This topical collection includes resources related to featured women activists. This collection includes portraits of the activists, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the life stories of activists, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study.
Keywords: Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Edith Windsor, Wilma Mankiller, Grace Lee Boggs, Pauli Murray, Shirley Chisholm, Rachel Carson, Zitkala-Sa, #BecauseOfHerStory
How might we learn about cultures through the study of artifacts? What role could the study of design elements and process play in in deepening our understanding? How could we leverage student agency of the design process to gain opportunities to recognize relationships between artifacts and culture?
This collection provides opportunities for students to uncover complexity by looking closely and making connections between cultures and the design process behind the artifacts. Student claims are based on evidence using provided resources for investigation. The Artifact Investigation Map serves as a visible thinking tool for documenting our understanding of a culture by making connections between the artifact and our research.
Begin by looking closely at an artifact, INCA BRIDGE, using a Project Zero Routine, Zoom In or See Think Wonder. Through close examination, we begin to develop hypotheses about the object and the connections to the culture. While a main goal is to learn more about the culture related to the artifact, we are also building a capacity for using this thinking process to build understanding. Record and display class ideas generated through this routine. In the discussion of culture, we are looking at how people live: What do the people value? What are their priorities and motivations?
Introduce the points of The Artifact Investigation Map. Ask students, “How could this be used to organize the ideas documented from the thinking routine about the artifact and the people who created it?”. (Students may recognize this as the Engineering Design Process.) Building on our initial Zoom In documentation, the group connects the artifact ideas to the map points. Different questions within each point may serve as prompts to continue making connections and lead to more questions about what we still wonder, guiding the next research steps. Provide a space to record and share new questions during the process.
Begin the research process with the first video Weaving the Bridge at Q'eswacha. Using information from the source, model the process of organizing the findings using the different points on The Artifact Investigation Map. Be sure to highlight unanswered questions in the map as the class decides the future steps in the research. Support the student use of resource-based evidence starting from this Learning Lab collection when making and documenting claims. Depending on the learners, this phase may vary in the structure of guidance and interaction. Documentation is shared with an emphasis on providing opportunities to discuss the claims, findings, and analysis.
Guiding Points for Inquiry using The Artifact Investigation Map:
Ask: What needs or problems might this artifact address/solve? Does this design reflect empathy for a particular group or person?
Imagine: What possible prototypes or variations might have been produced in the timeline of this artifact? Could there have been earlier versions leading to this one?
Plan: Identify and describe what could have been key factors influencing design process. Examples: materials/natural resources, people power, skills, technology/tools, historical and natural environment….
(Re)Create: Describe the possible steps taken to create the artifact. What could this look like? Options include for this exploration: Try to create a mini-version or reenact one of the steps of the process. Use observations of the process to draw possible conclusions about the culture. Sketch or act out the steps. Take a part of the process and use the Step Inside thinking routine. *Document and share this process with the group in order to prepare for the next phase of The Artifact Investigation Map
Improvements: Since the creation of this artifact, what versions do we see today? What would the biography of this type of innovation look like? How might this type of artifact connect to modern innovation? *Extension for Improvements: Use the thinking routine Imagine If to evaluate a modern iteration of the artifact. How does it compare to the original?
Documenting Ongoing Conclusions/Questions/Reflections
Throughout the investigation, students share and post supported claims about the culture and reflect upon the process of using the design cycle to guide the study.
For the final reflection, use the thinking routine I Used to Think, Now I Think… to look for changes in thinking. Keep the process and research lines of thinking open for continued exploration with the unanswered questions.
A collection depicting and describing different African Drums and their significance in African culture as well as the African diaspora. Please enjoy a look at the heartbeat of our culture.
By Zuri Houston and Malik Miller
For decades humans have depicted art in various forms that consist of monsters. This made me ask myself; what exactly is a monster? These pieces of art consist of images that their creators describe as monsters. I am going to delve in to the history behind these objects and symbols to figure out if they are really monsters or if our ideas of what makes an object or a person a monster skewed.
