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Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit presenting the first historical survey of the work of photographer Philippe Halsman's sparkling portraits of celebrities, intellectuals, and politicians. Recounts his career with a chronology and selected works.

North American Indian Traditional Stories and Mythology Bibliography

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
List of references on North American Indian traditional stories.

Work Hard and Work Smart: Designing for Athletes

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson in which students design a sports bag for athletes, investigate varied sports and consider their design needs, and engage in problem solving to create a new design.

Vibrant Visions: Pochoir Prints in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibition providing a brief history and description of the pochoir process along with select examples of pochoir images from the library's collection that illustrate costume, interior, and pattern designs produced in France from 1900 through the 1930s. The pochoir process, characterized by its crisp lines and brilliant colors, produces images that have a freshly printed or wet appearance.

"Walking Boss" by Mike Seeger at Folkways Studio in 2007

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
For over fifty years, Mike Seeger has been a musician, documenter, and tireless advocate of American folk and traditional music. As a musician he recorded as a solo artist and member of folk revival ensemble the New Lost City Ramblers. As a collector he has captured and produced sounds by iconic artists such as Elizabeth Cotten and Dock Boggs. And finally, as a historian and preservationist of the music he calls "old time," Mike Seeger gives us the stories behind the music that is such an essential part of American culture. Here he performs and gives the history of "Walking Boss," a tune Thomas Clarence Ashley learned from African American railroad workers at the turn of the 19th century.

"The Bone Game Song" by Flora Wallace and Family at Special Concert

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Bone games are popular among American Indians across the northwestern United States of America. Two teams compete to guess where players are hiding carved animal bones. The game is accompanied by exuberant singing, drumming, or rattles. Bone game songs are very lively and fast paced, and are sung with full voices. The players hiding the bones often gesture expressively in time with the music. In earlier times, it was usually men who competed, but nowadays women and youth participate, too. Laura Wallace and her family perform "The Bone Game Song" with percussive accompaniment and animated gestures.

Science: A Work in Progress

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Science: A Work in Progress - shows how science isn’t produced through one linear method, but through an interconnected set of practices, and examines ways that teachers can make learning science in the classroom more authentic. 

Leveraging for a Better Lunch Line Experience

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
In this lesson plan, students consider how to solve the problem of delays in the school cafeteria line. They work in groups to test, evaluate, and refine ideas for an improved flow.

All Roads Are Good

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Virtual tour of the Creation's Journey and All Roads are Good exhibits at the National Museum of the American Indian's George Gustav Heye Center in New York City.

Meet Our Museum Podcast: The Sioux City Ghosts

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Podcast discussing the Sioux City Ghosts, an African American travelling baseball team and swing band from the 1930s. The Teacher's Guide includes links to the podcast in two formats and related images.

Moving the Mail West

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plans on U.S. postal history focus on the Civil War, Westward Expansion, and the Gold Rush. Students enter the world of stagecoaches and the Pony Express as historians themselves, learning to tell primary from secondary sources. Includes lesson plans, historical background, worksheets, primary resources, secondary research articles, and a game.

Collecting Their Thoughts: Creating a Classroom Museum

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Students sharpen their information-gathering, organizational, and problem-solving skills by building their own museum exhibition and writing labels and other documentation.

The 1896 Washington Salon & Art Photographic Exhibition

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit telling the story of how the 1896 Washington Salon and Art Photographic Exhibition led to the creation of the Smithsonian's 'Section of Photography,' the role three prestigious Washington, D.C., organizations played in its creation, and how amateur photography came to be viewed as art. Designed to make viewers feel as if they were visiting the Salon, by browsing through photographs and text panels, the exhibit provides a unique view into the history of photography in America and the Smithsonian.

Tales of Lienzos

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Virtual exhibition describes the Charreria tradition in Mexico and the United States, through personal narratives of Charras and Charros (cowboys). Includes contemporary and historical photographs and museum collections. Some parts bilingual English/Spanish.

