In 2011 the Smithsonian joined with the Pearson Foundation to train ARTLAB+ teens to document personal stories at Smithsonian Heritage Month family festivals. ARTLAB+ is a design studio based out of ArtLab space in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The teens captured visitor voices through several years, covering a variety of topics including views on race, culture, nature, belonging, music and food.
This collections comes from an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month family festival at the National Museum of Natural History. Included in the collection are interviews and demonstrations about dance with Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Japanese "kimekomi" doll making with Akiko Keene and Anne Cox, Thai fruit and vegetable carving with Phuangthong Malikul, Rangoli Indian design with Nisha Rajam and Anjana Mohanty, Korean calligraphy by Mookjae, and Chinese paper folding by Alice Li.
Here is a collection of videos from a Women's History Month family festival, that includes interviews and performance footage with Kathak dancer Prachi Dalal, Native American singing group Ulali, mother-daughter storyteller and artist Yona Zeldis McDonough and Malcah Zeldis, and the Georgia Tech Glee Club paying tribute to the women in the audience for Women's History Month.
What defines a place? Is it its people? Economic life? Physical characteristics?
Examine this collection of images from or about the Pacific Northwest (loosely defined as Washington and Oregon states and British Columbia) to answer these questions: What are its unique set of physical and cultural conditions? How do these physical and cultural conditions interact? How does the economy of the PNW connect to its culture and geography? What are the consequences of human activity on the cultural and physical landscape?
Ask students individually or in small groups to create a collection in Learning Lab to represent the physical and cultural characteristics of another place (city, region, state). Using these collections, ask students to write summary statements describing the unique human and physical characteristics of places researched. Discuss student collections and what makes each place unique.
Tags: Portland, Seattle, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, Native Americans, American Indians, grunge, space needle
This collection looks at an image and phrase used widely in abolitionist materials, and at how that symbol was adopted and adapted by Sojourner Truth and/or other women's rights activists. Students will examine an abolitionist medallion and then learn about Sojourner Truth through a short reading, image analysis, and video. They can then review two version's of Sojourner Truth's speech and consider why the second version, as reported by another suffragette, Frances Gage, is markedly different. This collection is designed to be used as a short stand-alone lesson on the topic of the abolition movement and its intersection with the women's movement in the United States.
Tags: compare and contrast, change over time, "Ain't I a Woman?", abolition, slavery
This collection includes photographs and paintings that reveal information about Booker T. Washington's strategy for achieving civil rights for African-Americans, and about the subjects taught at Tuskegee. It is intended as an introductory activity on the subject, to be completed by students.
Tags: point of view, Reconstruction, Tuskegee Institute, civil rights, segregation, Gilded Age, cause effect
The Vikings have inspired many artists, writers, and filmmakers with their bravery and unique way of life. However, many misconceptions have developed and many facts are still unknown. In this collection, students will explore the website for the Vikings exhibit while taking notes on the included worksheet. Then, they'll evaluate three works of art (and a team logo) based on the Vikings to gauge how accurately they represent Viking life. Finally, they will be asked to create their own 2-D or 3-D object representing Viking life.
Tags: Norse, inquiry, Viking, Norway, Greenland, Iceland
This collection comes from a Hispanic Heritage Month family festival celebrating Central American traditions, and in support of an exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian, "Ceramica de los ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed." Held at the National Museum of American History, the festival featured a sampling of music and dance performances, food demonstrations, and hands-on activities. The museum's terrace featured fair tables that included demonstrations of foods such as papusas and tamales, traditional weaving from Guatemala using a back strap loom, and musical and dance performances, including El Salvadoran chanchona by Los Hermanos Lovo, garifuna by the New York-based group Bodoma, and Latin punk rock by DC-based Machetes. Inside, activities included designing a family "bandera" (flag), making a clay cacao pot, making "alfombras" or carpets, which are temporary artworks made with sawdust based on a 400-year-old Guatemalan tradition, a lecture on Central American ceramics with Alex Benitez, archeologist and George Mason University professor, and engaging in conversations about immigration based on objects in the museum's teaching collections.
In this student activity, analyze the timelessness of myth through three works of art by modern African American artists. Each artist, inspired by Ancient Greek myth, retells stories and reinterprets symbols to explore personal and universal themes. Includes three works of art, summaries of the myths they reference, and discussion questions. Also includes a video about the artist Romare Bearden and his series 'Black Odyssey,' that details Bearden's artistic process, the significance of storytelling in his art, and the lasting importance of 'Black Odyssey.'
The videos shown here are from a series, hosted by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access and the Smithsonian Heritage Months Steering Committee, that features colleagues from around the country doing innovative work in the fields of community outreach and heritage. Featured here are colleagues from the Tenement Museum in New York City presenting, "Widening the Conversation: Involving Communities in Interpretive Planning," Martha Norkunas presenting "Listening Across Differences," and Faye McMahon and Benjamin Virgilio presenting, "Not Just Child's Play: Emerging Tradition and the Lost Boys of Sudan."
This topical collection gathers resources related to Homo floresiensis, commonly known as the Flores “Hobbit." H. floresiensis, was discovered in 2003, making it the second most recently discovered early human species. Contains a video, websites, a 3D interactive tour, and articles.