Resources to exemplify how the war in Vietnam shaped the culture of our country, including art, book excerpts, song lyrics, op-eds, and stories about how even the Vietnam War memorial caused controversy.
This lesson is inspired by Out of Eden Learn, the journey of Paul Salopek, and the idea that each person is an amalgamation of the people and events that came before them. These people and events include the nature of their birth, the lives of their parents, the experiences of their grandparents, the creation of the printing press, etc. The idea behind this lesson is, in its inception, to expose students to milestones in black history, and to use that rich history to challenge them to look into their past to see how they connect to larger events that came before them last week or even a century or millennia ago.
This lesson is especially crafted for Black History Month (though of course it can be used at other times) to have students from multiple ethnic backgrounds try to find a connection to the African American Experience in the United States. It removes students from an ethnic vacuum and asks them to see how the journey of others not like them has an impact on their, their family's and their country's history.
To begin your use of this collection please read the lesson plan at the beginning labeled Lesson Plan: Paths To Perspective. It is the full lesson for using this Learning Lab collection. You may use it in full or alter as you see fit for the needs of your class. It is by no means exhaustive, especially in terms of Project Zero ideas that can be used with the collection, but it is a good starting point for how to use this material in class.
What should a photograph look like?
Why might someone want to alter, change, or edit a photograph? What is the goal?
What are the ethical considerations regarding image manipulation?
Time- 1-2 class periods with optional extension activities
This collection includes images related to the topic of image manipulation and artistic photography, and includes a lesson plan for teachers as well as images and students activities related to media literacy across the curriculum. The collection of images and articles is designed to facilitate conversations around how and why images might be manipulated and for what purpose. Discussion questions and thinking routines allow for students to critically analyze the images as whole group and in small groups to consider why and how a photographer or artist might alter an image. Extension activities and resources are also included.
Warm Up/ Engagement:
What should a photograph look like?
Have students do a think-pair-share together addressing the question. Alternatively, this could be done as a silent chalk talk.
Debrief as a group.
Why might someone want to alter, change, or edit a photograph? What is the goal?
Have you ever altered or changed a photograph? How? Why? (Think Shapchat, Instagram, Photoshop, etc.)
Is it ever a problem to manipulate a photography? Why?
As critical viewers of media and images, students should always consider the audience and purpose of photographs. For example, an artistic photograph doesn’t have the same audience or purpose as a journalistic photograph.
Explain to students:
We’re going to look closely at the work of two photographers (Jerry Uelsmann and Robert Weingarten) to see how photographers might manipulate their images (digitally or otherwise), why they might do this, and the effect it has on the viewer.
Lead students through a discussion of one of Uelsmann’s images by looking closely at one image as a group using the Visible Thinking routine, “See Think Wonder.”
Discuss the photographer’s likely message, audience and purpose of the image. Then have students consider how Uelsmann might have created the image.
Then, read an article about Jerry Uelsmann in Smithsonian Magazine, “Before Photoshop.”
Debrief the article and have students journal on their reactions to Uelsmann’s quote, “The camera is a license to explore.”
Alternatively, students can read and discuss the article,"Photography Changes What We Think 'Reality' Looks Like."
Have students share responses with the group as a closing activity.
Warm-Up: Recap learning/connections from last class.
Explain that in today’s class we’ll consider the work of another artist and photographer, Robert Weingarten. Weingarten’s work is a “non-traditional” form of portraiture. Before looking at his images, have students brainstorm their ideas on what is a portrait. Students could engage in the 3-2-1 Bridge Routine on this topic.
Lead students through a discussion of one of Weingarten’s images by looking closely at one image as a group using the Visible Thinking routine, “Zoom-In.” After looking at the image as a whole, have students consider the image as as whole using the “Connect-Extend-Challenge” routine.
Weingarten’s portraits of Colin Powell and Celia Cruz are linked in the collection.
