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What can science tell us about American history?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webinar in which Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide take you inside the real world of forensic investigations. They lay out their evidence in cases dating from the earliest English settlement in America to modern times. Educator Robert Costello is on hand to show how one case�_�a four-hundred-year-old murder mystery�_�has been adapted into an entertaining 'webcomic' for classroom learning.

What Would Make Our School More

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which students survey their school to see what they can do to make it more environmentally friendly. The lesson addresses data collection and analysis standards.

What Was on Lady Bird's Plate?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Parent's guide with discussion and observation questions asking children to think about the special dinnerware that first lady 'Lady Bird' Johnson created for the White House, the dinnerware found in your own home, and how these plates and serving pieces connected to Johnson's work to protect the environment and bring beauty to every community. Part of the resource 'First Lady for the Environment'. Targets grades 2-4.

What Should a Playground Look Like?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which young students design a playground that would "allow for opportunities to share, take turns, listen, and talk."

What Makes a Good Smithsonian Folkways Recording?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Fall/Winter 2011: Dispatches from Latin America

What Makes You Say That?: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A "Visible Thinking" routine for interpretation with justification from Project Zero. This routine helps students describe what they see or know and asks them to build explanations. It promotes evidential reasoning (evidence-based reasoning) and because it invites students to share their interpretations, it encourages students to understand alternatives and multiple perspectives. Asks the questions, "What's going on?" and "What do you see that makes you say that?" WHAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?

Interpretation with justification routine

1. What's going on?

2. What do you see that makes you say that?

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine helps students describe what they see or know and asks them to build explanations. It promotes evidential reasoning (evidence-based reasoning) and

because it invites students to share their interpretations, it encourages students to understand alternatives and multiple perspectives.

Application: When and where can it be used?

This is a thinking routine that asks students to describe something, such as an object or concept, and then support their interpretation with evidence. Because the basic questions in this routine are flexible, it is useful when looking at objects such as works of art or historical artifacts, but it can also be used to explore a poem, make scientific observations and hypothesis, or investigate more conceptual ideas (i.e., democracy). The routine can be adapted for use with almost any subject and may also be useful for gathering information on students' general concepts when introducing a new topic.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

In most cases, the routine takes the shape of a whole class or group conversation around an object or topic, but can also be used in small groups or by individuals. When first introducing the routine, the teacher may scaffold students by continually asking the follow-up questions after a student gives an interpretation. Over time students may begin to automatically support their interpretations with evidence with out even being asked, and eventually students will begin to internalize the routine.

The two core questions for this routine can be varied in a number of ways depending on the context:

What do you know? What do you see or know that makes you say that? Sometimes you may want to preceded students' interpretation by using a question of description: What do you see? or What do you know?

When using this routine in a group conversation it may be necessary to think of alternative forms of documentation that do not interfere with the flow of the discussion. One option is to record class discussions using video or audio. Listening and noting students' use of language of thinking can help you see their development. Students words and language can serve as a form of documentation that helps create a rubric for what makes a good interpretation or for what constitutes good reasoning.

Another option is to make a chart or keep an ongoing list of explanations posted in the classroom. As interpretations develop, note changes and have further discussion about these new explanations. These lists can also invite further inquiry and searches for evidence. Other options for both group and individual work include students documenting their own interpretations through sketches, drawings, models and writing, all of which can be displayed and revisited in the classroom."

What Makes A Good Mariachi?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Natividad "Nati" Cano was born in 1933 to a family of day laborers and folk musicians in the small town of Ahuisculco, a rural outpost in the western state of Jalisco, Mexico. A self-taught musician, Nati rose to become the leader of Mariachi Los Camperos, a world-renowned group that has become an emblem of mariachi performance. He is active in the preservation of mariachi traditions and the education of young musicians. Here he discusses the elements of a good mariachi at his Los Angeles restaurant, La Fonda with performance footage from the annual Viva el Mariachi Festival in Fresno, CA.