This teacher's guide explores how myths transcend time and place through three modern paintings by African American artists, who reinterpret Ancient Greek myth to comment on the human experience. Collection includes three paintings and a lesson plan published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which includes background information on myths and artists, as well as activity ideas. Also includes a video about the artist Romare Bearden and his series 'Black Odyssey.' The video details his artistic process, the significance of storytelling in his art, and the lasting importance of 'Black Odyssey.'
This topical collection gathers teaching resources on Lalibela, a UNESCO site in Ethiopia famous for its rock-hewn churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries CE. Christianity was established early in Ethiopia, and orthodox Christianity became the official religion of the Axumite Kingdom in the 4th century CE. Includes a video, a website, objects, and a contemporary painting from the National Museum of African Art.
Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will examine the 1947 mural "Achelous and Hercules," by Thomas Hart Benton. This artwork explores the relationship between man and water in post-war agricultural America through the retelling of an Ancient Greek myth. Collection includes a video analysis by a museum director and an interactive exploring areas of interest in the artwork.
Tags: greece; agriculture; agricultural; missouri river; marshall plan; truman; cultural connections; midwest
This collection invites users to explore how Americans have voted throughout our history and the innovations that have improved the voting process. Students will closely investigate images from the 19th and 20th century in order to determine potential flaws and improvements in the democratic process. Links to websites for additional reading are included as well as assessments and a possible extension activity.
-How has the process of voting changed in the last two centuries? Consider who, what, when, where, why, and how when answering this question.
-How have technological changes enhanced voting? What challenges remain?
Tags: civics, elections, campaigns, vote, ballot, ballot box, democracy, electoral process, change over time, cause effect
Paintings and photographs that represent the Lakota, Inuit, Kwakiutl, Pueblo, and Iroquois tribes. This aligns with Virginia SOL USI.3b. Teachers may have students look critically at each image. Students can then create a claim or hypothesis of what tribe they think it represents, along with supporting details. Teachers should use the "what makes you say that" strategy (described on the first image). This is a great check for understanding or formative assessment of student learning.
This collection provides an introduction to the 3D resources available from the Smithsonian Institution. All of the items in this collection are videos showing 3D models or sharing the process of creating such materials. To explore the models directly in a 3D viewer, download file information, and discover tours and other educator resources, please visit 3d.si.edu.
Models of interest to K-12 teachers might include:
- Apollo 11 command module
- Amelia Earhart's flight suit
- Liang Bua (archaeological site where homo floriensis was discovered)
- Funerary bust of Haliphat (from Palmyra)
- Jamestown burial sites and artifacts
- David Livingstone's gun
- Porcelain dishes and other home items in the Freer Gallery of Art (from Asian cultures)
- Killer Whale Hat
- Whale and dolphin fossils
- Cosmic Buddha
- Woolly mammoth skeleton
- Wright Brothers flyer
- Gunboat Philadelphia
This collection includes a brief overview of Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. It focuses on the story of Laozi and his ideas about the Dao and the balance between yin and yang. It includes two short passages from the Dao de Jing, assessment questions throughout, and a final task where students create their own collection about Daoism.
Tags: Dao, Confucius, Tao, Buddha, Laozi, China, religion, philosophy
This is a collection of teaching resources about sacred texts used in a variety of religions. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all featured in many artifacts, but there are also some examples from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism. Ideas for teaching and questions are located throughout the collection on the notebook tab.
Some overall guiding questions to consider using with your students might be:
-Are the texts treated as revelations? Are they inerrant? You may want to define these words with your students and ask them to research the answers.
-How do different religions treat their texts? Are there special objects or rituals used in conjunction with the texts?
-Why was it important for religious texts to be written down? How can the form of a text change who has access to the religion's teachings?
-What kinds of decorations are used in and on the texts? Why do you think that is?
Tags: Christianity, Jesus, Bible, Judaism, Torah, Old Testament, Islam, Quran, Muhammad, Hindu, Buddha, Daoism, China, India, religion, belief, philosophy, compare contrast
This collection includes artifacts and images that represent the Five Pillars of Islam. Students should complete the chart (included as the final resource) by first explaining what each pillar is. Then, after looking through the collection, they should identify an artifact that represents each one and explain why.
Tags: Islam, Muslim, religion, Muhammad, object analysis, practice, pilgrimage, hajj, fasting, Ramadan, Shahadah, zakat, tithe, salat, prayer
This learning lab consists of portraits painted by John Singleton Copley, one of America's first painters. The subjects included all played a role either prior to or during the revolution.
"Remember Pearl Harbor" was a call to action, that rallied all Americans to step up and support the war in any way they could. This collection explores the symbolism and impact of lapel pins produced during World War II.
In my lesson, I projected my collection through AppleTV on a screen in the front of class. I tried to play on the students' imagination and have them think about whom this character could be. Their objective was to point out specific details in the image and voice them to class. I did not have them begin guessing who the "Mythical Being" was until we got to the 7th slide. The farther we progressed, the students began to put more and more clues together. This was a good anticipatory set to our cartoon activity pertaining to George Washington's 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior.