Interactives & Media

A complete listing of all the standards-based educational resources that includes audio, video, and interactive resources. Many of these resources are designed to be used by the learner without help from a teacher or parent.


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The Jefferson Desk and the Declaration of Independence

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Primary Source
Date Posted: 11/11/2009

This object-based learning activity revolves around the desk on which Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. Students will learn how the Jefferson desk can help them understand the meaning of the Declarati...


The Life and Music of Celia Cruz: Her Music

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Primary Source
Date Posted: 5/11/2012

This resource offers audio samples of Cruz's music and video clips of her life and performances. In addition to salsa, Celia Cruz performed many genres of Afro-Caribbean songs, including the Cuban son, Puerto Rican bomba and plena, the Dominican m...


The Lincoln-Keckley Dress: Slavery, Women's History, and Race

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Primary Source
Date Posted: 11/8/2009

This object-based learning activity revolves around a dress that connects the lives of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley, a popular African-American dressmaker who lived in Washington, D.C at the time of the Civil War. Students will lea...


The Object of History

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Interactives & Media
Date Posted: 11/2/2009

This resource includes an introductory essay entitled Looking at Artifacts, Thinking about History , 6 sections that each focus on an object from the collections of the Museum, an archive of curator commentary, and an onlin...


The PQ.17 Tragedy: Alan Harvie, Engineer, and John “Sarge” Ransome, Deck Department

Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Worksheets
Duration: 20 Minutes
Date Posted: 4/6/2012

Alan Harvie and John “Sarge” Ransome served about the SS Honomu sailing the Murmansk Run to the Soviet Union.  Listen to their story, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resource ...


The President Has Many Roles

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media
Date Posted: 6/10/2008

On June 29, 1950, President Truman performed all seven presidential jobs. In this activity, students will learn about the Presidency by looking at an excerpt of the President's schedule from that day and match the events with the correct role of t...


The President's Seal

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 6/10/2008

Why does the Presidential seal look the way that it does? In this activity, students will be able to explore the symbolism on the Presidential seal, color the seal how they would like and then create a new seal! As part of the Smithsonian's Nation...


The Price of Doing Business: Joseph Hawkins, American Officer on a Slave Ship

Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Worksheets
Duration: 9 Minutes
Date Posted: 4/2/2012

Joseph Hawkins was one of many workers aboard a slave ship in the 1700’s. Listen to a dramatic reading of his narrative, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resource is part of a series call...


The Roosevelts: A Conversation with Ken Burns

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Reference Materials
Duration: 62 Minutes
Date Posted: 9/16/2014

This archived webcast features filmmaker Ken Burns discussing this documentary  The Roosevelts: An Intimate History . The webcast included historian Clay Jenkinson, Smithsonian curator Harry Rubenstein, and Roosevelt...


The Short-Handled Hoe and Bracero History

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Primary Source
Date Posted: 11/8/2009

This object-based learning activity revolves around the short-handled hoe, the bracero program, Cesar Chavez and the organizing of Latino farm workers in the American southwest after World War II. Students will learn about t...

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Featured Artifact

Creek War Flag

The Creek War began on August 30, 1813, when a faction of Creek known as the Red Sticks attacked a contingent of 553 American settlers at Lake Tensaw, Alabama, north of...