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To March or Not to March
Activity guide has students pretend to be an American living in 1963 who decides whether or not to join the March on Washington. Children base their choice on information gathered through guided observation of a handbill from the march. Part of the resource “Martin's Big Words.” Targets grades 3-5.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
Overall Rating:  

Agayuliyararput: Our Way of Making Prayer
Native Alaskan Yup´ik material presented from a Yup´ik perspective. Highlights 27 Yup´ik objects. Includes background essay, images of masks and costumes, and videos of performances.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

American Railroads in the 20th Century
Webpage about American railroads during the 20th century. This reference page included in the America on the Move online exhibit tracks the development and impact (economic and social) of the American railroad from 1870 to today. Artifacts and period photographs enhance the presentation.
Provider: National Museum of American History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Arago: People, Postage, and the Post
Website with resources on philately and postal operations offers tools for searching the Postal Museum’s collections, creating virtual collections with notes, and viewing exhibits.
Provider: National Postal Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

Art to Zoo: India—Where Remarkable Differences Are Ordinary (1986)
Online issue inviting educators and their students to learn about India, its culture, and the lives of its children.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  

Art to Zoo: The Children Raised Kale: A Story of Growing…and Growing…from Seed to Maturity (1983)
Online issue introducing students to gardening and plants. Activities center on the student’s knowledge of plant parts and products after a class visit to a garden.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  

Art to Zoo: Under the Spell of. . . Spiders! (1994)
The issue presents curriculum-spanning ways of teaching about spiders. Includes teacher background, lessons, and a bilingual student page.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  

Artificial Anatomy Homepage
Online exhibit highlighting the Museum’s varied collection of papier-mâché anatomical models. Focuses on two themes, the history and use of papier-mâché anatomical models and their construction, conservation and preservation. Also includes an interactive game and searchable database of anatomical models. Targets grades 6-12.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Artists and Environmental Sustainability: Video Art, Ecology and the Work of Paul Ryan
Webinar in which Smithsonian archivist Charles Duncan discusses the emergence of video as a medium and how it has been used by such environmentally minded artists as Paul Ryan.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Atmosphere: Change Is in the Air
Classroom activities where students discover how the ever-changing atmosphere transports substances around the globe, protects life from destruction, and supports millions of chemical reactions. Choose from several lessons about the role of the atmosphere and how climate change affects this role.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Be a Movie Director
Interactive game helping develop research skills and explore the Museum’s collections by creating a movie using images from an online image database. This interactive is included in the online exhibit America on the Move.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Beyond the Beef
Lesson focuses on products that are derived from beef cattle beyond meat and meat products. See animal agriculture as an important part of our everyday lives. Includes extension activities.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  
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Blast from the Past
Lesson plan looking at design as both the product created and the process of its creation. Students examine the design of past products and how these products served a past era, then imagine how life would be impacted if these tools had never been made.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
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Chairs, Chairs Everywhere…
Lesson designed to help students become aware of the multitude of design variations in everyday objects by conducting surveys, collecting information, and creating a catalog of chairs. Students reflect on design elements at a mock design show with awards for chairs based on different design criteria.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Creating in the Style of …
In this lesson plan, students analyze key components of a portrait, connecting visual elements to the relevant historical context and significance. They then engage in an art project that focuses on the style of one of four artists in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Reflections/Refractions.
Provider: National Portrait Gallery
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Drive Through Time
Game has players use a virtual time machine to explore modes of transportation during four different eras and create a photo album of their trip using period photographs. This game is included in the online exhibit America on the Move.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  

Edison Invents
Online exhibit about Thomas Alva Edison's creative genius. He gave us electric lights in our home; a system to produce and deliver electric power; was the first to record sound and started the recording industry; and he developed the first movie camera and produced the first movies. The exhibit includes a biography of Edison, instructions on how to make a light bulb, an interactive game and a list of recommended resources.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

