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Found 59 Collections


The Scarlet Letter


Annette Spahr

This Other Eden: Pilgrims, Puritans & the New Promised Land

"European sailors told of being able to smell the pine forests of North America before they were within sight of land. Early explorers sometimes described possible settlements along the coast in tempting terms. Captain John Smith of Virginia made a whaling expedition to New England [which he is credited with naming] in 1614; he subsequently published a book describing the region's genial climate, fair coasts, and natural harbors...Immigrants endured hardships on their journeys and in their first years in America. Some portion of each new settlement perished from hunger, exposure, disease, or conflict, yet the stream of settlers kept coming. They crossed the Atlantic for many reasons: some for wealth, some to escape political or religious institutions they saw as oppressive or corrupt."

However, some "early colonists came to the New World expecting to gain wealth through some combination of luck and hard work and return to their home cities or towns to enjoy their prosperity. The names of the places they settled - New Spain, New England, New York, Nova Scotia - and the nature of the portraits they commissioned tell us that they did not think of themselves as Americans, but as transplants."

The artistic world and the literary world share much in common with respect to this approach. They were not writing "American literature" yet - - because in a sense such literature did not yet exist. Rather they were writing as transplanted Europeans, in a European voice and style. However, many American literature courses will begin with this period because in a sense, works such as John Smith's Historie of Virginia and William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation became our nation's first attempt at literature.

* All quoted material from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's America's Art" #SAAMteach

Annette Spahr

Frankenstein - Novel to Film - Film to Graphic Art & Classic Halloween Costume

Published nearly 200 years ago, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" has not only stood the test of time, but clearly evolved and changed in response to cultural influences. One prime example would be the lasting imprint left by Boris Karloff's interpretation of the "Creature" - which, with his portrayal - assumed the name of Shelley's original "mad scientist." #SAAMteach

Annette Spahr

Brother Against Brother

Collecction of paintings and photos to be used in conjunction with a variety of Civil War era works of literature, specifically those featuring elements of the following literary movements:

* Realism

* Naturalism

* Impressionism

Works to be used in conjunction with artistic examples include:

1. Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce

2. An Upturned Face, by Stephen Crane

3. An Episode of War, by Stephen Crane


Annette Spahr

Internal Dialogue


Katie Cahill

September 11, 2001

Collaborative Poem exercise


Brittni Doyle

Reconstruction & Mark Twain

As he traveled the South, post reconstruction, while researching "Life on the Mississippi," Mark Twain was appalled by what he saw as the failure of reconstruction. This collection will help share some of the "alternative facts" Twain faced as he harshly critiqued the south. Additionally, this collection will share some of the images that forced America to confront the "South's peculiar institution" and its lingering effects. #SAAMteach

Annette Spahr

Professional Development

This collection was created for the purpose of presenting professional development to my colleagues at Longleaf School of the Arts.  #SAAMteach

Brittni Doyle

The Paradox of Liberty: The Declaration of Independence and Slavery

This collection will be used to supplement students' rhetorical analysis of The Declaration of Independence. Earlier in the year, students discussed the paradoxical nature of the Puritans arriving in the New World to escape religious intolerance, yet they were exceedingly intolerant of other religions (i.e., Quakers). In a similar fashion, we'll examine the Declaration of Independence and a critical portion deliberately removed: references to abolishing slavery. We will examine a variety of works of art, noting the clues they give us regarding our founding fathers' often complex ideologies. #SAAMteach

Annette Spahr

Interacting with Our Environment: Whose Home Is It?

Photos and paintings of Algonquin Provincial Park are grouped with Tom Uttech's "Mamakadendagwad."  What is the impact when someone or something enters an environment or ecosystem?  Lesson could be an introduction for multiple content areas.  In science, students could study mammals, birds, and insects of Ontario, Canada; ecosystems; and invasive species. In history, what is the wilderness? It could be paired with Charle C. Mann's argument about Native American and European impact on land in Jamestown.  It could also be paired with Juane Quick-to-See Smith's painting "State Names" to consider how humans name places they settle.  English students could extend the discussion by reading Iroquois creation myths and Joseph Bruchac's "Snapping Turtle."  #SAAMteach

Deborah Howe

Segregation, Integration, Desegregation

This is a collection of primary sources related to the them of segregation, integration, and desegregation.  This includes sources about Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (1957-1958), and the desegregation of Boston Public Schools.


Jacob Montwieler

Minority Identity in America

This lesson, revolving around SOB SOB by James Marshall, will analyze several different perspectives on the minority experience in the US by looking at artwork created by Muslim, Black, Indigenous, and Latino American artists.


Susan Sawczak

Perspectives on Reconstruction

Included in this collection are pieces that can be used to foster inquiry in how Reconstruction affected different groups in the South.  It also contains a lesson using one piece, Taking the Oath: and Drawing Rations along with an example of a loyalty oath from Florida for students to dive deeper into analyzing art and putting themselves into the shoes of someone living in the South during Reconstruction. 

This lesson was made for 11th Grade American History students, but can be modified for other age groups.

#SAAMteach  #bestcohort  #artislife

Rachel Sherman

Industry in America



A Just Society

This collection, first of all, is a work in progress and may change as time goes on. The collection includes pieces that are meant to prompt students to think how to create a "just society" and potential consequences when those ideals don't become reality. #SAAMteach

Nikysha (Nikki) Gilliam

Manifest Destiny Through Art and Music

Looking at different representations of Manifest Destiny. Comparing and contrasting paintings to more current songs on the topic.  SAAMteach

Stephanie Raphel

Walt Whitman Poetry and Art

SAAMteach - High School Level English classes

Lesson concept is included in resources

Anne Ruka

Jackson and Native American Migration and Identity

#SAAMteach. This is a collection that is a work in progress exploring Native American identity and migration during the Jackson Administration.

amy olguin

Complications of Mobilizing the American Homefront 1942-1945


This collection examines artwork paired with both primary and secondary sources  that illustrates the complications of mobilizing the American homefront between 1942-1945.  


Community Identity - Space, Place, and "Fences"

Tool for exploring themes surrounding community identity, race, gender, segregation, and gentrification.  Suggestion to specifically pair with Lorraine Hansberry's  A Raisin in the Sun.


Katie Puszka

The House on Mango Street pre-reading

A two-day lesson for middle schoolers to introduce some of the themes in The House on Mango Street through art representing Latino/a Americans in the 1900s.

tags: immigrant experience, culture, gender roles, women, class divide, jigsaw, see think wonder


Kim Clifton



Mexican farm worker labor


Iceman Crucified #4

Reading American Culture Through the Lens of Various Texts

Read, write, and think like a college-bound high school student!


Kim Frazier
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