What Is a Primary Source?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson in which students learn the difference between first- and second-hand accounts.They examine documents related to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

What Is a Primary Source?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson in which students learn the difference between first- and second-hand accounts.They examine documents related to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.Includes student worksheet with guiding questions.

What Is Art?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson in which students become familiar with contemporary art forms and artists.

What Can You Make from a Buffalo?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Game in which players match objects made by Native Americans from the body of buffalo to the appropriate part of the buffalo's anatomy. Part of an online exhibit on the Northern Plains Indians.

West Point in the Twentieth Century

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Section of the online exhibit West Point in the Making of America looking at how, in the twentieth century, West Point changed to meet the demands of a new century while its graduates continued to lead the nation's armed forces in war and peace. Topics include the reformation of the curriculum at West Point, the achievements of the class of 1915, and the admission of the first female cadets in 1976.

West Point in the Making of America Resources

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Collection of resources included in the online exhibit West Point in the Making of America relating to military history and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Includes an extensive bibliography, teacher and student resources, and web links.

West Point in the Making of America Interactive Activities

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Four interactive activities about the graduates of West Point. These activities are part of the online exhibit West Point in the Making of America. Visitors will learn more about the roles the U.S. Army played in the development of the United States and the World in times of peace and war. Included are an exploration map, a panorama painted to memorialize the Civil War, an interactive map-based activity and a quiz on the many ways that West Point graduates have influenced the world.

West Point in the Making of America Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit about the lives of selected West Point graduates who attended the school between 1802 and 1918. West point recently celebrated 200 years of producing leaders for the U. S. Army, but also for American science, education, engineering, exploration, public works, business, manufacturing, communications, and transportation. Learn about the U.S. army's major functions in the 19th and early 20th centuries: building the nation's infrastructure of roads, bridges, canals, and railroads; exploring its territories from the Mississippi to the Pacific; and fighting its wars.

West Point Graduates During the Civil War and Reconstruction

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Section of the online exhibit West Point in the Making of America describing the difficult choices regarding family and friends, and regional and national loyalties made by West Point Graduates during the Civil War. Whether they fought for the North or the South, West Pointers played major roles during the era of Civil War and Reconstruction.

West Point Graduates

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Section of the online exhibit West Point in the Making of America highlighting 51 selected West Point graduates, their achievements, and their families. Through the use of an interactive timeline, brief biographical sketches, objects, and quotes, become familiar with how these men contributed to the development of the United States, both in peace and in war.

West African Song and Chants: Children's Music from Ghana

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lessons designed to give students experience with basic polyrhythmic ensembles. Includes singing, chanting, dancing, and playing instruments.

Welcome to Our Classroom

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which students design and write a class brochure.

Weather Lab

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
What happens when ocean currents and air masses interact? Find out in Weather Lab! Take on the role of a meteorologist by predicting spring weather and how people should dress for it in particular regions of the United States.

Weather Lab is a tool to help visualize how North America’s weather is formed. This lab is designed to model the complex interactions between air masses and ocean currents, but like all models it represents probable outcomes. Each prediction you make is for possible outcomes during Spring.

We Were There: Letters from the Battle Front

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Activity book and resource guide uses historic letters, envelopes, and commemorative stamps from American wars to engage students in historical analysis.

We Sing a Song: Global Sound for Children

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
This webpage presents a sampling of children's music on Smithsonian Global Sound. Includes artists such as Ella Jenkins, Suni Paz, and Woody Gurthie, as well as children from around the world.

We Love You Ella

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
At a recent education conference, fans discussed Ella Jenkin’s continuing legacy as an influential musician and educator.

We Can Fly!

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Reserve online for visits to the Learning Lab at Udvar-Hazy Center outside of Washington, D.C. In this program, students experience the steps involved in taking a commercial flight and learn the basics of how an airplane flies. Includes stories and hands-on activities. For grades K-2.
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