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West Point in the Twentieth Century

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Section of the online exhibit West Point in the Making of America looking at how, in the twentieth century, West Point changed to meet the demands of a new century while its graduates continued to lead the nation's armed forces in war and peace. Topics include the reformation of the curriculum at West Point, the achievements of the class of 1915, and the admission of the first female cadets in 1976.

What Can You Make from a Buffalo?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Game in which players match objects made by Native Americans from the body of buffalo to the appropriate part of the buffalo's anatomy. Part of an online exhibit on the Northern Plains Indians.

What Is Art?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson in which students become familiar with contemporary art forms and artists.

What Is a Primary Source?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson in which students learn the difference between first- and second-hand accounts.They examine documents related to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.Includes student worksheet with guiding questions.

What Is a Primary Source?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson in which students learn the difference between first- and second-hand accounts.They examine documents related to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

What Makes A Good Mariachi?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Natividad "Nati" Cano was born in 1933 to a family of day laborers and folk musicians in the small town of Ahuisculco, a rural outpost in the western state of Jalisco, Mexico. A self-taught musician, Nati rose to become the leader of Mariachi Los Camperos, a world-renowned group that has become an emblem of mariachi performance. He is active in the preservation of mariachi traditions and the education of young musicians. Here he discusses the elements of a good mariachi at his Los Angeles restaurant, La Fonda with performance footage from the annual Viva el Mariachi Festival in Fresno, CA.

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."

What Makes a Good Smithsonian Folkways Recording?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Fall/Winter 2011: Dispatches from Latin America

What Should a Playground Look Like?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which young students design a playground that would "allow for opportunities to share, take turns, listen, and talk."

What Was on Lady Bird's Plate?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Parent's guide with discussion and observation questions asking children to think about the special dinnerware that first lady 'Lady Bird' Johnson created for the White House, the dinnerware found in your own home, and how these plates and serving pieces connected to Johnson's work to protect the environment and bring beauty to every community. Part of the resource 'First Lady for the Environment'. Targets grades 2-4.

What Would Make Our School More

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which students survey their school to see what they can do to make it more environmentally friendly. The lesson addresses data collection and analysis standards.

What can science tell us about American history?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webinar in which Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide take you inside the real world of forensic investigations. They lay out their evidence in cases dating from the earliest English settlement in America to modern times. Educator Robert Costello is on hand to show how one case�_�a four-hundred-year-old murder mystery�_�has been adapted into an entertaining 'webcomic' for classroom learning.

What do modern animal bones tell us about biodiversity?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webinar in which Briana Pobiner of the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program discusses her research on modern animal bones in a Kenyan game conservancy. The work is not only helping us to understand current biodiversity and predation pressure, it is also a key to understanding these conditions millions of years ago.

What does clothing communicate?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webinar looking at clothing, community, and self-expression. From sorority colors to religious garb to everyday clothes, our dress and style is a representation of our community, our values, and ourselves. Clothing is often used to show faith, to mark a rite of passage, or to indicate inclusion in a group. Drawing on her research into African American communities in seven cities, Diana N'Diaye asks: 'How do we define and express our community through the clothing we wear?'

What's Tops at the National Air and Space Museum?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Self-guided tour of the National Air and Space Museum, exploring four aircraft and two spacecraft and encouraging students to vote for their favorite at the visit's conclusion. Includes gallery map.

What's Tops at the Udvar-Hazy Center?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
With this self-guided tour of the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center (Reston, VA), children are encouraged to vote for their favorite aircraft and spacecraft. Includes a gallery map.

What's for Lunch? Outreach Program, Grade 3

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Classroom program where students learn how scientists study omnivores, carnivores, and herbivores. Students collect data on teeth from skulls of endangered species studied by National Zoo scientists, develop a hypothesis about what each animal might eat and why, and then check their conclusions. For Grade 3. Advanced booking and fee required.

What's in a Name? Designing Personal Identity

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which teens research the etymologies of their names and then make those names "look more like them" by designing personal logos.

What's the Best Design to Float Your Boat?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which students design a cargo vessel and then construct a model of it. They consider matters of mass, displacement, and buoyancy.

Whatever Happened to Polio? Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibit using images, artifacts, oral histories, and interactive resources to tell the story of the polio epidemics in the United States and the struggle to find a vaccination to prevent them. The exhibition is divided into four parts covering the effects of polio on communities, families and medicine; the social, scientific and medical legacies of the disease; how the virus works and how a vaccine was developed; and the state of the global campaign to eradicate polio today.

Whatever Happened to Polio?: Activities

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Three activities: an interactive game, Got Ramps?; an animation illustrating the lifecycle of the polio virus; and a downloable coloring sheet from the online exhibit Whatever Happened to Polio?. Got Ramps? illustrates changes in architectural barriers between 1955 and 2005 before and after the Architectural Barriers Act (1968) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) which made doing everyday activities, like mailing a letter at the post office, more accessible.

What’s the “Matter” with Cells and Atoms?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
What’s the “Matter” with Cells and Atoms?  — investigates the difficulties students have with applying ideas about matter consistently and appropriately across the life and physical sciences, and with interpreting and relating different representations of microscopic structures.

Wheelies!

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which students design wheels for a coaster car. They investigate characteristics of motion and friction in order to create a specialized wheel for a given terrain (e.g., linoleum, corrugated cardboard, smooth stones).

When Getting There Is More Than Half the Battle

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan in which students explore transportation problems and design solutions around the globe. They work in small groups and conduct surveys to create a final presentation.
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