Found 424 Learning Lab Collections
IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.
All Access Club Explores the Microscopic World. If you cannot see something, does that mean that it is not there? Nope! Just lurking under the surface of common, everyday objects is an entire world that we normally cannot see. People just like you can use microscopes to discover things that need magnification in order to view. The collection is part of an activity series that explores this mysterious microscopic world.
EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Through the Lens of Curiosity" << CLICK HERE >>
In this collection you will:
- Find out about the world through the use of microscopes and magnifiers
- Take on the role of detective as you embark on a quest to solve 5 mysteries -- by making observations about up-close objects and reading clues, can you figure out what the whole object is?
- In the game A Part of the Whole, use your power of observation to consider the structures and functions of up-close objects to guess what they might be. Again, you will look at part of an object--photographed up-close--to guess at the whole.
If it is possible to set-up a hand's-on experience with microscopes along with the online activities -- the tactile portion will enhance the online activity. Teens can also view a video about scanning electron microscopes by a young scientist in the 'extension section'.
Keywords: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program
All Access Digital Arts Camp (plans and activities for teens with cognitive and intellectual disabilities)
SCLDA's All Access Digital Arts Program (2012-2016) provided skill-building opportunities in digital arts and communications, creative expression, and social inclusion to a spectrum of teen learners in the Washington, DC metro area. Participating youth visited Smithsonian science, history, and art museums, created digital and physical artworks based upon a tailored curriculum, engaged in social interactions online and in-person, gained digital literacy skills, and developed friendships with other teens.
Through once-per-month club outreach activities and summer intensive camps and workshops, students were exposed to communication, collaborative learning, research, and problem solving. The program served up to 20 youth per session, ages 14 through 22 with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The youth experienced skill-building, leadership opportunities, and social integration through Smithsonian resources, socialization opportunities, and computer skills. Youth participated in 1.) One- and two-week multi-media digital arts workshops whose outcome was student-produced artworks, songs, and movies that were shared with family and friends at openings and online via a social network; and 2.) club activities--to build upon skills developed during the summer, and maintain social connections.
At the Access Summer Camp workshops, teens learn to tell their own stories through digital arts and media. They focused on a specific story to tell based upon their interests. Content for their artistic self-expressions took the form of printed digital portraits and “sonic self-portrait” digital music compositions, as well as documentary iMovies. Teens toured Smithsonian museums, visited exhibitions and interviewed curators and educators, as well as conducted internet research. Teens ate lunch together and socialized during game breaks. Volunteers worked with teens to provide individual supports and facilitate the experience. Smithsonian educators and neurotypical teen youth mentors guided Access teens to edit their content using photo, sound, and movie editing software. The movies, portraits, and songs premiered at the Hirshhorn Museum’s ARTLAB+ for family and friends, with teens themselves providing introductory remarks for their artworks. Each teen received a certificate of completion, a digital copy of their artwork, and a framed self-portrait. An evaluation session on the final day of the workshops allowed teens to express their thoughts to the workshop organizers.
How do contemporary artists grapple with the under- and misrepresentation of certain minorities in portraiture and American history? Participants will explore the newly unveiled portraits of President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley and former First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald and discuss how these artists are looking to the past to paint the present. After close reading these images, participants will consider how artists Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, in the exhibition “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light,” uncover voices previously unheard.
This Learning Lab Collection is designed for students who are studying Korean. Students will explore Korean art from the Freer collection, and learn more about Korean culture, history, and tradition by using artworks. Through the exploring art and learning Korean process, student will develop a greater understanding of the unique aspects of Korean culture and the structure of Korean language.
Keywords: Korean, Language, Art, Culture, Tradition
This Learning Lab Collection is following Virginia Department of Education Standards of Learning for World Language: Non-Roman Alphabet Language for character-based language. Click here to find more information (p. 29-46)
Level 1: Students begin to develop communicative competence in the target language and expand their understanding of the culture(s) of the people who speak the language.
Level 2: Students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of the target language, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in the language.
Level 3: Students communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using structures that are more complex in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.
Level 4: Students continue to develop their communicative and culture competence in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication.
Level 5: Students are able to exchange and support opinions on a variety of topics related to historical and contemporary events and issues at a proficiency level commensurate with their study.
The Goryeo period (918-1392) is referred to as Korea’s age of enlightenment, when arts and cultures flourished under the patronage of the Goryeo aristocracy. Buddhism was the official state religion, which Buddhist temples and members of the royal court committed a huge portion of their resources to the practice of faith and to the creation of ritual implements and artworks as expressions of devotion.
Tremendous ceramics, lacquer wares, Buddhist paintings and sculptures, illustrated manuscripts, and metal crafts in Buddhist symbols and motifs were made during this period. The Goryeo period is widely known as the jade-green glazed, graceful shape, elegant floral motifs and decorative inlaid design celadons to the Western culture.
