Found 335 Learning Lab Collections
This collection details an art and community engagement project that the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access did with educators from the National Portrait Gallery and the Fairfax County Family Literacy Program. It includes assets and resources designed to help teachers, museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate the program as is, or design their own, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community.
"Illuminating the Self / Illuminándonos" was a five-day bilingual program in which pairs of immigrant mothers and their middle school-aged children worked together to learn about portraiture from the 2016 exhibition of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition winning portraits. First we talked about portraiture in general, and then focused the discussion on light and shadow. Next, students took portraits of each other and chose one to recreate. We projected the portraits in black and white onto a wall, and had the students trace the outlines of their photographs on their blank drawing paper. They they worked with charcoals to fill in their portraits and refine their drawings. Participants also visited the Outwin exhibition. Finally, their portraits were displayed at the National Portrait Gallery's Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day.
Program surveys indicated improved literacy, technology, and communication skills to share heritage, traditions, and talents; increased sense of empowerment and self-esteem, strengthened parent-child relationships and community bonds, and creation of a core of mentors. One mother reported that before the program she would never have entered an art museum because she wouldn't have known what to do, but that now she would not be able to pass by without stopping in. As well, several family participants have returned to the Smithsonian asking to volunteer at future Smithsonian events.
This program received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Classroom Activity Using Images of Immigration and Identity from the National Portrait Gallery, the New York Times, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Students can use the "What makes you say that?" and the "3 Ys" thinking routines to explore two modern portraits about identity and immigration from the National Portrait Gallery. The first thinking strategy asks students to look at a work of art for several minutes before answering two questions: "What's going on?" and "What do you see that makes you say that?" (See https://learninglab.si.edu/res... for more information.)
To further and deepen the discussion, I've included a link to a September 2016 New York Times Op-Doc entitled "4.1 Miles," about a coast guard captain on a small Greek island who is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. (If it doesn't show up easily, you can view the original video on Times Video at https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000004674545/41-miles.html.) I've also included two sculptures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and an interview with Lisa Sasaki, head of the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center.
You may wish to use the "3 Y's" thinking routine here as well, which asks students to consider the following questions:
1. Why might this [topic, question] matter to me?
2. Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, city, nation]?
3. Why might it matter to the world?
(See https://learninglab.si.edu/res... for more information.)
In this collection the theme is "Head of State". Students are to question representation of in terms of power, authority and or propaganda. Included are Houdon's bust of Washington as well as his full length statue; the statue Augustus of Primaporta; and Greenough's statue of George Washington. This collection was created for AP Art History, however it can be used in lower level art history and art appreciation classes as well.
The premise is that students should be able to analyze the differences between two or more styles in terms of composition, choice of subject matter, proportion, color, and so on. Understanding the distinction between styles is especially important in French art (Houdon), where the inheritors of these artistic traditions will become the earliest modernists. Furthermore, artists in the new United States of America tried to capture the spirit of their fledgling republic in their art, but comparing the art of the young nation (Greenough) with that of its European antecedents (Augustus of Primaporta) reveals strong influences as exemplified here.
In addition, students need to be able to answer several key questions when looking and writing about works of art: Why do the historical contexts of the images inform our view of the person depicted? How does the depiction reinforce the image? What message is conveyed in the sculptures? What is the relationship between those portrayed? Finally, how do the works of art relate to specific cultures and the time period in which they were made?
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2018 Summer Teacher Institute. #NPGTeach #visiblethinking
This collection contains supplemental artifacts and resources for Where Do You Stand? PROTEST, part of the American Experiments suite of educational resources from the National Museum of American History.
These interactive resources and games challenge students to think about their roles and responsibilities within their democracy. Where Do You Stand? PROTEST invites students to critically think about the nuances and complexities of issues and learn from the experiences and reasoning of their peers as they form their own opinions and responses to a range of prompts. The learning begins with the guiding question: What would you do to support what you believe in?
Visit Smithsonian's History Explorer to learn more!
This teacher's guide uses stamps, photographs, paintings, objects, videos, and music to explore the history and culture of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes. In the classroom, these resources can be used by students to investigate two essential questions: How do you define Minnesota as a place? What does it mean to be a Minnesotan?
Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button.