Expedition to Galapagos
Website follows the expedition to film the IMAX movie Galapagos. Includes videos, biographies of the scientists involved, maps, general introduction to the Galapagos, information on new species, trip journal, and image gallery.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, General audience
Overall Rating:  

Exploring Soils
Lesson plan investigating soils. Learn about soil texture, soil water-holding capacity, and other properties of soils. Includes printable handouts for two activities, group discussion questions, and extensions.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Exploring the Gettysburg Address
Teacher's guide included in the online exhibit, The Gettysburg Address. Includes tips on how to use the interactive document tool, suggested discussion questions, and recommended resources.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Fifteen Objects That Changed Postal History
Online exhibition using 15 objects (and related objects) to trace major changes in postal history. These objects, with high-quality images and descriptions, represent changes in the way patrons used the mail system, how the mail is processed, how it is transported, and how mail carriers have delivered the mail.
Provider: National Postal Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
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Frontier Photographer: Edward Curtis
Online exhibition on the photos of frontier photographer Edward Curtis. His work was an attempt to capture images of American Indians as they lived before contact with Anglo cultures. Includes biographic details, images, and accompanying primary document quotes.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

Human Origins Program: In Search of What Makes Us Human
Website presenting scientific knowledge concerning human evolution. Includes evidence for human evolution, the hypothesized genesis of human characteristics, early human species, a look at human fossils, early human behaviors, human evolution research, lesson plans, educators guide, students section, multimedia resources, and current news in evolution.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Looking at Learning...Again, Part 1
Eight-part video workshop featuring seven leading math and science educators sharing their ideas on how children really learn.
Provider: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): All grades
Overall Rating:  

Math Can Be Electrifying
Multi-disciplinary lesson showing how math can be used to calculate and analyze how electricity use causes air pollution. Students design a family education campaign on how to save electricity. Students create a graph comparing energy savings on two different electricity bills.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  

Mr. Lincoln’s Airforce
Webinar in which Tom Crouch of the National Air and Space Museum discusses Abraham Lincoln’s embrace of new technology and his establishment of a balloon corps for reconnaissance missions during the Civil War.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Na Leo Hawai’i: Musics of Hawai’i
Webpage showcases music's defining role in the history and identity of Hawaiians. Offers video and audio recording of Hawaiian musical performance, from mele to slack-key guitar.
Provider: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

Reflections on Earth: Exploring Earth from Space Teaching Poster
Teaching poster featuring a satellite image of the Washington, DC, area. Includes an activity with background information on satellite images and a lesson on using these images to study Earth.
Provider: National Air and Space Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Science and Natural History Books, Catalogs, and Posters from SITES
Choose from a selection of books and posters for purchase from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Topics range from space exploration to national parks to spiders.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

Smart Growth: Reshaping Communities
Lesson introducing students to smart growth (community development that serves the economy, the community, and the environment) as they explore a model community, plan a smart growth community, and present their designs.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Smithsonian Associates
Website for the Smithsonian Associates, a cultural, educational, and membership division of the Smithsonian Institution, recognized as the largest and most esteemed museum-based continuing education program in the nation. Register for lectures, performances, studio arts, museum sleepovers, and more. Registration and fee required for most programs.
Provider: The Smithsonian Associates
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
Webpage for this research center specializing in marine biodiversity and ecosystems of Florida. Includes image gallery, species inventory, information on species names, general introduction to biodiversity, maps, virtual tours of their sea exhibit, and contact information.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Striking a Balance
Lesson plan presenting an outdoor activity which demonstrates the principles and dynamics of food chains. A role playing game shows how energy is transferred from the sun to individual plants and then to individual animals.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Thar She Blows
Learn how El Niño was formed and how it has affected global wind patterns. Simulation of weather forces created by students.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  

The Amistad Case
Webpage presenting the story of the slave uprising on the ship Amistad and points readers toward portraits related to the event.
Provider: National Portrait Gallery
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement
Webpage describing the Audubon movement of the 1890s who was dedicated to the conservation of birds. Historical context is presented through artifacts and primary sources. Includes the threat birds faced due to hunting and fashion trends.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

