Lessons & Activities

A complete listing of all the standards-based educational resources designed to be facilitated by a teacher or parent.


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Day of the Dead

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities, Worksheets
Date Posted: 10/22/2008

This online exhibition provides information that will help students learn the origins of the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), how it was been celebrated traditionally and how it is being celebrated now. The exhibition includes links to online...


Dear Mr. President

Grade Range: 3-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Worksheets
Date Posted: 1/14/2009

In this activity, students will analyze the letter Grace Bedell wrote to President Abraham Lincoln, then write and send their own letters to the president of the United States. This activity is included in an Ourstory module entitled ...


Design and Play a Drum

Grade Range: 1-6
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Duration: 20 Minutes
Date Posted: 9/4/2012

Make a drum from materials available at home or school. Look in your recycling bin for inspiration! This activity from Spark!Lab includes step-by-step directions, discussion questions, and ideas for extending your learning. Spark!Lab activities en...


Design Your Own Family Flag

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Worksheets
Duration: 40 Minutes
Date Posted: 11/20/2008

In this activity, children will create their own family flag using colors and pictures that have personal meanings. They will then explain why they chose those colors and pictures and their meanings. This resource is included in an OurStory module...


Design Your Own Monument

Grade Range: 1-6
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Duration: 15 Minutes
Date Posted: 8/29/2012

Build a monument and think about monuments in Washington, DC and the history those monuments celebrate. This activity from Spark!Lab includes step-by-step directions, discussion questions, and ideas for extending your learning. Spark!Lab activitie...


Design Your Own Performance

Grade Range: 5-8
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Duration: 100 Minutes
Date Posted: 7/7/2008

In this lesson plan, students will analyze images relating to Celia Cruz and then design a performance to understand the role of aesthetics and style in the performing arts. This lesson is a resource included in the online exhibition entitled ...


Designing Money

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Reference Materials
Duration: 10 Minutes
Date Posted: 3/31/2014

Everyday objects such as pennies and dollar bills can go unnoticed in our lives. We use them all the time, but how often do we really look at them? Taking the time to investigate a familiar thing in detail and then learning to design s...


Discomforts of Travel: Samuel Kelly, English Sailor

Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Worksheets
Duration: 11 Minutes
Date Posted: 4/2/2012

Samuel Kelly was an English sailor, who recorded his experience of a voyage to Philadelphia in 1787.  Listen to a dramatic reading of his narrative, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resour...


Discover and Protect Nature

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Duration: 120 Minutes
Date Posted: 9/24/2012

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring changed the way people thought about their relationship to nature. Warning readers of the impact of man-made pesticides on birds, insects, and other wildlife, Carson’s book caused a fires...


Document Detective

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

Historians gather information about the past by looking at primary sources. In this activity, students will practice using primary sources by to learn about slavery and the Underground Railroad by analyzing newspaper advertisements regarding runaw...

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Featured Artifact

Edison's "New Year's Eve" Lamp

Thomas Edison used this carbon-filament bulb in the first public demonstration of his most famous invention, the first practical electric incandescent lamp, which took place...