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Found 2,388 Resources

America's New Birth of Freedom: Documents from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit featuring a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and 10 letters expressing Lincoln's views on emancipation and the conclusion of the Civil War. Downloadable images of the original documents and four brief videos using Lincoln's words to answer questions about the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation show how Abraham Lincoln struggled with the same questions that many Americans had about the causes and costs of the bloodiest struggle in American history.

The Cosmos in Miniature: The Remarkable Star Map of Simeon De Witt

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit telling the story of early American science includes a digital reproduction of the oldest surviving Anglo-American star map. This map, created in 1780, reflects a story of scientific curiosity and the practical applications of astronomy in colonial America. Focuses on the map's creator, Simeon De Witt, and the scientific context in which he lived.

Exploring the Gettysburg Address

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher's guide included in the online exhibit, The Gettysburg Address. Includes tips on how to use the interactive document tool, suggested discussion questions, and recommended resources.

Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn: Jazz Composers

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit examining two jazz standards, each one its author's most-recorded piece: Caravan, written in 1936 by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol, and Take the 'A' Train, composed in 1941 by Billy Strayhorn. Brief biographies of the composers, primary source documents, and media clips show the process involved in writing and recording two of the most celebrated jazz pieces ever written.

The Gettysburg Address

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit telling the story of the Gettysburg Address by focusing on the last handwritten copy of the speech, a manuscript that usually resides in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House. Includes background information, printable version of the manuscript, transcripts in English and Spanish, and an interactive document that features actor Liam Neeson reading the address.

A Letter From George Washington

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit examining a letter from George Washington to Dr. David Stuart of the Virginia legislature. This letter describes many of Washington's views on current events and the direction of the Nation. Includes a transcript of the letter and contextual information for highlighted sections of the letter.

Keeping History: Plains Indian Ledger Drawings Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit sharing a Native American perspective on westward expansion through primary sources know as 'ledger drawings.' These drawings record history through a mixture of symbolic and representational illustration styles. They include first-person records of military conflicts, cultural life, and 'Americanization.' Targets grades 2-12.

Edison After Forty: The Challenge of Success

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Photo exhibition chronicling the latter half of Edison's life and career. At the age of 40, with major inventions behind him, Thomas Edison faced a new technical world, which he helped create, and the challenge of competing with his own success. While some of his later endeavors were successful, others were spectacular failures. In the end, Edison was unable to adapt to certain changes and could not recapture the monumental success of his early years.

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit telling the little-known chapter of American history in which labor shortages caused by World War II, led to an estimated two million Mexican men being recruited on short-term labor contracts to work on U.S. farms and railroads. This agreement became known as the bracero program. Presented in English and Spanish, the experiences of these men are brought to life through photographs and quotes from oral history interviews.

The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webpage describing the Audubon movement of the 1890s who was dedicated to the conservation of birds. Historical context is presented through artifacts and primary sources. Includes the threat birds faced due to hunting and fashion trends.

The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit on how the popularity of birds and their feathers as fashion accessories threatened many bird species with extinction and led to the creation of conservation societies, such as the National Audubon Society, as well as the passage of tough new laws to preserve the nation's wildlife.

First Ladies at the Smithsonian Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit exploring the stories of the first ladies of the White House. From Martha Washington through Michelle Obama, the Smithsonian's first ladies collection includes material related to their social and political activities as well as a collection of gowns. The exhibit also features thematic overviews of the many roles of first ladies, a timeline, and behind-the-scenes details on the history of the first ladies exhibitions.

Stories of Freedom & Justice: Learning Resources

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webpage of resources - lesson plans, videos, family activities, and instructional media related to the nonviolent civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Featured resources include videos and a teacher's guide for the Museum's Join the Student Sit-Ins program, literacy-based family activities on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the student sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina, and an archived webcast of an oral history of the three surviving members of the Greensboro Four.

Within These Walls Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit telling more than a dozen family stories from a 200-year-old house in Massachusetts acquired by the Smithsonian. Reveals the methods historians and curators used to learn about this house's past, the ways that it changed over time, and the people who lived in it.

Go Back in Time

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Interactive game in which players match primary source materials and museum artifacts to the appropriate time period in order to learn about the everyday lives of Americans from different eras of our nation's history.

This House

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibition presenting the history of the house that stood at 16 Elm Street in Ipswich, Massachusetts, for over 200 years, how it was saved by community members, and how it came to live in the National Museum of American History. Includes a timeline of all of the inhabitants from 1757 to 1961.

Jamestown, Quebec, Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit exploring the international origins of the societies of Canada and the United States and commemorates the 400th anniversary of three lasting settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, Quebec, and Sante Fe, New Mexico. Using a multicultural approach, visitors learn about the virtually simultaneous introduction of English, French, and Spanish culture to this vast area and the stories of Native and European societies through 1700. Downloadable PDFs relate the themes of the exhibit to standards of learning.

Lighting a Revolution

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit exploring the process of invention by comparing Thomas Alva Edison's well-known work on the electric light bulb a century ago with several modern lighting inventions. Considers the process of innovation through five steps: preconditions, invention, promotion, competition, and consequences. A guest lounge and library include two photo galleries, scripts, and curator notes for the exhibit, a mystery object, links, a bibliography, and additional scientific and historic information.

Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit on Abraham Lincoln. Covers each major period of his private and public life, especially his years in Washington when he made the crucial decisions that ended slavery and preserved the nation. Included are digital versions of many of the objects in the Smithsonian's Lincoln collection.

The Soldier's Experience- Vietnam versus World War I

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan has students analyze museum artifacts and first-person accounts of daily life as a soldier in World War I and the Vietnam War. After research, students take on different roles to create a newscast about the experience of fighting in these two wars. Targets grades 6-12.

General George Washington, Military Leader

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan using artifacts and a historical letter to discuss George Washington's leadership during the War of Independence and the qualities of great leaders. Includes background information, full-color primary sources, and a transcript of a letter about George Washington written by his officers. Targets grades 2-6.

Conflicting Voices of the Mexican War

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan outlining topics for short research projects and classroom performances related to the Mexican War. Students will select individuals or groups connected to the war, conduct research, then interview each other's fictional characters to show the disparate views on the motivations behind the war and perspectives on its outcomes.

Two Perspectives on the Battle of Little Bighorn and Greasy Grass

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan has students analyze historical perspectives on the Battle of Little Bighorn/Greasy Grass, also known as 'Custer's Last Stand.' Students will interpret primary sources, develop critical thinking questions about the perspectives represented in the sources, and synthesize the data into a single version of the battle's history. Targets grades 6-9.

Comparing Confederate and Union Soldiers in the Civil War

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan uses primary sources as the inspiration for comparing and contrasting soldiers on either side of the Civil War. After examining uniforms and viewing two short video clips, students will develop questions and conduct short research projects to uncover the motivations behind the Civil War and the conditions for the soldiers who fought. Targets grades 6-9.
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