This collection highlights the enslaved and free African American perspective and experience during the Civil War with collection objects from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, other Smithsonian units, and relevant media.
Keywords: NMAAHC, NMAAHC Education, African American, Civil War, United States Colored Troops, soldier, war, emancipation, history, primary sources
Images in this collection represent the Nature of Science (NOS) learning statements found in each of the Topic 1 (cell biology) subtopics of the IB Biology curriculum (2016). The images and descriptions can be used as an introductory activity to illustrate the depth, variation and cultural relevancy of biological discovery and technological advancement that is part of the IB Biology course. Or, the images could serve as a revision activity before the end of course exam; students pair the image to the corresponding NOS learning statement.
What was the role of Science in the construction of race? How can various written works and works of art begin a conversation about race as a social construct? These series of activities allow for a dialogue about this complex issue.
This collection includes a three-part activity that can be modified by choosing to spend more or less time sharing out as a group and whether TED Talks are watched as a class or individually as preparation for class.
Part I begins with a work of art to stimulate thought using the Project Zero Thinking Routine "See-Think-Wonder." Students will then read an article and view an advertisement. Another thinking routine is used here to uncover the complexities of this particular advertisement. In the next parts, students view TED Talks followed by different kinds of media. Several Project Zero Thinking Routines can be used to stimulate and record thinking.
Part I: Identifying the focus and beginning a conversation
Starting with an artwork by Byron Kim and Glenn Ligon, students use the "See-Think-Wonder" Project Zero Thinking Routine to try and make sense of the image. After a class discussion, students should be guided to read a short article about skin-colored ballet shoes that would be more representative of the skin tones of actual ballet dancers. Teachers could choose to help students digest this article or move directly into the Ivory soap advertisement. Using the "Beauty and Truth" Project Zero Thinking Routine, students can uncover the underlying complexity of this image.
Part II: The evolution of skin color and telling the story of a work of art
After viewing the TEDTalk by Nina Jablonski about the illusion of skin color, students can reflect individually by answering the question "Why is it problematic to view race as a biological concept and categorize individuals based on skin color?" Then, using Project Zero’s "The Story Routine," students can create meaning for a work of art. Students can share out in pairs first or simply share out to the whole group depending on class size, etc.
Part III: Photography, an essay on color and race and a work of art from that essay
Angelica Dass’s photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. The TEDTalk describes her Humanae project and allows for further dialogue about the complexity of skin color. Teachers could choose to help students identify important aspects of the talk or move directly into silent reading of Zora Neale Hurston’s essay "How It Feels to be Colored Me." Students can use the "Step inside-step out-step back" Project Zero Thinking Routine to identify perspectives addressed in this essay. Glenn Ligon created a work of art using this essay and students can use this piece to further the conversation with the same thinking routine or simply as part of the reflection. A final reflection about skin color and the social construct of race can be completed either as a group or individually using the "I Used to think…; But Now I Think…" thinking routine. Teachers should consider providing a more focused prompt that suits the goals/objectives of their lesson.
This collection of items shows things like items and objects that were used to carry out religious ceremonies of the enslaved African people. This collection will also look at what exactly religion was and looked like during slavery times. The Africans that were brought over to the Americas for the purpose of slavery had no knowledge of Christianity or any other European religion. Africans had their own beliefs and since brought over to slavery, could no longer practice them freely. Slaves were eventually exposed to Christianity by their slave masters and that was the only religion that the master permitted. Slaves ultimately saw the European religion, Christianity, as possible freedom. The slaves often resisted the teachings and exposure of Christianity because of their strong commitment and belief in their motherland religion. Eventually there was a mixture of the slaves original religion back in their homeland and the newly learned Christianity. Enslaved people also eventually appealed to Christianity and turned it into a possible road to freedom. This was no good sign for slave masters, which soon leads to punishment of things like open worship and Bible reading. We will be looking at many things in this collection from items to secret gathering places that the slaves used.
This collection is created in conjunction with a professional development workshop facilitated by the National Portrait Gallery and Teaching with Primary Sources Northern Virginia (TPSNVA is funded by a grant from the Library of Congress).
Have you ever wondered if a portrait is a primary source? In this workshop, we will examine portraits from the Portrait Gallery, along with primary sources from the Library of Congress, to consider this question and explore connections between the two distinct collections. Participants will brainstorm and come up with strategies to incorporate these rich resources into their English and social studies curriculum.