This Learning Lab Collection is created for Summer Institute for Educators, Discovering Korea's Past: Interdisciplinary Connections.
Keywords: Korea, Goryeo, Celadon, Buddhism, Inlay, Jade-green, Glazed, Ceramics
Use these pictures to help your child make careful observations of their world and use words to describe what they think and wonder about. This collection is meant to stimulate curiosity and develop vocabulary with the youngest learners. There are conversation starters among the images, but be sure to let the child's interest and your own questions drive the discussion.
Combine these images with real-world examples from your child's books, toys, or your own community. If you're interested in learning more about an individual image, click on the "i" icon located in the top left to view the museum description.
This has been adapted from the Project Zero's “See Think Wonder" Visible Thinking routine, meant for exploring works of art and other interesting things.
A free printable version is included at the end of the collection.
Allow small groups to "look/think/wonder" about a mask image: Look and describe what you see. Based on what you see, what do you think the mask is for? What do you wonder about the mask (or want to learn about the mask)? Then allow students to click the Information button to learn more. Groups can report out to the whole class.
Facilitate a discussion with students using some open ended questions:
- Why do people make and wear masks?
- What can be hidden or revealed using a mask?
- What might a mask symbolize or stand for?
- If you were to design a mask for a special purpose, what would it look like?
Direct students to sketch their ideas to plan for creating a mask.
Clarice Daley served as a nurse in the First World War (1914-1918) with the Australian Army Nursing Service.
Keywords: women, history, military,
Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen combines the disciplines of art, science, and investigative journalism to bring unseen and, at times, unsettling elements of our contemporary world to light. Zooming outward from personal, to local, and finally global implications of this work, participants will work collaboratively to identify extensions and troubleshoot any challenges of this content for the classroom.
All Grade Levels
Considering the growing popularity of the graphic novel, could they be a venue for your students to explore and express identity? This collection offers interactive activities that incorporate building the structure of comic book and graphic novel pages. Utilizing the special exhibition Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today, this workshop takes a close look at self-portraiture as a means of exploring identity. The ideas here were presented by Sean Murphy, art teacher at Samuel Tucker Elementary School, in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.
- Industrial Revolution, in modern history, the process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. This process began in Britain in the 18th century and from there spread to other parts of the world. Although used earlier by French writers, the term Industrial Revolution was first popularized by the English economic historian Arnold Toynbee (1852–83) to describe Britain’s economic development from 1760 to 1840. Since Toynbee’s time the term has been more broadly applied.
This collection was created as an introduction to Korea and its culture by focusing on one object in the Freer/Sackler Museum. "Water dropper in the form of a duck." Interdisciplinary lesson for Media (information literacy, research skills), Art (calligraphy), and Music (children’s songs).
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.
This collection explores the evolving history of how Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. The introductory video, podcast and lesson in the collection help provide context for the complicated portrayal and depiction of what actually happened at the first Thanksgiving and how it is celebrated today.
The images in this collection are different portrayals of the holiday over time. They have been grouped in order of publication from 1863 to 1994. As you look through them and complete the activities, think about these three key questions:
- How does the context in which an image was produced affect the result? Meaning, how does what was happening at the time affect what kind of picture of Thanksgiving we see?
- What do the images say about our national identity: who is welcome in the United States? What do we celebrate and why? Whose version of the Thanksgiving story does each image tell?
This collection explores the concept of Rube Goldberg inventions and their use of multi-step processes to complete an action. Often Rube Goldberg inventions utilize a series of simple machines to cause a chain reaction for a task. Using an image of a comic that features one such invention, students can analyze the parts, purposes and complexities of the object and its processes. Additional resources are included to support the further exploration of these inventions and the identification of the simple machines (levers, pulleys, wedges, screws, wheels, axles and inclined planes).
This collection complements an in-person visit to the Rube Goldberg™: The World of Hilarious Invention! Exhibit at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.
This is a master collection designed to be copied and adapted to your individual classroom needs. Included are three scalable student activities that teach students engineering skills using methods similar to those that made the Wright brothers pioneers of aviation. Feel free to pick and choose from the activities in creating your own collections:
1. The Four Forces of Flight
In this student activity, students will briefly go over the four forces of flight (lift, drag, weight, and thrust) and put them to the test in the Paper Airplane Challenge! This activity is suitable for Primary/Intermediate grade levels.
2. Engineering the Wright Way
The second student activity is an online interactive, "Engineering the Wright Way"*, where students will develop engineering skills to design and test all the different components of an airplane based on the the Wrights' methodology. Students can write down a save code generated in the interactive to store their progress and return to finish the activity later. This activity is suitable for Intermediate/Middle grade levels.
