Found 5,999 Learning Lab Collections
Tags: Tsimshian, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Tags: Haida, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Tags: Tlingit, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Tags: Eyak, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
By Alice Petrivelli (Unangax̂), 2009
(This is shortened version of a longer essay from the Smithsonian book Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska.)
Sea, Land, Rivers
More than three hundred Aleutian Islands clustered in groups stretch westward across the Pacific from the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. In summertime they are just gorgeous. The mountains are snow-capped, with green grass and tundra plants spreading up their sides. Even out on the water you can smell the flowers. In fall the vegetation turns shades of red and brown, and in winter there is a clear, blue, endless sky between periods of storm. The islands have no trees, but driftwood from around the whole North Pacific washes up on our beaches. People of the Aleutians call themselves Unangax̂, meaning “sea-sider.” We are also called Aleuts – a name first used by Russian fur traders in the eighteenth century.
To our south is the Pacific Ocean, to our north the Bering Sea. Everything our ancestors did was connected to the marine world around us. They built beautiful kayaks with split bow tips to cut swiftly through the waves. Their clothing was made of sea mammal hides and intestines and the feathered skins of ocean birds. The sea provided nearly all of our ancestors’ food – seals, sea lions, ducks, salmon, all kinds of fish and shellfish—and that’s still true today. From the time we’re little we’re taught to respect the water and to keep it clean, because that’s where our living comes from.
I was born in 1929 on the far western island of Atka and grew up speaking the Niiĝux̂ dialect of Unangam Tunuu (the Unangax̂ language). Until 1942 we used to go camping all summer. With the first warm days of spring we would travel by boat to Amlia Island, where we planted potatoes and other vegetables. Gardening was impossible on Atka, because rats had invaded from a shipwreck sometime in the past. We fished for cod and halibut, and later in the summer we’d fish for red, pink and dog salmon. We preserved fish by salting, drying, and smoking. We lived mostly on subsistence resources, because the supply ship came to Atka only twice a year, bringing in the staples we needed: butter, flour and sugar. Growing up I learned to fillet fish, hunt birds, harvest grass for weaving baskets, and gather roots, plants, and shellfish.
Community and Family
We have always had strong leaders in our communities. Traditionally a chief would inherit his position, but for his authority to be recognized he had to excel as a hunter and be spiritual, generous, fair and kind in his dealings with the people. The shamans, or medicine men, took care of the people’s medical needs. They possessed detailed knowledge of the human body and had names for every part of it, both inside and out. There were no elections until the U.S. government started them in the 1930s.
Russian fur traders came to the islands in the mid-eighteenth century following Vitus Bering’s discovery that sea otters were abundant there. The Russians set up a colony that lasted until 1867, and they were cruel, especially in the early years. They enslaved the people, forcing the men to hunt and the women to serve the traders. The population declined as a result of this mistreatment and disease until the majority of our people and over two-thirds of the original villages were lost. The Orthodox Church urged the Russian government to treat the people more kindly, and the situation improved. The Russians built schools to educate the Aleuts, and when the United States came in they reeducated us in the American way.
In December 1941, I was a twelve-year-old school girl when our teacher told us that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. In April we learned that an invasion of the Aleutian Islands was feared and that the United States wanted to get us out of the way of the war. Only a few weeks later the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor and invaded Attu and Kiska islands, at the west end of the chain. In June a U.S. Navy ship came to Atka to evacuate everyone. Before leaving, the navy burned our village to the ground, even the church. It was devastating to the whole community. No one was allowed to get anything from the houses before they were destroyed, and we left with only the clothes on our backs. No one told us our destination.
All of the Unangax̂ refugees were taken to internment camps in southeast Alaska. My family was at Killisnoo until 1945. It was very poorly set up, and we had little food and no medicine or appropriate housing. In that two and a half-year period we lost almost all of our elders and newborns, a total of seventeen deaths out of eighty-five who had left Atka together. We almost lost our culture entirely because of that, and the way I grew up no longer exists.
Before the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 everyone had summer camps. When we got food, we shared it, and you could use another person’s camp as long as you kept it clean and replenished what you used. Land claims introduced the word "mine," as in, “That’s mine. You can’t use it.” After that, people didn’t share as much and started expecting to be paid to do things instead of just helping, as in building a house. And the Native corporation leaders didn’t want to involve elders in the new enterprises, thinking they were too old and not ready to do things in the Western way.
Those were the negative effects of land claims, but things have improved over the years, and ANCSA has brought us many benefits. I first went to work for the Aleut Corporation as a receptionist in 1972 and was eventually employed in each of the departments. I wrote up land selections, helped with the accounting, and ended up getting elected to the board in 1976. I served until 2008, including a long term as president. It was a challenging and terrifying ride, because we were a “have not” corporation with no forests, oil or minerals on our lands to generate profits. Yet we needed to do the best we could to support our communities and shareholders. Your heart really has to be in it, because it takes a lot of personal sacrifice.