Technology, despite its modesty in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, played a large role in the battle between the Native Americans and the European settlers seeking to eradicate them. The tools used for everyday tasks, as well the weaponry used for war, while less effective in comparison to that of the Europeans, are impressive in their creativity and usefulness. This collection seeks to exemplify the simplicity, yet efficiency, of the agricultural tools as well as the arms used by the Native population for protection and offense in battle.
Native American's tribes vary in culture, however many of these tools are used by numerous tribes in different locations. Natives, some nomadic and some settled, used different tools for their day to day activities such as hunting and gathering food. These tools, similar to those used today and in Europe at the time, were still sturdy, effective and efficient enough to provide for the tribe. What is often discussed is settler's possession of guns and gunpowder provided by the French and British, while the natives relied on sharp spears, bow and arrows, as well as blunt instruments that required close range to be effective. With time, through conquering lands and trading, guns slowly worked their way into the possession of the natives, however the majority remained dependent on the tools displayed below. These weapons, although less forceful, were accurate, quiet and discreet: qualities that helped Natives win many battles over the course of their feud.
This activity can be used on its own or as a starting point for an interdisciplinary exploration of the global implications of HIV/AIDS.
This collection includes a three-part activity that can be modified by choosing to spend more or less time considering other viewpoints on HIV/AIDS. It uses Project Zero Thinking Routines and several images that allow students to explore multiple perspectives on HIV/AIDS. I have also created a separate collection with more images that could be used as starting points for further conversation called “The Global Implications of HIV/AIDS - An Interdisciplinary Exploration.”
The focus of this particular collection is to allow students to begin exploring at the individual level and then keep zooming out to the global level to engage with HIV/AIDS as a global issue.
Part I: The individual and Individuals within a Society
Using a work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres and the Project Zero Thinking Routine “See, Think, Wonder,” students can begin the conversation about the toll of HIV/AIDS on the individual level. Depending on student comments, this could also involve individuals within a society. The video included here could be shown as a follow-up explanation or could simply be used to help the teacher and not shown to students. The images of the quilt panel and the poster could both be used with the Project Zero Thinking Routine “Circle of Viewpoints” to help further the society or systems approach. These images allow students to explore the political complexities and how this can directly impact individuals within a group. Again, the video included could be used to enhance teacher and/or student knowledge.
Part II: Engaging in conversations about Society and Global Issues
Students will use the Project Zero Thinking Routine “See, Think, Wonder” to explore the Gapminder HIV Chart graphic (axes have been removed). If the group of students you are working with have less experience with thinking routines in general or are less inclined to take risks in sharing out, skip to the original version of the Gapminder HIV Chart graphic instead. At either starting point, more information can be revealed as students pose thoughts and wonders about the data provided. The link to the TedTalk can help students better understand what the graph is showing and perhaps be another starting point for a dialogue on the complexities of HIV/AIDS.
Part III: Reflection
There is some reflection built into the “Circle of Viewpoints” Thinking Routine but it is worthwhile to also reflect at the end of the activity. I have provided the Project Zero “I used to think…But now I think” Thinking Routine slide but a teacher could also choose to return to the Wrap Up questions provided from the earlier “Circle of Viewpoints” Thinking Routine and revisit what the students had mentioned from Part II.
The resources in this collection will be used to help Montgomery College IERW002 students complete the essay on Our Vulnerable Planet. Students are to use the articles and videos to enhance their understanding of the topics. Students will complete Reading Information sheets on every resource that is used in this assignment - images, articles, graphs, and videos. In class and out of class assignments are based on these resources.
This Learning Lab collection has been created to support the 2019 National History Day theme, Triumph and Tragedy in History. Utilizing portraits and other resources from the National Portrait Gallery, this collection is organized by Topics within the Triumph and Tragedy theme.
Be sure to check out the following at the end of the collection:
-Reading Portraiture Guide for Educators highlights close looking strategies that can be used with the portraits listed
-Triumph and Tragedy In History Theme Book from National History Day 2019
Established in 1962, the NASA Artists Cooperation Program gave several artists unrestricted access to several NASA facilities. The goal was to communicate the emotional tone and the cultural significance of space exploration.
This collection uses the "Connect Extend Challenge" visible thinking strategy developed by Project Zero at Harvard University. This strategy encourages students to make connections between new ideas and prior knowledge. It also encourages them to make a personal connection to an artwork or topic.
Observe and discuss the first image as a class. Use the "Connect Extend Challenge" to discuss the image as a class. Ask the following:
- How is the artwork or object connected to something you know about?
- What new ideas or impressions do you have that extended your thinking in new directions?
- What is challenging or confusing? What do you wonder about?
