should encourage viewers to think and explore the history of the object or video on their own!

National Museum of African American History and Culture
46
 

NHD at NMAAHC 2018 - Conflict and Compromise in History: Free People of Color in Antebellum America Making A Way Out of No Way

Welcome to the National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection Grid for our 2018 NHD theme book article: "Conflict and Compromise: Free People of Color in Antebellum America Making A Way Out of No Way." 

Below are some objects and images to help you explore the lives and consider the perspective of free African Americans during the Antebellum Era. These objects may help you form an idea for a project topic or they may help to expand the narrative of your selected project.

Click on the information icon to learn more about the history or archival information of the objects and images.

Click on the paperclip icon for examples of project connections, close reading activities, and selected focuses to highlight interesting aspects of an object or image.

#NHD2018 #NHD

National Museum of African American History and Culture
39
 

The NHD at NMAAHC Collection Connection Grid 2018: Conflict and Compromise in History

Welcome to the National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection Grid for the 2018 NHD Theme!

Below are some documents, images, objects and videos to help you explore the 2018 NHD theme: Conflict and Compromise in History. These documents, images, objects and videos are intended to help highlight the African American experience and perspective in American and international history.

These documents, images, objects and videos may help you form an idea for a project topic or they may help to expand the narrative of your selected project. Click on the text icon for possible project connections, questions to help with analysis, creative activities,  and/or the paper clip icon to reveal questions or comments to spark your curiosity.

#NHD2018 #NHD

National Museum of African American History and Culture
75
 

NHD at NMAAHC Collection Connection Grid 2019: Triumph and Tragedy in History

Welcome to the National Museum of African American History and Culture's Collection Connection Grid for National History Day 2019!

Below is an assortment of selected documents, images, objects and videos that highlight the African American experience in relation to the 2019 NHD theme: Triumph and Tragedy in History. Use these items as inspiration for a project topic, or use the items to help expand your research on a topic you have already selected.  This collection is designed to be self-guided by students and educators participating in National History Day.

 #NHD2019

Keywords: African American, NMAAHC, National History Day, NHD, Collection, Connection, Grid, triumph, tragedy, history, project, topic, ideas, 2019

National Museum of African American History and Culture
96
 

Exploring the meaning of "social inclusion" through Digital Storytelling

This collection was made for a hands-on workshop organised by the Dresher Center for the Humanities at UMBC as part of the Inclusion Imperative Program.

During the workshop UMBC faculty and graduate students have the opportunity to learn some of the key elements of digital storytelling focused on questions of inclusion and justice. Some of the contents and tools were inspired by the EU funded project DIST - Digital Integration Storytelling http://www.dist-stories.eu/

Workshop participants will practice storyboarding and editing audio/visual materials as well as discuss how narrative structure and modes of storytelling vary in the diverse culture contexts in which we work and live. 

Antonia Liguori
25
 

Breaking Barriers: Race, Gender, and the U.S. Military

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."

These resources—including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles—explore how individuals overcame barriers during and following their service in the U.S. military. Resources address how issues of race and gender operated as barriers to equal treatment for all those who serve in the U.S. military, as well as circumstances endured by veterans following the end of major wars. The experiences of members of the armed forces during the American Revolution, U.S. Civil War, WWI, and WWII are highlighted; however, other wars and perspectives should be considered when exploring these resources. The second resource of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of a chosen topic alongside photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment and @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!

Tags: military, soldiers, women, African American, Tuskegee, Airmen, Airwomen, war, World War One, World War I, World War Two, World War II, Red Jacket, Tayadaneega, Joseph Brant, Native Americans, American Indians, Horace Pippin, Theodore Milton Sullivan, J.W. Lucus, Buffalo Soldier, Charles Young, Carter Woodson, Willa Beatrice Brown, Bessie Coleman, Airforce, pilots, Jacqueline Cochran, Janet Harmon Bragg, Cornelia Fort, Nancy Love, WASPs, twentieth century, 20th #NHD

Cristi Marchetti
94
 

Re-Imagining Migration DC Seminar Series, 2019-2020: Session 1

What does it take to prepare our youth for a world on the move with quality?

This collection is the first in a series of four created to support the Re-Imagining Migration DC Seminar Series, held between December 2019 to March 2020. The seminar series is led by Verónica Boix Mansilla, Senior Principal Investigator for Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero, and Research Director for Re-Imagining Migration, with in-gallery experiences provided by educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the National Gallery of Art.

This set of collections is designed to be dynamic. We will continue to add material, including participant-created content, throughout the seminar series so that the collections themselves can be used as a type of textbook, reflecting the content, development, and outputs of the full seminar series. Please check back to the hashtag #ReImaginingMigration to see a growing body of materials to support educators as they strive to serve and teach about human migration in relevant and deep ways.

Thank you to Elizabeth Dale-DeinesPhoebe Hilleman, and Carol Wilson of the Smithsonian American Art Museum for the in-gallery activity and supporting content.