Ceremony and Celebration
Father Yakov Netsvetov (later Saint Yakov), whose mother came from our island, was the first resident priest. He consecrated the church on Atka in 1830, and ever since then Russian Orthodoxy has been a foundation of community life. Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter and other feast days mark our calendar of worship and celebration. Starring and masking – still practiced in some villages during the midwinter holidays – are similar to rituals carried out before the Russians came.
The original Unangax̂ festivals were held in the fall and winter, when people celebrated successful hunting and food gathering and asked for the animals to return. Those ceremonies survived Russian rule but were banned after the United States took over in 1867. In the decades that followed, the Aleuts adopted new music and dances for fun and entertainment, such as polkas, two-steps and waltzes. Since 1992, groups of young people have formed to restore and perform some of the original Unangax̂ dances.
Tags: Unangax̂, Aleut, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Take a virtual tour of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on-site art installations.
This collection was used as part of a professional development session.
How do birds stay warm, especially in some of the coldest places on Earth, like the Himalayas? Explore the science behind how bird feathers help them conserve body heat with Smithsonian ornithologist (bird nerd) Sahas Barve from the National Museum of Natural History. Sahas will explain the different parts of a feather, and the science behind feathers, and also help students identify patterns in feathers. He will show students how to make predictions, based solely on feathers, on the kind of climate a bird lived in. Students will also learn how birds use metabolic processes to essentially “shiver” to generate body heat when feathers aren’t enough. Sahas studies how birds stay warm across Earth’s highest mountain range, the Himalayas, and will use specimens and examples from his research throughout the program.
Name a topic that links science, history, art, and culture. How about color?
Let’s follow the theme of color through the vast collections of the Smithsonian Libraries, and make a few unexpected connections and discoveries.
Most of us take color for granted. We simply see it the moment that light beams from or reflects off an object, enters our eyes, and is processed by our brains. But do we stop to think what color actually is?
Journeying through the collections of the Smithsonian Libraries — from chemistry to catalogs, from colorblind tests to couture — we might see color in a new light.
This Learning Lab is based on the online exhibition, Color in a New Light, curated by Jennifer Cohlman Bracchi, Head Librarian, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The exhibition can be found here: https://library.si.edu/exhibition/color-in-a-new-light
This collection of items that Madison got at a young age that have influenced her years later in life. They give us insight into her passions and childhood. Each individual object acted as an introduction to an art form that Madison continued into her late teenage years, and continues today.
Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria, active Germany and USA, 1900–1985) was a student and teacher at the Bauhaus. This famous German art and design school, which operated from 1919 to 1933, sought to integrate art, design, and daily life. At the Bauhaus, Bayer experimented with geometry, photomontage, and functional typography to help forge a new approach to graphic design. He applied Bauhaus theories of art and design to commercial practice and promoted the Bauhaus legacy to the public during a prolific career spanning over six decades and two continents.
As a student during the early years of the Bauhaus, Bayer utilized hand-drawn letters and basic geometry to create posters, postcards, and murals. In 1925, he became a "young master" at the Bauhaus and established a modernized print shop in the school's new building in Dessau. Here, he deployed photography and machine-based printing to promote the school and its products, such as furniture, housewares, and wallpaper.
After leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, Bayer worked in Berlin and in 1938 he left Germany for New York City. He eventually moved to Aspen, Colorado, a town he helped transform into a thriving cultural center. In the United States, Bayer created information graphics, books, advertisements, exhibitions, architecture, and magazine layouts for diverse clients, and he pioneered the field of corporate design.
This exhibition marks the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, in 1919.
Many of the objects displayed in this exhibition, including all the works from the Bauhaus period, have been generously loaned by Merrill C. Berman. In 2015, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum acquired over 500 pieces documenting Bayer's later career, made possible through a gift from the Taub Foundation. They are presented here to the public for the first time.
What specifically is the role of the arts in helping us construct welcoming and inclusive societies for all through education?
This collection is the second in a series of four created to support the Re-Imagining Migration DC Seminar Series, held between December 2019 and March 2020. The seminar series is led by Verónica Boix Mansilla, Senior Principal Investigator for Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero, and Research Director for Re-Imagining Migration, with in-gallery experiences provided by educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the National Gallery of Art. This set of collections is designed to be dynamic. We will continue to add material, including participant-created content, throughout the seminar series so that the collections themselves can be used as a type of textbook, reflecting the content, development, and outputs of the full seminar series. Please check back to the hashtag #ReImaginingMigration to see a growing body of materials to support educators as they strive to serve and teach about human migration in relevant and deep ways.
Key to the question of justice in a world shaped by migration is the “recognition gap” – migrants/refugees having lost the status, belonging and recognition in the old land, find themselves unrecognized (viewed as less worthy or invisible) in the new. What are the practices of re-representation/de-stigmatization that prove most effective to bring to light our default “single stories” our “fear” ? What are the daily, aesthetic and cultural tools we have to contribute to the de-stigmatization the refugee, restoring dignity to his, her narrative? In what ways might different lenses (media, demographics, history, art) afford us insights that are unique and relevant?
