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Found 2,016 Collections

 

More Perfect: The Political Thicket

Baker v. Carr (1962) was a landmark Supreme Court case regarding the political question doctrine. The case decided that the redistricting of state legislative districts is not a political question, and thus justiciable by the federal courts. Designed to complement the WNYC Studios podcast More Perfect, this collection explores the case and the Justices central to its history. 

Students will analyze this important Supreme Court decision involving the political question doctrine, and consider the opinions by the majority and the dissent. Students will also study how this case set a precedent for future cases regarding the Equal Protections Clause and the role of the Court.

sheishistoric
16
 

Civil War Artifacts

Rachelle Ferris
26
 

Introduction to Primary and Secondary Sources

In this activity, students will learn about the differences between primary and secondary sources by comparing and analyzing different resources from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement

This collection provides ideas and strategies on how to spark discussions in the classroom about these types of resources, focusing primarily on students' interpretations of resources found here in Smithsonian Learning Lab.

Students will examine three different types of sources (documents, images, and objects). The activity consists of the following:

  •  In small groups, have your class examine the primary source, and have them summarize and report on its content, and discuss its strengths and limitations
  • For each primary source, review the groups' responses as a class.  
  • Then, have each group analyze the corresponding secondary source. Have them spot the differences between the primary and secondary source, and evaluate the reasons for using a primary source versus a secondary source. 
    • The primary and secondary sources in this collection focus on the same topic (the documents are about the Black Panther Party, the images feature Marian Anderson, and the objects relate to Rosa Parks)
  • Near the end of the collection is the students' task to sort through sources to identify which are primary vs. secondary sources.  
  • The final activity will call on students to reflect on the information that they have learned from the collection and ask them to think about how they would categorize digital resources  such as texts and tweets as either primary or secondary.

This collection and activity is based on the “Engaging Students with Primary Sources” guide from Smithsonian’s History Explorer, which can be found here: https://historyexplorer.si.edu/sites/default/files/PrimarySources.pdf. The guide is also included at the end of the collection, and can be used to develop other activities and/or collections on the topic of primary and secondary resources.


Alexander Graves
18
 

Changing Perspectives on Work in America

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

Anne Marie Hudak
7
 

A Morning in Damascus

This collection features a series of three independent activities around one singular portrait of Bayard Taylor (formally titled A Morning in Damascus) painted by Thomas Hicks, 1855.  Taylor was one of America's foremost and most popular travel writers of the mid to late 19th century.  

These activities were created for my Advanced Placement World History course to practice close reading skills as well as historical thinking skills.  The notations provided here are for teacher reference and would not be given to students. 

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

#NPGTeach 

#historicalthinking

Lauren Hetrick
12
 

Harlem Renaissance

Christina Ratatori
22
 

Portraits

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.

#NPGteach

Mei-Ye Wong
52
 

History & Hair: Lesson and Collection

What does your hair reveal about your identity? This guided lesson and image gallery invites students to explore their  identity and  to interrogate the role that hair plays in the presentation of self. Using artful looking techniques, students can think critically about the dynamic between the subject and the artist. 

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute. 

#NPGTeach #Hair #History #SocialStudies #Afros #Identity 

DanSymonds
22
 

Giraffes Can't Dance

Christina Ratatori
8
 

American Revolution

Lesson plan for 5th grade (90 minutes) for use with Mike Wilkins Preamble, Schoolhouse Rock video, etc. #SAAMteach

laurawest200
5
 

Gender Inequality and Identity: Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York) 1918

This collection includes a multi-day lesson plan built around Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York), 1918, and is designed to explore the effect that gender inequality can have on identity. Lessons are designed for an eleventh-grade, American Studies, Humanities-style course, and the historical context is the Gilded Age and the Women's Suffrage Movement. The plan for this mini-unit includes the analysis of visual, literary, and historical texts, and while it has a historical context, the goal is also to make connections to American life today. The essential question for this mini-unit is this: How can unfair gender norms affect what it feels like to be a human being? Included, you will find a lesson plan as well as digital versions of the artistic, literary, and historical texts needed to execute that plan. #SAAMteach

William Connell
21
 

We the People: a Deeper Understanding of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution

This lesson works best for 8th grade U.S. History, after students have learned how the original plan for government (the Articles of Confederation) was failing the newly independent America and how the state delegates met in the summer of 1787 to correct these failings and ended up writing a new Constitution. 

