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Surprises in Mind
One-hour video documentary for K-8 teachers follows a 12-year study that shows how mathematical creativity – valued by industry and expressed in art, architecture, and music – is built into the brain and can flourish under the right conditions.
Provider: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
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You Can Count on Art
Downloadable PDF activity sheet that asks students to look closely at two American paintings. They count things they find in the pictures: the number of children, the number of birds, etc. The sheet includes a word scramble game and an idea for writing a story based on one of the pictures.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
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Math Quilts
Lesson in which students examine geometric quilt patterns to learn how math may have been used to help slaves escape to freedom. They slide, flip, and turn geometric shapes to create their own quilt with map of how to “escape” the classroom and head to the school front door.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
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Shadow Games
Lesson plan experimenting with the distance of light sources to see how it affects the shapes of shadows. Students experiment with distances, record the results in a data table, and discover the relationship between distance, light source, and dimension of the shadow.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8
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Apples and Onions
Teacher-created lesson that introduces young students to symmetry and asymmetry, and to patterns and design in nature.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
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Art to Zoo: 200 Years and Counting: How the U.S. Census Tracks Social Trends (1990)
Lesson plan in which students learn how census data is collected and how it is used. Students fill out census forms and interpret information from graphs, tables, and other information displays.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): General audience
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Courtyard Design
Teacher-created lesson in which students design and construct a proportionally accurate model of their "dream playground/courtyard.”
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
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Cutting Corners — Parts 1 & 2
Teacher-created math lesson in which students use their knowledge of optimization in a study of commercial packaging.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
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Design a Better Classroom Workplace
Teacher-created math lesson in which students find a more efficient arrangement for their classroom. They use area formulas to identify any problems with the existing arrangement. They use volume formulas to design a solution.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Design a CSA Food Market
Teacher-created lesson in which students design a system of community-supported agriculture (CSA). Includes such math applications as measurement and geometry.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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