Provide any background knowledge that enhances the conversation, using the metadata information about the NASA Artists Cooperation Program.
Next, divide the students into 4 groups. Have them use the same questions to discuss one of the 4 images that deals the Apollo 11 launch. Wrap-up the discussion by having each group share out key thoughts and responses. Repeat the same process with the 4 images that represent Mission Control (note, Mission Control Images are from a selection of Apollo missions).
Finally, students should choose one of the final 4 images to investigate, using the "Connect Extend Challenge" to guide their exploration. Their work could be shared verbally in a paired group, or written as a personal essay.
This student activity explores the Holocaust through art - three sculptures and one photograph of an artwork, with additional references to give historical context . Using two of Harvard's Project Zero Thinking Routines, students take a deeper dive into the material through guided looking and by considering the significance of the Holocaust personally, to the country and to the world.
This Learning Lab collection has been created in conjunction with the Hispanic Heritage Month: Understanding the American Experience professional development workshop, hosted by the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Workshop Description: Whether you are a teacher of social studies, English, Spanish, or visual arts, this program will add nuance and depth to your classroom. Educators will learn how to use art and portraiture by Latino artists or of Latino figures to enhance their students’ understanding of our collective American history.
This collection includes a wide range of Irish contemporary and traditional music in the Smithsonian collections, with two lesson plans for grades 3-5 from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
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.
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 explores regional contractors that contributed to the Apollo Program. Union Carbide, North American Aviation, and RCA are just three of the many private firms that contributed goods and services to NASA during the race to put a man on the Moon.
Have students examine the map of NASA contractors. Ask:
- What companies do you know?
- Which are closest? Farthest away?
- What do you wonder about these companies? Their locations?
Have students investigate the images in the collection. Discuss:
- What do you see? What do you think about that?
- What types of products or materials were needed on the Apollo mission?
- How did companies take advantage of their association with Manned Spaceflight?
Using the map, encourage students to find items produced by other manufacturers on this database by searching the manufacturer name. Compare the products associated with different companies - what types of products do they see, and what types of products are missing? Are there advantages to having certain things produced closer to the launch site? What types of items could be produced farther away?
Invite students to find other Apollo-related advertisements from the period using the Internet. What can be said about these advertisements?
Invite students to create their own advertisement based on the items they find here, as well as research about the NASA-contracted company.
Technological advancements contributed to World War I costing more money and killing more people than all previous wars in history.
Students will be able to answer the question: What kinds technology existed during the First World war and what were their impacts on the war?
This is an introduction to the lesson series to Canvas vs. Aluminum planes. In this collection, students will be looking at different types of planes and how planes fly. The first resource is a video with Peter Jackson and learning how to fly a WWI airplane. The next four slides are different types of planes. The first two are planes from WWI and the second two are planes from WWII. The last resource is an external link to NASA's resource on the importance of the Forces of Flight meaning drag, lift, thrust, and weight. It also talks about the different dynamics of flight.
This Collection Introduces The Children to Lions and Tigers and how they are in the wild to children and encourages them to start collections of their own based on the Book "Have You Seen My Cat" by Eric Carle
This collection was created in conjunction with a professional development workshop for teachers held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017.
How can journaling transform the way your students experience museums and individual artworks? Sean Murphy, the art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, VA and the Portrait Gallery teamed up to introduce ways of incorporate journaling into your classroom. Participants explored the metacognitive benefits of using art journals in both the classroom and the museum. This workshop included both gallery and studio experiences.
This collection helps guide students as they learn about the Harlem Renaissance. There are 3 steps to the lesson:
- As a class, students use the "see, think, wonder" visual thinking routine to analyze a painting.
- Students watch a video and answer questions about the Harlem Renaissance.
- Students individually analyze 6 examples of art from the Harlem Renaissance, including paintings, music, and poetry and connect each piece to the historical context.
How do we represent our roots artistically? What can a portrait tell us about the sense of identity of the subject? Focusing on a famous athlete from the Dominican Republic, students will explore the personal history of the pitcher, Pedro Martínez, and how his cultural pride is portrayed on canvas. Class members will read a recent biography of Martínez before examining his portrait, Pride and Determination, currently on exhibition in Twentieth-Century Americans: 1990 to Present. #NPGteach
Presented with the National Museum of the American Indian December 9, 2017 9:30a.m.–1:30 p.m.
What learning opportunities arise when we add complexity to “the story” of westward expansion? How can Native perspectives and contemporary events engage student historians-in-training? Leave with strategies and resources that will help you add depth and breadth to your teaching and inspire inquiry in the classroom.
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!