The Humanitarian Side of Architecture
Lesson exploring the role that architects have in rebuilding communities after natural disasters. Teaches about the aftermath of the 1906 California earthquake and current efforts to rebuild after natural disasters. Students research current rebuilding efforts and present their findings.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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The Language of Native American Baskets from the Weavers’ View
Website explores the idea that we can understand baskets through the details of their making. Includes examples, techniques, tools, and descriptions of the values embedded in basket design and creation.
Provider: National Museum of the American Indian
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

Treasures of American History: American Biography
Online exhibit presenting biographies of several important Americans that reflect the circumstances of their times, providing a personal perspective on the past, and making up a fascinating and multifaceted portrait of American achievement. Includes a Spanish translation.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

What can science tell us about American history?
Webinar in which Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide take you inside the real world of forensic investigations. They lay out their evidence in cases dating from the earliest English settlement in America to modern times. Educator Robert Costello is on hand to show how one case—a four-hundred-year-old murder mystery—has been adapted into an entertaining “webcomic” for classroom learning.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Young America Lesson Plan: George Washington
In this lesson, students use a combination of artwork, everyday objects, and primary sources to learn about George Washington’s life and leadership during and after the American Revolution.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
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Zoos: A Historical Perspective
Online exhibition with a collection of pamphlets and guide books published by zoos over the past century has been collected by the National Zoological Park branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. This online sample of these items, which includes maps, drawings and photographs of zoos from over 30 states and 40 countries is intended to highlight the value of this resource for both zoo and cultural historians.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
Overall Rating:  

Anthropology Teaching Activities: Archeology in the Classroom
Two student activities explore the relationship between material remains and activities in different areas. Students look at trash from around the school or objects hidden in a sandbox to simulate how archaeologists learn about a people from the objects they leave behind.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Postcards: The Write Stuff
Student activity provides writing practice: penning a postcard message, and creating illustrated postcards.
Provider: National Postal Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  
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A Century of Challenge and Change: The Filipino American Story Curriculum
Curriculum guide exploring topics in Philippine history including colonization, immigration to the United States, and influence on modern America. Includes lesson plans, downloadable guide, resources, and link to interactive website for students.
Provider: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
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Andean Rhythms: A Children’s Workshop
Workshop handout on the music of the Andean region. Includes a glossary of music terms, instructions for making a panpipe, and brief histories of Andean instruments. Bilingual English/Spanish.
Provider: Smithsonian Latino Center
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  
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Candy Land
Lesson has students pretend that they have been hired by a candy manufacturer to design a new product's box. They explore how boxes of different shapes can have the same volume and create a candy box of specific volume that must meet specific criteria.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  
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From Carbons to Computers: The Changing American Office
Lesson plans that focuses on the history of the office to enrich understanding of trade, commerce, and economics, from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Age.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Gallery Guide: The Arts of Buddhism
Gallery guide presenting key points about Buddhism in India, Tibet, China, and Japan. Presents examples of the Buddhist art in the Freer and Sackler galleries. Includes a bibliography.
Provider: Freer and Sackler Galleries
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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How Things Fly Teaching Poster
Teaching poster that includes classroom and gallery activities designed to prepare students for a visit to How Things Fly, an interactive exhibition on the physics of flight.
Provider: National Air and Space Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  
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Corridos sin Fronteras
Website where you can learn about, listen to, and write corridos, narrative songs. Includes videos and information on the history of corridos, timeline with important historical events and the corridos written about them, music samples, biographies of modern corridor artists, glossary, articles and publications, and lesson plans.. Bilingual English-Spanish.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Embracing the Impossible
Teaching poster and lesson plan guiding students to analyze primary documents that relate to popular responses to the airplane in the early 1900s.
Provider: National Air and Space Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
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Food Web: Hold the Anchovies
Lesson plan for learning how El Niño events are predicted. Looks at El Nino’s impact on weather, ecosystems, and the food chain. Includes practice in scientific inquiry. Uses the computer and internet to find and organize information.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Lewis & Clark: Mapping the West
Website about the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Includes an extensive retelling of the expedition, Lewis and Clark maps and other primary resources, related activities and lesson plans, and biographies of historic figures.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Campfire Stories with George Catlin: An Encounter of Two Cultures: A Guide for Teachers
Teachers’ page using art, artifacts, and primary source texts to bridge American history, geography, art appreciation, environmental conservation, and multicultural studies. Features lesson plans.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
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Devi: The Great Goddess
Website looking at six aspects of the Indian Goddess Devi. These six aspects are the different forms she takes and the functions these forms have. Includes information on the contemporary and historical worship of Devi, activities for children and families, and a list of resources on South Asian arts and cultures.
Provider: Freer and Sackler Galleries
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Art to Zoo: Small Worlds: Stamps as Storytellers (1980)
Lesson plan demonstrating how stamps can illustrate events and ideas within a single small picture—in this case, ideas and events related to westward expansion. A mini-article and pullout page about a postal mascot, Owney the Dog, is also included in English and Spanish.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
Overall Rating:  