#ReImaginingMigration

Philippa Rappoport
39
 

China’s Terracotta Army: Exploring the Tomb Complex and Values of China’s First Emperor

In this activity, students will take on the role of archaeologists and make inferences about what objects included in the elaborate tomb complex of China’s First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE) can reveal about his values, afterlife beliefs, and how he saw himself and his world. Students will analyze objects including not only members of the Terracotta Army, a group of approximately 7,000 terracotta soldiers and horses, but also terracotta acrobats, bronze waterfowl, and more. This collection is Part 3 in a series of collections created for a social studies classroom; for more information, click “Read More.”

Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history. They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. 

Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Tags: archaeology; archaeologist; ancient history; artifact; afterlife; funerary practices; burial; death; spiritual beliefs; military; soldier; sculpture; chinese; world; asia; asian; xi'an; empire; cross-cultural comparison; terra cotta; qin shi huang; shihuangdi; shi huang di; earthenware; ceramics

Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army
25
 

China’s Terracotta Army: Introduction to China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Army

In this activity, students will learn about the life, achievements, and historical legacy of the First Emperor of China, Emperor Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE). In order to understand why he, and the developments he shaped, are so historically significant, students will explore objects from the Qin (221 – 206 BCE) and Han (206 BCE – 220 CE) dynasties and use information learned to create arguments about the past. This collection is Part 1 in a series of collections created for a social studies classroom; for more information, click “Read More.”

Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history. They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. 

Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Tags: archaeology; archaeologist; ancient history; artifact; afterlife; funerary practices; burial; death; spiritual beliefs; military; soldier; sculpture; chinese; world; asia; asian; xi'an; empire; leader; see wonder connect; headlines; strategy; project zero; visible thinking routine; terra cotta; qin shi huang; shihuangdi; shi huang di; earthenware; ceramics

Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army
10
 

Terracotta Warriors & Figures: Object Analysis

In this activity, students will use visual evidence to try guess the roles of figures found in the elaborate tomb complex of China's First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE), and analyze what they may reveal about his values, how he saw himself, and how he saw his world.  

Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles and contains over 7,000 terracotta figures, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history. They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history. 

Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Keywords: archaeology, archaeologist, ancient history, artifact, afterlife, funerary practices, burial, death, spiritual beliefs, military, soldier, sculpture, chinese, world, asia, asian, xi'an, empire, cross-cultural comparison, terra cotta, qin shi huang, shihuangdi, shi huang di, earthenware, ceramics, pottery, terracotta army

Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army
16
 

Emancipation Proclamation

Meridith Manis
5
 

ACCESS SERIES | Nile, Nile Crocodile

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

Exploring: Ancient Egypt, the Nile River, and glass museum objects, papercraft, and sand art

Rationale for Instruction:

  • Through the introduction, museum visit, and activities, students connect with an ancient and diverse culture in ways both conceptual and concrete. The ancient Egyptians shaped our modern civilization in fundamental ways and left legacies that are still present today. 

Objectives:

  • Explain features of the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian living on the Nile River, including boat transportation, dress, and animal life. 
  • Explore the ancient origins of glass making in Egypt.
  • Examine how glass making relates to object making, animal representation, and the desert environment of Egypt
  • Plan, create, and share digital and physical works of art that represent ancient (sand art) and modern art forms (digital photography with filters) as well as representational art (papercraft) landscape.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Nile, Nile Crocodile" << CLICK HERE >>

SET THE STAGE:

  • Maps - Look at the maps in the Smithsonian collection; Where do you think you'll journey to in this collection?
  • "This is Sand" App - an tablet app that changes the pixels on the screen into digital sand.
  • Video about The Nile (for learners who prefer a concrete example)
  • Thought journey down the Nile River; Ask questions about observations along the way. If you are able to transform the furniture to reflect a boat, do so. 
  • Glass making video as well as a primary source text from 1904 (for learners who prefer a concrete example); Help make the connection between the desert sand environment and glass making. 

MUSEUM "VISIT"

  • Go to the gallery; read the panels and explore the objects. The gallery has been re-created in the Learning Lab collection
  • Explore the glass vessels-->What do you notice?
  • Observe the glass animals-->Take turns reading the informational texts; What do the animals represent?

~ BREAK ~

ACTIVITY STATIONS (rotate between activity stations)

  • SAND ART - Create your own ancient Egyptian glass vessel through a sand art design similar to the decorated glass in the museum.
  • "ANCIENT" PHOTOS - Use digital tablets to take photos in a museum gallery and use the built-in filters to create 'ancient-looking' photos like the ones that document historic museum excavations. 
  • PAPERCRAFT LANDSCAPE - Create a three-dimensional landscape of ancient Egypt based on the animals and structures observed in the museum gallery and in the introductory materials. Templates and examples are included. Document your results using photography.

Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
119
97-120 of 1,677 Collections