Discuss the photographer’s likely message, audience and purpose of the image. Then have students consider how Weingarten might have created the image.
After discussing the image, watch the video about Weingarten’s process.
If time allows, group students into small groups to visually compare/contrast the works of Uelsmann and Weingarten on chart paper.
How do these photographs change your understanding of photography and what can be done with images?
I used to think…
Now I think….
Possible Extension Activities:
Have students create a composite image (surreal landscapes or portraits) inspired by Robert Weingarten or Jerry Uelsmann with their own photographs and Photoshop.
Have students explore other historical images that have been manipulated (intentionally or unintentionally) that are included in the collection.
Have students look at the ethical issues in digitally manipulating photographs
Have students consider other ways in which the evolution of technology has influenced the images we create.
Using Agency By Design, a design thinking framework, have students complete the following activities:
Parts-Purposes- Complexities Routine-- Digital Camera
Take-Apart Activity w/ digital cameras/analog camera
Have students research different topics in the history of photography including camera obscura, daguerreotype process, Muybridge and moving images, and Kodak.
Additional reading on Uelsmann:
Plains Native people have always depicted star images on their clothing, tipis, and containers.
Formative Task: In a class discussion list three ways Western cultures think about stars. Use this collection to discover what stars mean to the Lakota and other Native people.
Summative Performance Task: Use the star quilt pattern to create a symbolic quilt that represents your school.
Primary sources and cultural artifacts related to the African-American experience.
Artworks about Egypt in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection.
- How may art be a tool of resistance?
- How have historical movements used art to further their causes?
- How might current movements use art to further their causes?
In the Eye of the Beholder: Looking at Women’s Portrayal in Portraiture During the Suffrage Movement
This collection uses portraits from the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition, Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence. These resources are intended to facilitate classroom discussion about how women were portrayed through art during the suffragist movement. Participants are encouraged to think about who creates portraits, what motivations may exist in their creation, how the portraits were used within the movement, and their potential impact, intended or not, on the suffragists' cause.
This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day. While originally created for the 2017 theme, "Taking a Stand in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.
These resources - including portraits, articles, primary source documents, videos, and websites - highlight four abolitionists profiled in American Experience film The Abolitionists and the National Youth Summit on Abolition: William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown. Additional resources related to abolitionism and other important abolitionists are located at the end. When navigating this collection, please see the standalone text tiles for summaries of section resources.
By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.
This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Tags: civil war; slavery; underground railroad; african-american; national endowment for the humanities; #nhd; #NHD2017
Art provides a pathway for individuals to express their inner self while also capturing the outer—this great wide world so intricate it's difficult to define. Throughout history, humans have sought to comprehend both their environment and their own inherent cultural uniqueness. This search has become symbolized in their artistic accomplishments and aesthetic heritage. Whether through representations of specific individuals and the human figure or awe-inspiring works of architecture, these art pieces are a window into the creative core of our past.
In this collection, we will observe the ways in which the soul/spirit has been expressed in art, and how human creativity sheds light upon both individual and cultural identities and its varied interpretations throughout the ages. This collection is organized in three symbolic steps on a stone staircase entitled "The Stone Path of Eternity." To truly travel through each piece, I have included an image, a brief description of the work under information, and then, signified by the yellow (1) above, I've provided my own analysis and interpretation of the piece in its relationship to the collection theme.
Through lingering through the "Stone Path of Eternity," which is represented by the first two tiles, we will from one stone to the next in seeking the many ways in which the soul's expression can be defined.
In Stone Number One, "The Spirit's Encased Construct," we'll see how architecture and large-scale artistic projects merge to reflect both cultural identity and the individuality of their leaders through works from ancient Babylonia, Egypt, the Byzantine Empire and into the combinations made possible by the aesthetic innovations of modern times.