Beyond the Frame: Using Art as a Basis for Interdisciplinary Learning
In these lesson plans, students look for meanings behind artworks in the Smithsonian collections.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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How does design solve everyday problems?
From the chair in which you’re sitting to the town in which you live, everything around you is the result of the work of designers. Some of it is successful and some of it isn’t, but it all exists to fulfill human needs. In this webinar, curator Ellen Lupton and educator Caroline Payson look at the ideas behind cutting-edge household items, from a glow-in-the-dark electrical cord to a camera for the blind. Discover how designers came up with these wild ideas and how you and your class might follow their lead.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Is El Nino Coming?
Learn how El Niño events are predicted. Includes impacts on weather and precipitation around the world. Uses maps and graphs to encourage scientific inquiry.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Panda Cut Out Mask
Cut-out panda mask for children.
Provider: National Zoological Park
Grade(s): PreK–3
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Saris, Kimonos, Togas & Smocks: Exploring Clothing Across Cultures (4-8)
Activity in which students conduct collaborative Internet research on the social purposes of clothing, learn about different types of clothing, and create a presentation.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  

Smithsonian Scrapbook: Letters, Diaries & Photographs from the Smithsonian Archives
Online resource presenting background information and primary source materials on a variety of noteworthy historical subjects, ranging from the Wright brothers to James Smithson. Materials include documents, photographs, and more.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Archives
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
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The Postmaster's Challenge
Game styled after “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” tests children's knowledge of postal history and stamp collecting.
Provider: National Postal Museum
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Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
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Corridos for Social Justice
Lesson plan has students examine the relationship between corridos lyrics and other primary sources. In the process, they will expand their historical thinking by interpreting “texts” developed from the perspective of those who have struggled for social justice. Examines questions on immigration, human and civil rights, and social justice. Bilingual English/Spanish.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Holding Out for A Hero and Exhilarating Exhibits
Two lesson plans examining what makes a hero. Students discuss the concept then look at sports legend and humanitarian Roberto Clemente, asking what elements of his life make him a hero. The class creates an exhibit dedicated to heroes and discusses who should be included.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Measurement via Triangulation
Lesson plan that uses triangulation techniques to determine measurements, including the altitudes of objects. Includes printable protractor and suggested alternative or expansion lessons. Intended to accompany a discussion of the 2004 Transit of Venus.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Agriculture in Your Life
Student activity to match everyday products with agricultural sources that can be found on the prairie. Extensions suggest that students visit a farm and/or meet with the farm family. Includes printable activity sheet.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
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A House Divided: Civil War Photography
In this lesson, students examine a set of photographs and place them into the historical context of the Civil War.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Batting Practice and Poetry in Motion
Two lesson plans on the life of Roberto Clemente. Students look at statistics of his baseball career, using mathematics to gauge his athleticism, use visual art skills to create an action portrait of Clemente, and write a poem inspired by his famous quotes and centered on themes in his life.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Collecting and Using Data
Lesson plan has students collect data in a systematic manner, use that data to construct a table, and review the data table to identify and report on patterns. Can be used with a variety of content.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Wolastoqewiyik Education Guide
Teacher's guide focusing on the First Nations community of New Brunswick, Canada. Contains two lessons aligned to national standards exploring the interdependency of all living things from the Wolastoqewiyik perspective and the importance of rivers to communities like First Nations.
Provider: National Museum of the American Indian
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Grade(s): 4–8
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A Letter to Abraham Lincoln Homepage
Parent's guide with children's activities based on a reading of Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers, a children's book telling the story of Grace Bedell and the famous letter she sent to Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Also includes links to hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings for further exploration.
Provider: National Museum of American History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
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Art to Zoo: Magic in Your Mailbox: Learning from Letters and Other Mail (1993)