Students start by using the VTS thinking routine to examine Preamble by Mike Wilkins, an engaging and accessible way to 'read' the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.  

After 'decoding' the words and noticing all the details they can, students use a handout to analyze the language of the actual Preamble and discuss word choice and intended meaning (they might also look at the photo of the actual Constitution at this point to compare the original with Mike WIlkins' work).  

They then read and analyze 4 quotes from The Federalist Papers defending the Constitution to the states who were about to vote to ratify it as a jumping off point to discuss what the Constitution was meant to achieve for the newly formed states.  Discussion about reasons why states would not want to join this union will also add to the understanding of what was at stake for each state. In addition, looking at a graphic organizer showing state and federal powers under this plan for government will help students see how this system divides power between the states and the national government.

Students then return to the original artwork, and decide if analysis of the meaning of the Preamble and the ideals of the Constitution affect how students 'see' the artwork. Using the 'connect/extend/challenge' visual routine, teachers can record what the students connected to, what new ideas pushed their thinking in different directions, and what is still challenging or confusing about the artwork or the Preamble.  

Some possible extension ideas are included in the collection to highlight the differences between the states as well as their similarities/unity, such as creating another artwork using an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence (while adhering to state DMV rules for vanity plates), and  comparing front pages of different states' daily newspapers. #SAAMteach

Aileen Albertson
9
 

Continuity and Change in Los Angeles

This collection uses the work of the Chilean photographer Camilo Jose Vergara to explore the historical thinking concept of continuity and change.  How has 10828 S. Avalon changed?  How has it remained the same?  Does change always mean progress?

#historicalthinking


Anna Rabin
11
 

Black Boy

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.

#SAAMteach

Joseph Crumb
8
 

Braceros - Using Paintings and Photos to Analyze Mexican Immigrant Labor

This lesson will teach students about the bracero guest worker program, as well as painting, photograph, and textual analysis.  Students will use the Domingo Ulloa painting as a jumping off point for an analysis of working and living conditions of migrant Mexican workers in the United States.  Photographs from the American history collection will show workers's lives in America, while a primary source will show the effects of the bracero program on an individual.  Finally, students will connect the bracero program of 1942-1964 to immigration issues of today by analyzing statements made by Donald Trump in the context of the bracero program.

Daniel Sawyer
26
 

Foreign Help During the American Revolution

 #TeachingInquiry

Marquis de Lafayette, Thaddeus (Tadeusz) Kosciuszko, Bernardo de Galvez, and Wilhelm von Steuben 

Teresa Graham
4
 

Letter Writing and Censorship in World War I

This activity has students investigate experiences of servicemen in World War I through primary sources - censored U.S. Army mail postcards and envelopes.  Students will compare and contrast these primary sources to examine how censorship affected communication between servicemen and their loved ones, while building an understanding of how U.S. Army mail censorship was implemented and why it was necessary.  Using two Project Zero Visible Thinking routines, this activity is designed to spark further inquiry into World War I and the experiences of servicemen. The activity ends with an opportunity to learn more by examining a parody of the form postcard written by a British serviceman in his diary.

Information on how to use this collection in the classroom can by found by clicking Read More »

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Postal Museum's "My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I" teacher workshop (July 19, 2017). It focuses on two of the many postcards from this topical collection to demonstrate its use in a secondary classroom. #NPMTeacherPrograms

Keywords: WWI, WW1, the great war, army, military, soldiers, soldier, primary source, project zero, thinking routine

Tess Porter
9
 

Liberty Bonds of World War I (WW1)

This collection presents three different liberty bonds primary sources dating from 1918: a postcard, sheet music/song, and a celebrity aviator's brochure. With these resources students will explore Liberty Bonds, also called war bonds or liberty loans, which were essentially loans from the American people to the U.S. government to fund the Allies' involvement in World War I. Many public campaigns presented purchasing bonds as the patriotic way to support the war from the home front. Carefully chosen words and imagery conveyed this message and persuaded Americans to act quickly, through both subtle and direct messaging. 