Performing Ethiopia: Playing, Singing and Improvising Music from the Abyssian Kingdom

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson that introduces students to the history and culture of Ethopia through its traditional music. Concludes with an arrangement and composition exercise.

What Makes You Say That?: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A "Visible Thinking" routine for interpretation with justification from Project Zero. This routine helps students describe what they see or know and asks them to build explanations. It promotes evidential reasoning (evidence-based reasoning) and because it invites students to share their interpretations, it encourages students to understand alternatives and multiple perspectives. Asks the questions, "What's going on?" and "What do you see that makes you say that?" WHAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?

Interpretation with justification routine

1. What's going on?

2. What do you see that makes you say that?

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine helps students describe what they see or know and asks them to build explanations. It promotes evidential reasoning (evidence-based reasoning) and

because it invites students to share their interpretations, it encourages students to understand alternatives and multiple perspectives.

Application: When and where can it be used?

This is a thinking routine that asks students to describe something, such as an object or concept, and then support their interpretation with evidence. Because the basic questions in this routine are flexible, it is useful when looking at objects such as works of art or historical artifacts, but it can also be used to explore a poem, make scientific observations and hypothesis, or investigate more conceptual ideas (i.e., democracy). The routine can be adapted for use with almost any subject and may also be useful for gathering information on students' general concepts when introducing a new topic.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

In most cases, the routine takes the shape of a whole class or group conversation around an object or topic, but can also be used in small groups or by individuals. When first introducing the routine, the teacher may scaffold students by continually asking the follow-up questions after a student gives an interpretation. Over time students may begin to automatically support their interpretations with evidence with out even being asked, and eventually students will begin to internalize the routine.

The two core questions for this routine can be varied in a number of ways depending on the context:

What do you know? What do you see or know that makes you say that? Sometimes you may want to preceded students' interpretation by using a question of description: What do you see? or What do you know?

When using this routine in a group conversation it may be necessary to think of alternative forms of documentation that do not interfere with the flow of the discussion. One option is to record class discussions using video or audio. Listening and noting students' use of language of thinking can help you see their development. Students words and language can serve as a form of documentation that helps create a rubric for what makes a good interpretation or for what constitutes good reasoning.

Another option is to make a chart or keep an ongoing list of explanations posted in the classroom. As interpretations develop, note changes and have further discussion about these new explanations. These lists can also invite further inquiry and searches for evidence. Other options for both group and individual work include students documenting their own interpretations through sketches, drawings, models and writing, all of which can be displayed and revisited in the classroom."

"Don't You Leave Me Here (I'm Alabama Bound)" by Dave Van Ronk

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Dave Van Ronk performs "Don't You Leave Me Here (I'm Alabama Bound)" at a 1997 concert honoring Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music.

A Smithsonian Idealab: Smithsonian Kids

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Children can explore some of the 137 million objects at the Smithsonian that have been grouped into categories such as 'patriotic,' 'fast,' and 'fun.'

Mission to Mars

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which students use what they've learned about body systems (circulatory, digestive, skeletal/muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous) to design a product that will help astronauts travel to Mars.

1846: Portrait of the Nation

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Website looking back at the important historical events of 1846, the year the Smithsonian was founded. Selected paintings provide visual context for major historical events.

Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
This online exhibition examines the historic and evolving culture and arts of the Tuareg peoples of Mali, Niger, and Algeria. Students can explore artistic genres and media from the nineteenth century to the present to learn about this Saharan nomadic culture.

Using Technology for Design and Evaluation

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Activity in which students trace the history of a community park or another area. They use technology to evaluate how the design process affects change over time.

Ecosystems on the Edge

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Website with videos, information, and related links on threats to coastal ecosystems. Covers climate change, at-risk species, and watersheds as well as what students and adults can do to help restore these ecosystems.

Gallery Guide: Cave as Canvas

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Website explores the spread of the Indian tradition of using caves as Buddhist sanctuaries and describes the decorations and murals found in Buddhist cave temples along the ancient Silk Road. Focused on China.
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