Shifting step to Stone Number Two, "Human Identity Immortalized in Matter," we delve into the ways in which the human figure is represented and what these images can share with us in terms of the varying levels, purposes, intentions behind the artist's created expressions and impact of depicting the Spirit on Earth. This idea is exemplified in creations ranging from the Paleolithic period to modern times, with examples from Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Italian Renaissance and the 20th century popular culture.
Finally, in Stone Number Three,"Individuals and Spirituality Entwine," we step into the door of the spirit directly, traveling through the many methods which cultures apply in trying to simultaneously convey and understand what realms are in union with and beyond this life. Some cultures who address this idea in their artistic tradition are seen in instances of Egyptian art and work from ancient and Hellenistic Greece, as well as both the Italian Renaissance, Northern European Renaissance, and contemporary Western art.
The intended audience for this collection is just as varied as my subject matter. Those who might be drawn to this collection are people attracted to the enigmas of life and death, who have questioned their place in society and the mysteries this world has to hold, and are curious to know more about how, historically, cultures have related to these probing questions—for, as you will see, they certainly have existed as long as humans have walked the earth. No matter if you're in high school, college, or beyond formal education, I hope you will find my musings on these artworks and their meanings compelling and thought-provoking.
Renowned artist and poet William Blake once wrote, "To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour." From the most abstract art to the remarkably realistic, there is always an image of ourselves, in the an esoteric sense, waiting to be found within. With its timeless method, Art seeks to create a definition for this all-encompassing and ever-evading essence and I hope to continue that quest with you as we explore this collection. #AHMC2019
Found Poems and Social Justice: Using Rosa Parks and other sources to create found poems about social justice
This collection includes portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, websites, links to Smithsonian Magazine articles, and other news articles all relating to issues of social justice. #NPGteach
These resources provide examples of the role of traditions in the American Indian Movement and how American Indians have attempted to keep their traditional way of life viable. #ethnicstudies
This collection is a curated collection of images that can be used with a lesson plan on curation. Each of the images has some possible connection to a social justice theme and the question asked by the creator of the collection is, "How might we approach conversations about curation and social justice?" Each of these images adds a unique and interesting dimension to a conversation about curation, the people whose stories are selected for view, and how those stories are empowered and/or disempowered by the stories that they are surrounded by. How do we make decisions about these topics? What do we do when we are asked to include in a curated collection pieces that change the story we might want to tell? How do we deal with the multi-faceted stories and sometimes contradictory stories of the people we select for our collections?
It is important to ask these questions and have dialogues with students about how we come to our conclusions, make our decisions, and wrestle with these concepts. In a world of tweets and ever expanding stories/information it is important sometimes to talk about how we work with the realities of physical spaces where there isn't always enough wall real estate to highlight everyone all of the time. In those situations, how decisions are made, who is brought to the forefront (and who is not), and how our own beliefs/biases/views of the world play into those decisions all matter.
How might you curate this collection in many ways? Who is still missing and why does it matter that we ask the questions at all?
While this is intended to be a companion collection to a lesson on curation, the questions above may stand on their own. This collection is intended to be the beginning of a conversation, and not a stand alone collection; however, the lesson is also available in the collection as a downloadable PDF.
This learning lab is rooted in exploring the concept of social justice and activism through biography and curation. This learning lab explores the power of one's narrative being shown through multiple artifacts in order to paint a bigger and more accurate picture of their role in social justice and activism.
This collection includes images of different types of protests from the women's suffrage movement to contemporary issues. #ethnicstudies
Resources to accompany a unit on the YA novel The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt.
This collection was created to complement a National Art Education Association (NAEA) webinar, "Constructing Curriculum with the Smithsonian" (December 11, 2019) featuring resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Learning Lab.
The webinar features inquiry-based strategies in examining the American experience depicted through portraiture and unpacking the context of historical narratives communicated through art with students.
This collection was created in collaboration with Briana Zavadil White (National Portrait Gallery) and Candra Flanagan (National Museum of African American History and Culture).