3. Take a Wright Flight
The third student activity is an online flight simulator to learn three controls of flight: yaw, pitch, and roll. The final segment is an online interactive** to test fly the original Wright Flyer in conditions similar to that cold December morning when the Wrights first achieved flight, using direct 3D scans of the original Wright Flyer made by the Smithsonian. This activity is suitable for all grades.
*The "Engineering the Wright Way" lesson plan and activity were created by the National Air and Space Museum, courtesy of the Alcoa Foundation.
**The Wright Brothers Flyer activity was created by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.
This is one of 5 activities used in the Lenovo Week of Service event.
This inquiry and technology-based lesson focuses on the art
of Cuban artist Wifredo Lam and the diverse artistic styles
from Europe and Africa that were present in his art. The
lesson connects art activities to skills and strategies in
technology, reading, and writing. #latinohac
Learning Lab Teaching Collection for Frost Art Museum Workshop using Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq"
This teaching collection is designed to be used in the Frost Art Museum's "Exploring Latinx Artists from the Frost Art Museum Collection" workshop on November 6, 2018, to guide participants in a looking activity and to demonstrate the range of tools available in the Learning Lab.
It is adapted from a teaching collection on the same theme (Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq" http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll...) , which aims to help students think critically and globally using two Thinking Routines to explore the painting. The work is a metaphorical representation of the unrest taking place in Iraq, and more broadly, an exploration of the human condition during times of crisis.
Included here are an image of the work from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an explanatory video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, a contextual video featuring the artist himself, three suggested Thinking Routines - "Colors, Shapes, Lines," "The 3 Y's," and "Headlines" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, three other works by Azaceta in the Smithsonian collections, and an array of prompts and Learning Lab tools.
For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, American History, Art History classes
This program received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
This teaching collection focuses on the surrealist artwork of Cuban artist, Cundo Bermúdez (1914-2008), entitled "Cinco Figuras" from the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum's collections. By applying the Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine, "See, Think, Wonder" to the artwork, teachers can lead students in a discussion that allows them to make observations and support interpretations with details, while noting areas for further exploration.
Additional resources are included in this collection to help contextualize the artist, his life and other related works.
- For more information about Project Zero routines and to add them to your own Smithsonian Learning Lab collections, please visit https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/project-zero-thinking-routines/oWYbEjpf19oxcFUp#r
- For more artwork from the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum's collections, please visit https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/latin-american-artists/aEFC5NX6L38A31L5
Keywords: surrealism, Latino, painting, symbolism, ladder, mirror, clock, five figures
Clarice Daley served as a nurse in the First World War (1914-1918) with the Australian Army Nursing Service.
Keywords: women, history, military,
This collection was designed by the Education Department of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery as a basic introduction to Japanese painting for educators. It is a collection of artworks from the museum's permanent collection that draw from a wide variety of formats, styles, media, and subjects that represent many of the major trends in Japanese painting. Each image includes key information about the artwork, as well as ideas for class discussion, lesson components, and/or links to resources such as videos and articles which provide additional information about the artwork. Feel free to copy the collection and adapt it to your own use.
Keywords: Buddha, Hokusai, Mount Fuji, watercolor, bodhisattva, Fugen, Sōtatsu, cherry blossoms, seasons, Genji, crane, emaki, byobu, kakemono, ukiyo-e, map, teacher, student, autumn, Japan, Japanese art, landscape, Edo period, Buddhism, Heian period, water, ocean, wave, boat, flower, insect, Muromachi period, river, surimono
This teaching collection asks students to explore William Steinway’s Diary—which includes diary passages, Steinway family photographs, maps, and advertisements that bring alive the fear and chaos of the 1863 Civil War Draft Riots and his hands-on role in the creation of the New York City subway and the company town of Steinway in modern-day Astoria, Queens - as a jumping off point to understand the second half of the 19th century. Included are two Project Zero Thinking Routines and an Analysis Sheet to help students analyse these primary documents. Students can also expand the activity by researching other historical writings (newspapers, journals, city maps, etc.) from the time period, to gain a deeper understanding of this dynamic period in American history.
The online exhibition describes: "Over 36 years, nine volumes, and more than 2,500 pages, entries record a newlywed’s exuberance, his observations of a country at war, and his emergence as a leader in the cultural, political, financial, and physical development of New York City. In near-daily entries until his death in 1896, William details the period’s financial panics and labor turmoil, rise of the German immigrant class, growing sophistication of transportation, and fierce piano manufacturing wars in which his family firm, Steinway & Sons, was a major player. A proud member of New York’s German American community, William was at once an immigrant success story and an ambitious industrialist whose development of the company town of Steinway left a lasting imprint on modern-day Queens."