These images from the Smithsonian Institution depict Nancy Knowlton's work with snapping shrimp in Panama. Knowlton found that the closing of the isthmus -- dividing the Pacific Ocean from the Caribbean -- resulted in new species of shrimp. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.
The lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce the work of botanists and botanical illustrators, specifically their race to make records of endangered plant species around the world. “Very little of the world’s flora has been fully studied,” says one Smithsonian botanist, “and time is running out.” In the first lesson, students gets to know six endangered plants. They examine illustrations, photographs, and dried specimens of the plants as they consider this question: If a scientist can take a picture of a plant, are there advantages in having an illustration? They go on to consider some of the big questions that botanists themselves must ask: Which of these species are most in need of conservation efforts? Are any of these plants more worth saving than others?In the second lesson, the students try their own hands at botanical illustration, following the methods of a Smithsonian staff illustrator. All that is required for the lesson are pencils, markers, tracing paper, and access to a photocopier.
In pretending, we learn to navigate with ease between real and imaginary worlds while learning the differences between them. Using our imaginations encourages original thinking, flexibility, adaptability, empathy, and the ability to generate multiple solutions to a problem. Pretend play helps us learn to think visually and spatially and to both capture and express ideas.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab Space Suit Challenge engages students in examining a comprehensive space suit collection from the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum as a means to design future space suits.
This article describes online artifact collections available through the Arctic Studies Center, a part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The collection includes artifacts and background information about the peoples of Alaska and Northeast Siberia.
- Environmental Science
- Material Type:
- Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology
- Provider Set:
- Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: An Online Magazine for K-5 Teachers
- Robert Payo
- Date Added:
In this edition, UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler talks with Ira Michael Heyman, former Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley and former Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Chancellor Heyman discusses leadership, the challenges facing higher education and the problems of managing public museums. (58 min)
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.
- Arts and Humanities
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Smithsonian Institution
- Provider Set:
- Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
- Date Added:
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.
This online lesson provides perspectives from Native American community members and their supporters, images, news footage, an interactive timeline, and other sources about an important campaign to secure the treaty rights and sovereignty of Native Nations of the Pacific Northwest. Scroll to begin an exploration of the actions Native Nations took to address injustices.
This online lesson provides perspectives from Native American community members, images, objects, and other sources to help students and teachers understand the efforts of Native Nations of the Pacific Northwest to protect and sustain salmon, water, and homelands. Scroll to begin an exploration of the Pacific Northwest history and cultures.
This Teacher Resource Guide is designed for incorporation into history and social studies curricula. It will introduce your students to some of the events and issues that shaped George Washington’s life. The activities should enhance your students’ knowledge of Washington and expand their horizons about this complex and interesting man.
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.
This online exhibit explores the history and development of the electric guitar. It includes information about the instrument designers and the musicians who influenced the creation of new guitars and innovations in their sound. Examples of about 40 different guitars are included with descriptions of each. There is also information on how different types of acoustic and electric guitars operate with the sounds of each available for listening. Finally, addition information, references, and links are included.
Iowa celebrated its 150th anniversary of statehood in 1996 . [Photo by Dorothy Dvorachek] Meskwaki Singers and Dancers of Tama perform on the grounds of the state capitol at the 1996 Festival of Iowa Folklife. As part of that celebration, some 150 Iowa musicians, craftspeople, storytellers, radio announcers, farmers, cooks, doctors, basketball players, teachers, scholars, and state officials participated in the Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of American Folklife on the National Mall of the United States in Washington, D.C. They demonstrated various aspects of Iowa’s cultural traditions to more than 1.2 million visitors, and received a great deal of media attention—generating some 600 newspaper articles and 50 television and radio segments. This living exposition of Iowa’s cultures was remounted on the State Capitol Grounds in Des Moines in August 1996. Over 85,000 people visited this Festival of Iowa Folklife. In addition, the festivals generated an Iowa Public Television documentary, Iowa Folks ...
Smithsonian Magazine: This Was Life for Japanese-Americans During WWII
February 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, a document that President Roosevelt signed in 1942, two months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The order resulted in the imprisonment of 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals in prison camps across the country, many being relocated far from home. Some 40 years later, the U.S. Congress formally recognized that the rights of the Japanese American community had been violated and President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing an apology and restitution to the living Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II.
Archeology offers the most tangible evidence of earlier civilizations. Although archeology has already provided invaluable information pertaining to the life styles and skills of the peoples from this region of West Africa, the archaeological record is still incomplete. The figurative sculptures featured in this resource furnish one part of the historical puzzle of this region. These handsome terracotta sculptures are from the Inland Niger Delta region near Djenne (pronounced JEH-nay; also spelled Jenne), one of several important trading cities that grew and developed during the Mali Empire.
This resource is a phenomenon-based adaption to the Smithsonian's STCMS Matter and Its Interactions kit. The anchoring phenomenon event features a railroad tanker that collapses due to the phase changes of water that was used to clean it. Students will investigate what causes phase changes, energy transfer, thermal energy, the law of conservation of mass, and atoms and molecules throughout the three week unit.
This is a repository of various sites where OER materials can be found related to art history. Some, like that for the Smithsonian Museum, is useful for finding specific objects and information about them held by that museum. Other sites like Art Story (reviewed elsewhere on OER Commons) are more general textual sites for art historical periods. It is a good starting place for finding OER materials.
This module introduces students to minerals, crystals, and gems by using pictures and discussions of some of the extraordinary specimens residing in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution. It includes three lessons in which they draw pictures of specimens, grow their own crystals of magnesium sulfate, and perform a scavenger hunt in which they look for minerals in commonly used objects and products.
This activity “Becoming aware of the Japanese American Internment Camp Experience” is intended to help students become aware of, and sensitive to, the Japanese American interment camp experience. They will develop a sense of empathy by simulating the situations which Japanese American children faced.