Includes iconic people, places, and things associated with Pittsburgh. In the classroom, these resources can be used by students to investigate two essential questions: How do you define Pittsburgh as a place? What does it mean to be a Pittsburgher?
Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button. Collection developed for the SI Learning Lab Pittsburgh workshops.
Includes iconic people, places, and things associated with New Orleans. In the classroom, these resources can be used by students to investigate two essential questions: How do you define New Orleans as a place? What does it mean to be a New Orleanian?
Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button.
This collection traces innovation in various types of tools over time. Approach in small groups or as a classroom to have students explore the essential questions: What makes something innovative? How do you define innovation?
Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button. This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see the resource tile).
Keywords: invention, flash cards
Each resource symbolizes a reason why Americans chose to move west. For EACH one, complete the following activity:
1) Source it: What is it? Who made it? When was it made? What is the author's purpose/why was it made? Hint- click the i on the left side of the screen to learn more about the source.
2) Identify at least 3 details that you see in EACH image.
3) Why would this resource motivate people to move West? Use a specific detail that you saw to prove your point.
This collection contains a diverse set of resources related to Asian Pacific Americans that may be used as an introductory activity to spark classroom discussion and prompt students to conduct research about how Asian Pacific American history is American history. For discussion questions and activity implementation ideas, click "Read More." A file to print these resources as flashcards is located at the end of the collection; please see the resource's Information (i) tab for printing instructions.
This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for further research and study.
This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Keywords: printable, flash card, think puzzle explore, project zero visible thinking routine, apa
Teacher's guide for using shoes to explore culture, history, place, and innovation. Includes images of thirty shoes and three different strategies, located at the end of the collection, for using these objects in the classroom.
Strategies include: a small-group object analysis activity; a poster, "If You Walked in My Shoes," introducing students to basic primary source analysis questions through six pairs of shoes; and a vocabulary exercise for ESL learners.
This collection contains a selection of artworks related to the themes of conflict, identity, and place. They may be used for a variety of purposes; here, we use them as a catalyst for discussion. In small groups or as a classroom, have students select one artwork they find meaningful or interesting and discuss the following:
- Why did you pick this artwork?
- What do you see? Name specific aspects of the artwork you notice.
- What do you think about what you see?
- What does this artwork make you wonder?
- Optional: How might the artwork connect to the themes of conflict, identity, and place?
This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see the resource tile). You may also replace or pair the above activity with a Project Zero Thinking Routine found in the final section of the collection.
This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection contains artwork selected by Phoebe Hillemann, Teacher Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, to be featured in the 2018 Smithsonian American Art Museum Summer Institute for Teachers, "Teaching the Humanities through Art." The activity is adapted from Project Zero's See / Think / Wonder routine (see the resource tile).
Keywords: printable, flash card, project zero visible thinking routine, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, NJPSA, saam
A good visual can often be the key to understanding (and remembering) a seemingly abstract concept. This collection demonstrates how artworks in the Smithsonian American Art Museum may be used to teach common literary devices in the English/language arts classroom such as metaphor, irony, symbolism, and more.
Key words: allegory, allusion, anthropomorphism, foreshadowing, irony, juxtaposition, metaphor, mood, motif, satire, suspense, symbol
Without even perhaps realizing it, we create self-portraits all of the time - in the form of selfies, in photos with friends, or in photos of exotic locales. Every time we share a self-portrait, we have a purpose and an audience, even though often we don't think explicitly about those things. First and foremost, often we (understandably) want to portray ourselves positively, as attractive and interesting people. Sometimes, however, our purpose is more complex, even if we don't realize it consciously. Let's take a look at three different types of self-portraits to gain a better understanding of purpose and audience.
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2018 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
This collection includes ideas for using digital museum resources as a springboard for getting to know your students this school year. Three practical, teacher-tested activity ideas are shared within the archived webinar and an additional teacher-submitted idea is included.
Tags: ISTE standards, digital curation, icebreakers, ice breakers, object portraits, Burton Morris, Robert Weingarten, first day of school, CURIO, artifacts, introductions, knowledge constructor, creative communicator, My Smithsonian Closet, Nightstand Portraits, What makes you who you are?
