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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Telescopes and Observatories

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 4 Minutes
Date Posted: 3/31/2010

Watch a video to take a trip to a special place: The United States Naval Observatory. Find out about one of its telescopes and the work that is done in the observatory. In this activity guide and video, children will look at pictures and watch a s...


The Bracero Archive: Tracing the Route of a Bracero

Grade Range: 6-8
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Worksheets
Date Posted: 9/12/2009

In this activity, one of three on the Bracero Archive website, students will examine an oral history related to the Bracero worker program and present their research on a map. Th...


The Bracero Archive-Learning From Documents

Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Worksheets
Date Posted: 9/12/2009

In this activity, one of three on the Bracero Archive website, students will examine two public laws and other primary resources related to the Bracero worker program and apply their knowledge to evaluate whether the program...


The Bracero Archive-Learning From Photos

Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Worksheets, Primary Source
Date Posted: 9/12/2009

In this activity, one of three on the Bracero Archive website, students will discuss their thoughts on immigration, learn about the Bracero labor program, and use photographs to develop deeper understandings of the ...


The Bracero Program: A Historical Investigation

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Worksheets
Duration: 90 Minutes
Date Posted: 11/14/2013

Historical research starts with a question about the past. However, piecing together an accurate answer to these questions is not as straightforward as it may seem. Primary sources can—and often do—conflict with one another, a...


The Curator's Challenge: Life in a Post-September 11 World

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 8/31/2011

In this lesson, students will learn the story of September 11 and the process for building a collection at the Museum by listening to curators discuss collecting objects to represent the September 11 terrorist attacks, interviewing family or commu...


The Foundations of Freedom Summer: Close Reading

Grade Range: 8-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 10/25/2013

This activity is designed to encourage students to practice their critical reading and historical comprehension skills by reading about the primary source document entitled the “Development of Freedom Summer.” Key questions are posed a...


The Gear & Lever Voting Machine

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source
Date Posted: 8/18/2008

Gear and Lever voting,  meant to ensure the confidentiality and efficiency of the election process, is the focus of this section of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s online exhibition entitled Vote: The M...


The Gold Nugget and the California Gold Rush

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Primary Source
Date Posted: 11/7/2009

This object-based learning activity revolves around the gold nugget that began the California gold rush. In this resource, students will learn how examining the gold nugget can help them understand the story of the gold rush and its importanc...


The Greensboro Lunch Counter and the Civil Rights Movement

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 Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter that was the site of a sit-in strike by four African-American students in 1960. Students will learn how the sit-in strike at th...

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Featured Artifact

United States, 2 Dollars, 1776

By the time they broke with England, the thirteen American colonies had been issuing paper currency for nearly a century. Both they and the loose central government they set...