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  • Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Botany and Art: Their Roles in Conservation
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Students are introduced to the work of botanists and botanical illustrators, and specifically to their race to make records of endangered plant species around the world. Students examine illustrations, photographs, and dried specimens of endangered plants and consider the conservation value of an illustration over a photographic image. In a second session, students try their own hands at botanical illustration and follow the methods of a Smithsonian staff illustrator. Pencils, markers, tracing paper, and access to a photocopier are required.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Botany
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Author:
Smithsonian Institutions
Date Added:
08/10/2011
Decoding the Past: The Work of Archaeologists
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This site introduces students to archeology -- the study of material remains to learn about past human experiences. This lesson (Grades 3-8) discusses various challenges of an archaeologist: locating a site that will yield clues about the people who once lived there, conducting excavations, and more. Students identify artifacts from a contemporary setting, describe the function of each artifact, identify methods for dating soil layers, and interpret soil profiles.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/10/2004
Establishing Borders: The Expansion of the United States, 1846-48
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This site offers geography and history activities showing how two years in history had an indelible impact on American politics and culture. Students interpret historical maps, identify territories acquired by the U.S., identify states later formed from these territories, examine the territorial status of Texas, and identify political, social, and economic issues related to the expansion of the U.S. in the 1840s.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Reading
Unit of Study
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/24/2004
Introduction to the Nature Journal
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The purpose of this lesson is to show learners how to keep a nature journal. How to reflect, respond, and question the observations they see in the world.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
03/09/2014
Making Friends with Franklin
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This site introduces students to the world of Ben Franklin and other natural philosophers at a time when the word science had not yet entered our language. Portraits of Franklin's colleagues, an overview of his life, and experiments showing how electrical charges attract and repel are part of this lesson (for Grades 3-8).

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/10/2004
Minerals, Crystals, and Gems: Stepping Stones to Inquiry
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This site introduces students to mineral science and the scientific process -- observing things, forming hypotheses, and drawing conclusions. Students watch crystals grow, go on a scavenger hunt for minerals, and create a classroom exhibit of rocks and minerals (for Grades 3-8).

Subject:
Geology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/10/2004
Plants and Animals, Partners in Pollination
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This site helps students see how plants and animals interact to accomplish pollination. Students (Grades 3-8) identify plant and animal parts involved in pollination, connections between pollination and food production, relationships between pollinators and the plants they pollinate, and ways flowers have adapted to encourage pollination.

Subject:
Education
Biology
Botany
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/10/2004
Portraits, Visual and Written
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This site features Louisa May Alcott and Samuel Clemens. See excerpts from Alcott's girlhood journal and Little Women. Read Clemens' explanation of his white suit in Mark Twain's Autobiography and the last chapter of Tom Sawyer, where Huck Finn has fled the Widow Douglas's civilizing influence. Help students see that their own lives and views can be a basis for creative writing.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Visual Arts
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
07/05/2006
Reviled and Revered: Toads, Turtles, Snakes, Salamanders, and Other Creepers and Crawlers
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This site examines misconceptions about herps (the collective name given to reptiles and amphibians), how herps have been viewed throughout history, and how reptiles and amphibians are similar to and different from one another.

Subject:
Education
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/10/2004
Scientists @ the Smithsonian
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Video interviews with twenty Smithsonian scientists introduce students to the wide variety of work in the sciences. Students will learn the diverse pathways that these scientists took to enter their fields and they will see that many kinds of people become scientists.

Subject:
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Author:
Individual Authors
Date Added:
08/10/2011
Smithsonian Kids: Collecting
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This site invites kids to start a collection of rocks, shells, postcards, posters, or something else that interests them. Three Smithsonian collections are sampled. Rocks and Minerals includes the Hope Diamond; Stamps includes Western Cattle in Storm (1898); Historic Coins includes the Jefferson Indian Peace Medal.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
07/10/2003
Smithsonian Source: Civil Rights
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This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on the civil rights struggle. The teacher-developed resources in the section will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students.
Explore the variety of teaching strategies and guidelines, lesson plans and document-based questions (DBQs), and information about museum objects and other primary sources. You might get started by showing the video, in which Smithsonian curators examine a photograph of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. You can then help the students examine other historic photographs.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Smithsonian Source: Colonial America
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This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on the colonial period. The teacher-developed resources in the section will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. The lesson plans and DBQs are organized by grade level. The DBQ primary sources can stand alone in DBQ exercises. Images of the primary sources are independent of any extensive explanatory information, so that the images can be used as handouts.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/05/2006
Smithsonian Source: Invention
Conditions of Use:
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This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on American inventions and innovations. The teacher-developed resources in the section will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. You might get started by showing the video, which traces the development of the electric guitar.
The lesson plans and DBQs are organized by grade level. The DBQ primary sources can stand alone in DBQ exercises. Images of the primary sources are independent of any extensive explanatory information, so that the images can be used as handouts.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Smithsonian Source: Native American History
Conditions of Use:
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This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on Native history. The teacher-developed resources in the section will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. You might get started by reviewing the video on Lakota winter counts.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Smithsonian Source: Transportation
Conditions of Use:
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This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons that demonstrate the importance of travel and transportation in American life. The teacher-developed resources will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. You might start by viewing the short video, in which curators at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum discuss the achievements and legacy of Amelia Earhart.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Smithsonian Source: Westward Expansion
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This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on the expansion of the United States. The teacher-developed resources will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. You might get started by showing the video, in which Smithsonian art curator Richard Murray examines Emanuel Leutze's epic painting Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Tale of a Whale
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In this issue’s lesson, students exercise their observation skills to do some of the actual work of marine biologists who study the endangered North Atlantic right whale. They identify an individual whale by examining photographs taken at sea. They then examine a record of sighting of the whale in order to track its movements.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Under the Spell of ... Spiders!
Conditions of Use:
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Spiders are endlessly fascinating and a great school subject because they offer plenty of teachable topics that span the curriculum. We've tried to provide some of those topics here in these lessons, as for all their amazing physical features and unusual habits, spiders, with just a few notable exceptions, pose little threat to humans and are creatures deserving of understanding and respect. It's our hope that, as you work through the activities, your students will gain a new appreciation for spiders.

Subject:
Education
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Date Added:
09/10/2004