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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Voting: The Acme of Reform

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

Paper balloting easily led to fraud.  The reform of voting methods during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is the focus of this section of the online exhibition entitled Vote: The Machinery of Democracy , from the Smi...


Voting: The Present and Future Ballot

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

Efforts to ensure the funding of modern, accurate, and secure voting machines is the focus of this part of the online exhibition entitled Vote: The Machinery of Democracy from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. S...


War of Independence Activity: Who’s in Camp?

Grade Range: 3-6
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 45 Minutes
Date Posted: 4/30/2010

Use artifacts and historical literature to bring the War of Independence to life for elementary students.  By playing the "Who's in camp?" card game, students develop a deeper understanding of the many civilian and military roles that support...


What was on Lady Bird’s plate?

Grade Range: 2-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Reference Materials, Primary Source
Duration: 15 Minutes
Date Posted: 3/15/2010

Take a close look at some special dishes that Lady Bird Johnson had created for the White House. Use the discussion and observation questions to think about the dishes and the dishes you have in your own home, and find out how these dishes connect...


Where's Everyone Going?

Grade Range: 5-8
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 7/7/2008

In this interactive game, students explore the changes in America transportation over time as they match a variety of vehicles with their destinations and time periods. This interactive is included in the online exhibition entitled America on ...


Who Represents You?

Grade Range: 1-4
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities, Worksheets
Duration: 25 Minutes
Date Posted: 8/6/2010

Use three Web sites to gather data about the people that live in your home state and those who represent you in Congress. Then use an online tool to make comparing this information easy! Included in an OurStory module entitled Winning the Vote for...


Whole Cloth

Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 2/15/2005

Explore science, technology, and invention through American textile history in these interdisciplinary curriculum units from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Learn about the development of the cotton gin, the gr...


Winning the Vote for Women

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Worksheets, Reference Materials
Duration: 175 Minutes
Date Posted: 8/11/2010

For more than a century, women in the United States struggled to obtain the right to vote. In 1920, the suffrage movement finally achieved victory with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. By using this OurStory


Winning the Vote: How Americans Elect Their President

Grade Range: 5-8
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Duration: 45 Minutes
Date Posted: 12/17/2012

Explore the American presidency and elections in these four activities from Smithsonian Education’s Art to Zoo . Each of the four activities focuses on a different skill in social studies: examining maps, using timelines, studying co...


Women’s Role in the Civil War

Grade Range: 3-6
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source
Duration: 45 Minutes
Date Posted: 5/3/2010

Women served in the Civil War as nurses, spies, and vivandieres. Explore these stories with students through a video clip and close examination of two dresses and a woman's uniform.This lesson plan (which includes background information, guided an...

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Featured Artifact

Ella Fitzgerald Record

Over the course of her 60-year career, Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) became known to fans and colleagues as "The First Lady of Song." Her rise to international fame as a jazz...