The collection contains work from an SAAM summer session from 2018 inspired by SOB,SOB by Marshall and is centered around the reading of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It is meant to be a resource for teachers seeking to consider identity critically, incorporate meaningful diversity, and promote the importance of complex representation. #SAAMteach
This activity explores Elaine de Kooning's John F. Kennedy portrait and the process of its creation from sketches to the final piece. The collection includes a video about John F. Kennedy's assassination and prompts learners to better understand how to read this portrait by thinking critically while answering questions.
Are you interested in learning about Jackson Pollock and his "drip" method of painting? If you are, this is the perfect collection for you!
You will be asked questions throughout this collection to help you better understand Jackson Pollock's art work.
This topical collection includes the iconic "Moon Man" image of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a National Air and Space Museum “expert annotation” video featuring a curator highlighting specific details, and other resources about the space suit and the Apollo 11 mission.
Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions about the mission to the moon, for analysis of photographic details, or in biography projects about the astronauts.
This collection contains the provocative piece The Way They Was and asks students to make parallels to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It uses thinking routines such as "See/Think/Wonder", "Circle of Viewpoints", and "Claim/Support/Question". There is also a graphic organizer in the shape of a door that allows students to record the connections they see between the piece of art and the novel. This lesson can be used after Chapter 25 or at the end of the novel.
Visual art is a language that is socially and culturally constructed. Socially constructed learning values diverse perspectives, engages with local and global experts, and employs inquiry, discovery and exploration to move students toward global citizenship. Because the visual arts leverage the power of dialogue and debate to sharpen critical thinking, starting with the arts is a logical place to help students develop empathy for others while increasing their cultural intelligence.
This collection was created to support teachers and administrators who wish to better understand the various cultures in their schools. Using both Project Zero's Global Thinking Routines and strategies from Amy E. Herman's Visual Intelligence book, participants will practice articulating cultural perspectives and communicating across differences using artwork and primary sources from the vast collections of the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Participants will learn how to read a work of art, understand compositional hierarchy, and question what is missing. The frameworks provided by Project Zero and Amy E. Herman will allow everyone, even those not accustomed to discussing art, a place from which to begin using art as a foundation for building culturally-responsive curriculum.
Participants will see museums as the cultural ambassadors that they are and ask whose culture is being represented and whose is missing and why. Extending from this inquiry, participants will recognize the role schools play in nurturing and shaping the lives and identities of our students.
This collection of teaching resources includes lesson plans and multimedia resources about the engineering design process. There are several lesson plans on architecture and engineering concepts of design, such as simple shelters, balance, and materials. The videos and illustrations explain what engineers do and the fundamental engineering design process.
This lesson includes:
- A video by Crash Course Kids titled "What's an Engineer? Crash Course Kids #12.1" (4:30)
- A video by Crash Course Kids titled "The Engineering Process: Crash Course Kids #12.2" (5:17)
- Two models of the Engineering Design Process by Preschool Steam
- Engineering/architecture activities from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for Pre-Kindergarten-1st Grade
This collection is to be used in conjunction with the novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The lesson concept spans the total of three 55 minute class periods for a middle school ELA course.
Students will begin by completing a pre-reading activity where they will analyze the artwork, Iceman Crucified #4through a "See, Think,Wonder" activity. Students will then discuss the overarching ideas or themes that they observed in the piece. This lesson will end with students making a prediction about the book, A Long Walk to Water, through previewing the cover/title and using information from the artwork to predict a possible theme of the story.
After reading chapters 1-4, students will then begin analyzing their predictions. They will also be introduced to a new piece of art, The Girl I Left Behind, to analyze in conjunction with another character in the book. Students will do a collaborative poem with the artwork. They will then work in pairs to analyze lines of text and draw similarities/differences between the character in the text and the girl in the painting.
Includes iconic people, places, and things associated with Pittsburgh.
Prior to the workshop series, select one resource from this collection and conduct an adapted See-Wonder-Connect routine (What do you see in the resource that's worth noticing? What do you wonder about? What connections do you make to it?). You may consider sharing with a partner, using the Think-Pair-Share routine. Finally, Imagine if... you were using one of these resources in your own practice, what would you have students do with it?
This collection was created for the Smithsonian Learning Lab workshops in Pittsburgh and the surrounding school districts. Funded by the Grable Foundation and in partnership with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Quaker Valley School district and the Washington International School.