Online issue commemorating the opening of the National Postal Museum. In lesson plans, students evaluate and analyze letters, as well as write their own.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
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Comparing Confederate and Union Soldiers in the Civil War
Lesson plan uses primary sources as the inspiration for comparing and contrasting soldiers on either side of the Civil War. After examining uniforms and viewing two short video clips, students will develop questions and conduct short research projects to uncover the motivations behind the Civil War and the conditions for the soldiers who fought. Targets grades 6-9.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Earl’s Canoe: A Traditional Ojibwe Craft
Documentary preview illustrating the process of canoe-making within Native American traditional culture. Includes discussion of respect for nature in the Ojibwe Nation. Purchase required.
Provider: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
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Earth from Space Activity Guide
Ten-question activity guide that encourages readers to take a closer look at some of the satellite images featured in the Earth from Space exhibition. A complement to any ecology, geology, or environmental science curriculum.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
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Gallery Guide: Arts of the Islamic World
Website examining both the diversity of Islamic art and its distinguishing features. Includes background information on calligraphy, abstract design, the creation of manuscripts, and object decoration.
Provider: Freer and Sackler Galleries
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Geometric Shapes Collage
Lesson plan has students identify different geometric shapes and use the different shapes to build a collage. Includes alternative lessons for more advanced activities.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
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Grade(s): PreK–3
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Grizzly Survival
Interdisciplinary lesson looking at the Grizzly bear of North America. Provides historical context, from Lewis and Clark's descriptions of grizzlies, to Native American rituals, to modern conservation efforts. Students examine the impact of an increase of human settlements on grizzlies today.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Maritime Nation 1800-1850
Section of the online exhibit On the Water: Stories from Maritime America focused on the maritime history of the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century. Learn how shipbuilders, mariners, and maritime merchants helped the new nation defend itself and grow. Topics covered are the roles that privateers played during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, immigration, early steam travel and coastal shipping in the Atlantic Ocean, the California Gold Rush, and the life-saving technology that was used to rescue the victims of shipwrecks.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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New York – The Connected City
Online exhibit exploring how early America’s dependence on maritime shipping made New York City and its harbor America’s connecting point to the world. This is the sixth section of the online exhibit entitled America on the Move.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 9–12
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One Life: Walt Whitman, a Kosmos
Online exhibition celebrating the life and work of Walt Whitman. Presents a timeline of his life, highlighting important events and peers with portraits, a reading of “Leaves of Grass”, Walt Whitman's own reading of “America,” an essay on his work, and a look at his artistic heirs.
Provider: National Portrait Gallery
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Grade(s): General audience
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Resources for Teaching American History: Colonial America
The multimedia site includes teacher-selected primary sources, Advanced Placement DBQs on the causes of the American Revolution, lesson plans on the Boston Massacre and the Stamp Act, and a video on forensic anthropology.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Scramble
Game encouraging children to unscramble different images related to the postal service.
Provider: National Postal Museum
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Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
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The Soldier's Experience- Vietnam versus World War I
Lesson plan has students analyze museum artifacts and first-person accounts of daily life as a soldier in World War I and the Vietnam War. After research, students take on different roles to create a newscast about the experience of fighting in these two wars. Targets grades 6-12.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Using Means, Medians, and Modes
Lesson plan. Students calculate means, medians and modes for a series of observations, enter the information on data tables, and create reports. Can use information from various sources with any type of content.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
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Grade(s): 4–8
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Vietnam Documentary Footage of the Huey
Video consisting of selections from a documentary on the use of the Huey helicopter during the Vietnam War. This video accompanies The Price of Freedom: Americans at War online exhibit and is meant for use with “The Soldiers Experience” lesson plan. Targets grades 2-12.
Provider: National Museum of American History
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Grade(s): All grades