Essential questions: What role did Liberty Bonds play in financing the U.S. WWI effort? How did persuasive language techniques and visuals lead many Americans to see Liberty Bonds as part of their patriotic duty on the home front? 

Keywords: primary source, secondary source, soldiers, World War I, Great War, Ruth Law, "What are you going to do to help the boys?", army, military, Uncle Sam, WWI, persuasion, advertising

This collection was created in conjunction with the National Postal Museum's "My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I" teacher workshop (July 19, 2017). It focuses on one of the many postcards from this topical collection to demonstrate its use in the secondary classroom. #NPMTeacherPrograms

#historicalthinking


Ashley Naranjo
6
 

Constructing History: Exploring Primary Sources.

This unit explores different historical artifacts and the stories they tell. Students will investigate a range of objects, ranging from prescriptions to buffalo hides sourced from different Smithsonian collections.

Guiding Questions:  How do humans shape the narrative of History? Whose History is being told? Is it possible to have multiple versions of the “past”?

The collection consists of 5 sets of artifacts, connected by some aspect such as culture, time period, event or movement. However, these objects each tell a very different story. 

Working individually, in pairs or in small groups, students choose  a set to explore. The students spend time quietly and carefully looking at the sources and investigate what they can tell us about our world, both locally and globally.  This activity encourages students to reveal the multiple layers of meaning in an artifact from the most visible story to what it helps us to understand about the lives of our fellow human beings. 

Students can share their ideas in pairs, or small groups, before coming together as whole class to share their findings.

Time: 40-60 minutes

As a follow up activity, students reflect on what new connections and information they discovered, new ideas that came to light, and what they found puzzling.

Students can complete the handout individually, in pairs or groups. 

Time: 30-50 minutes depending on the length of the follow up discussion.

It might be interesting for students to watch the brief video included, where anthropologist Candace Green and curator Emil Her Many Horses, discuss the Lakota Winter Count as a form of historical record. 

The duration of the video is just under  5 minutes.

For more information about the thinking routines visit:

http://www.visiblethinkingpz.o...

Lisa Holden
18
 

Saving & Sharing Cultural Traditions

Many modern Native Alaskans share their cultural traditions through dance, textiles, song and art. As you watch each of the three short videos, think about the following questions:

1. What do you see?

2. What do you think about that?

3. What does it make you wonder?

Cathleen Edwards
3
 

Cultural Artifact Object Analysis Activity

In this activity, you will explore the Yup'ik gut parka, a type of garment created from the intestines of sea mammals to protect sea hunters from wind, rain, and stormy seas. The Yup'ik, native to Alaska and coastal Canada, used these not only for hunting but also spiritual occasions, such as religious ceremonies. The gallery includes: two parkas, one for hunting and one for ceremonies; a map of the geographic boundaries of the Yup'ik before the arrival of Euro-American settlers; and a video of modern Yup'ik discussing the traditional process of creating these garments and the importance of conserving and continuing this tradtion today.

Cathleen Edwards
4
 

Building Up, Breaking Down

Explore how buildings age. Discover how physical breakdown (such as rock fracture), chemical weathering, and pollution are all key ingredients in this discussion of the geology of the built environment.

This lesson features an issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, Minecraft: Education Edition extensions, and is part of the 2017 Museum Day Live! STEM Challenge.

Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Museum Day Live!
8
 

Statue of Liberty and Symbolism

This collection includes a variety of representations of the Statue of Liberty--as a protest object, on an environmental campaign poster, on a postage stamp, and as a symbol used on patterned clothing. In small groups, learners will apply three scaffolded Visible Thinking Routines to a resource of their choice. First, they will use a "See, Think, Wonder" thinking routine to note their observations and interpretations as well as anything about which they are curious. Next, they will analyze the resource using the "Layers" thinking routine. As an optional step, they could also consider the artist or creator of the object's point of view/perspective in creating the resource, with the "Step Inside" thinking routine. Finally, they will create an artwork or representation that depicts a cause that is important to a community of which they are a member.

A final item from the American Jewish Historical Society includes information on a student contest running from September 2019 until May 2020, where students create a new poem based on Emma Lazarus' s"New Colossus" on the Statue of Liberty.

#visiblethinking

Ashley Naranjo
27
 

Prototyping

#designthinking

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
16
1537-1560 of 2,016 Collections