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Quiz your students on the U.S. presidents; awe your friends with handpicked photographic art. In the Learning Lab, you can share your personalized collections of Smithsonian resources with the world. Become part of a collaborative, global community of learners who are passionate about adding to and bringing to light new knowledge, ideas, and insight.

Suggested Resources

 

Writing Inspiration: Using Art to Spark Narrative Story Elements

The Smithsonian museum collection inspires many to research the history behind artifacts, but this collection explores the use of art and artifacts to spark creative story writing. Students will choose artifacts to craft characters, a setting, and a plot conflict to create and write a narrative story.

Targeted Vocabulary: Narrative, protagonist , antagonist, character, character traits, setting, plot, climax, and conflict.

After reading and analyzing several narrative stories for story elements such as character, setting, plot, climax, and conflict, students will use this collection to begin planning their own narrative stories.
Individuals or partners will first view the portraits and discuss possible stories behind each face before choosing a protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters. They may begin to discuss and imagine character traits for each subject.
Next, the student will select a landscape setting in which the story may take place. The writer will describe the landscape, imagine a time period, and name the location.
Finally, the student will either choose an action artifact around which to build a major plot event, or have that slide as a minor scene in their story.
Students may use the Question Formulation Technique to garner ideas for background stories behind the faces. http://rightquestion.org/
Once the story elements are in place, the students may begin to draft narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

With the artifacts selected as the major story elements, the students may begin crafting their narrative story. The artifacts can then be displayed as illustrations in the published narratives.
Kathy Powers
66
 

Communication

How do you communicate? Through words? Body language? A facial expression? Explore the different ways people and animals communicate.

Maureen Leary
88
 

My Smithsonian Closet

You could be exceptionally well-dressed if the Smithsonian were your closet.
Kate Harris
29
 

Historic Iditarod Trail

This collection explores the timeline of Alaska's Historic Iditarod Trail.
Jen Reiter
26
 

Mars

A current elementary or middle school student will most likely be the first human to step foot on Mars. In this episode of STEM in 30, we will investigate the plans to send humans to Mars and the ongoing research into water and the possibility of life on the Red Planet.

October 21, 2015


This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.

STEM in 30 at National Air and Space Museum
28
 

Angles in Motion

Students will first observe the portrait of Martha Graham, and figure out who she is based on what it communicates about her. Then the observation of the angles in her pose will help students create a scale drawing of this piece. This activity combines thinking routines about looking at a portrait with the mathematical concepts of angles and scale.

Created for the National Portrait Gallery Learning to Look Summer Institute, 2016 #NPGteach
Rachel Slezak
7
 

The NHD @ NMAAHC Collection Connection Grid 2017: Taking a Stand in History

Welcome to the National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection Grid for the 2017 NHD Theme!

Below are some objects and videos to help you explore the 2017 NHD theme: Taking a Stand in History. These objects will help you consider the perspective of the African American experience in history.

These objects may help you form an idea for a project topic or they may help to expand the narrative of your selected project. Click on the text icon for possible project connections and/or the hotspots to reveal object questions to spark your curiosity.

The artifact questions should encourage viewers to think and explore the history of the object or video on their own!

NMAAHC Education
45
 

Animal Adaptations: Beaks

A collection focused on a variety of bird beaks and their functions: including Sharp Beaks, Flat Beaks, Conical Beaks, Chisel Beaks, Probing Beaks, Filter Beaks, Curved Beaks and Fishing Beaks.
Jon Berg
15