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Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past Visions of an American Future Teaching Guide
Six lessons on the “history of the future” (how we have envisioned the future). Imagine and plan a future city, explore aspects of heritage to pass on to the future, and analyze how the design of the built environment will shape life in the future.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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A Brush with History Teaching Guide
Lesson plans providing an in-depth exploration of selected historical figures and their contributions to the history of the United States. The guide is organized by thematic unit: from revolution to constitution, those inventive Americans, and abolition and the Civil War. Each unit contains background information about the individuals and their portraits, related questions and activities, a bibliography, and a reproduction of each portrait.
Provider: National Portrait Gallery
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Portraits of the Presidents
Set of lesson plans designed to introduce students to the presidents and the role of the presidency in American history through portraiture. Each activity includes objectives, procedures, related standards in historical thinking, the level of difficulty (elementary, middle, and upper), worksheets, and other supplemental materials.
Provider: National Portrait Gallery
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Grade(s): All grades
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Art to Zoo: Africa Behind and Beyond the Headlines (1980)
Lesson plan introducing students to the interplay between environment and traditional culture in sub-Saharan Africa. Students learn about the significance of African masks and create their own masks.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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African Voices
Website exploring the diversity and global influence of African culture. Includes interactive historical timeline from pre-history to the present, an exploration of overarching themes, highlighted African art, interviews with modern Africans, a bibliography, and interactive maps.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
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Grade(s): 4–8
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Apollo 11: Walking on the Moon
Downloadable PDF activity sheet devoted to the 1969 moon landing. Includes a space-based word game.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
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Grade(s): PreK–3
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Brown v. Board of Education Electronic Field Trips
Videos of electronic field trips to the museum providing viewers with a 20-minute tour by curators of the exhibit Separate is Not Equal: Brown v Board of Education, followed by a 30-minute videotaped question session about court decision and its legacy. One video targets middle schoolers; the other high schoolers.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Explore the Space Hangar
Downloadable PDF self-guided tour of James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Includes many educational activities for students.
Provider: National Air and Space Museum
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance
Website of exhibit featuring innovations in technical textiles. Shows new materials revolutionizing the fields of architecture, apparel, medicine, transportation, aerospace, and the environment. Includes game and videos of textiles in use.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
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Grade(s): General audience
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Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth (PDF)
Information sheet for use in lessons on the first Thanksgiving. Includes which Native peoples met the Europeans in 1621, the harvest celebration, the Wampanoag today, the importance of corn, and a Johnny cake activity.
Provider: National Museum of the American Indian
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Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
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Native American Games, Dances, and Crafts Bibliography
List of references on North American games, dances, and crafts.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Workers at the White House
Documentary of White House workers including butlers, maids, doormen, chefs, plumbers, and others. Watch and listen to the workers’ experiences as they give the historical home and landmark a more personal narrative. Targets grades 6-12. Video available for purchase.
Provider: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
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Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Smithsonian In Your Classroom: A Shape Note Singing Lesson (2000)
Issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom detailing the history and mechanics of shape-note singing, a tradition with roots in the American South. Includes lesson plan and handouts to teach students the art of shape-note singing.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
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Grade(s): 4–8
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An Exploration of Automotive Design
Students look at car design to explore the tension between aesthetics and functionality in design. For further exploration, students look at car advertisements and ask which elements the ads are emphasizing. Students then design their own car exteriors.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
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