In this session we examine the role of the arts to help us engage a topic as difficult and sensitive as the 70 million fellow human beings who have been forced to leave their home. Our goal is to begin to articulate what arts and artists do when inviting us to engage in complex issues. Because the particulars of a given lens are best highlighted in comparison with others we experience three lenses attempting to tell a similar story about the situation of refugees today: Art, photojournalism, demography.
Our approach: We experience Mosses, A WP visual essay and UNHCR report
We ask: about whom? By whom? For whom? How it speaks to me?
We then examine the unique affordances of the arts and how other lenses can intersect.
This resources in this collection provide a basic introduction to the life and work of Spanish artist Joan Miró.
This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories
Why art & resistance with Black women as subjects in a novel study of Beloved?
- This lesson may be used as a pre-reading and/ or during reading activity for a study of Toni Morrison's Beloved.
- The second of my eight quarter (2yr) literature course begins with the reading and critical interrogation of this Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award winning masterpiece.
- Since many learners carry the misperception that our world may be characterized as post-racial, they have a grossly limited view of how perceptions from so-called dominant groups may oppress racialized groups.
- This lesson/ collection is designed to help students construct meaning around the intersection of Black women as creatives/ subjects in literature & art and the concept of the gaze (i.e. the white gaze in the literary canon).
- For students who misperceive the small degree of diversity in the authors studied in their literature classes as post-racialism, it is important to acknowledge the space between where we presently are with respect where we aspire to be as prosumers of literature and art.
- The impetus for continuing to center our literature study in resistance stems from out study of the works of Toni Morrison and her professional ethos that her "sovereignty & authority as a racialized person...be struck immediately" in her writing while "...not speak[ing] for Black people;...[but]..speak[ing] to and be[ing] among [black people]". Her determination "to make sure that the white gaze was not the dominant one in any of [her] books" is an example of the importance and power of authentic creation.
#goglobal #andersonpetty #mgg #wissit2019 #tonimorrison #blackwomen
Back in the late 1970s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him: “An impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design? His answer is expressed in his ten principles for good design.
To understand what makes design good, we first must analyse how designers understand good design. You can do this by exploring the ‘Ten principles of good design’ by Dieter Rams (Vitsoe 2017).
- Explore the principles of good design developed by Dieter Rams
- Identify the impact of Dieter Rams on past present and future designs
- Analyse Dieter Rams objects to identify how the principles of good design are applied
- Consider how the principles of good design can be used to develop design criteria essential for measuring the success of design ideas
A prototype is an experimental model of an idea. It is a way to give our ideas a presence that we can put in front of someone else to see if our idea has value. It is important to match the fidelity of the prototype to the stage of the design process. At the beginning we want to use low-fidelity prototypes. Low-Fidelity prototyping refers to rapid prototyping from cheap, readily available materials. At this stage we are testing broad concepts such as materials, forms, usability.
This learning lab collection documents low-fidelity prototyping objects, techniques, activities and examples specific to Built Environment Design (Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture). This collection is designed for use by students, teachers and parents. After you explore this learning lab collection you will be ready to embark on your own prototyping adventures.
- Understand the materials used in low-fidelity prototyping
- Identify ways that designers gain inspiration for design ideas by exploring designed objects
- Consider how ideas can be represented, tested and iterated using prototypes
- Understand and explore techniques to create low-fidelity prototypes
- Consider how prototypes are used at various stages of the design process
This collection is designed to help teachers build their practice in the areas of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) and global competence. The resources in this collection can be used to lead a professional learning series on culturally responsive teaching as an instructional framework and the Instructional Try-its can be used as an entry point for teachers seeking to embed CRT into their practice. As suggested in the Powerpoint provided, a series on this topic could consist of six 35-60 minute sessions that occur on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Another approach for using this collection is to use the five Instructional Try-its to expand the number of weeks dedicated to this professional learning series.
Additional uses for the resources in this collection include:
1) examining the global competence framework developed by the Asia Society and the role that thinking plays in learning, instruction, and the development of certain dispositions or mindsets.
2) exploring the social action approach of culturally responsive teaching (which matches almost exactly with the “take action” piece of the global competence framework)
3) asking questions in order to understand the students’ lives and world views. Through the instructional try-Its, teachers can develop approaches and understandings that will help them empower their students as they learn to challenge the power structures that create inequities in access to power.
Note for users: To find detailed information on applicability and use of each thinking routine included in the collection, be sure to click on the tab marked with a paperclip.
The ocean covers the majority of the Earth and contains so many diverse creatures. Check out some of the objects in the Smithsonian collection related to the ocean.
This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories
- Compare and Contrast the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper to the Conehead Grasshopper
- Ability to move
- Shape and size
- Explore grasshopper's mouth pieces that are used for grinding
This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories