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 learn how one object can tell many different stories.
In this hands-on activity, students will learn the meaning of imagery on two Pueblo pots by examining images and reading short excerpts from Native American folklore. They will then design their own pots by creating symbols and will explain the meaning of the symbols. The decorations on Pueblo po
Explore jazz through listening activities, interviews with musicians, and background information on SmithsonianJazz.org. Prominently featured on this site are two suites of learning activities: one focusing on Duke Ellington for elementary students and one focusing on Louis Armstrong for middle a
Grab Bag Inventing is an activity that allows participants to try playful inventing and helps them recognize their own creative abilities. Participants work together in small groups to design inventions using common materials.
In this activity, students will read Dakota Dugout by Ann Turner and answer questions about the book. They will then look at the image of an object that would have been important to women living in a house made of sod and try to determine what the object is. This resource is included in
Take a trip out into your community, or into a town nearby. Look around you; what do you see? Using provided resources on different styles of architecture, identify and discuss the different architecture your see, how it is similar on some buildings, and different on others. Part of an OurStory m
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.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is part of a consortium of m
This unit will introduce the first major clash in the Civil War--the Battle of Bull Run--and encourage students to consider the perspectives of ordinary citizens of the North and the South and the impact of this battle on their lives. The activities are based on the award-winning young adult nove
In these classroom activities, developed for the exhibition America on the Move, students will use visual, analytical, and interpretive skills to examine primary sources including a historical map and photography by Dorothea Lange and answer questions about them to learn more a
People around the world have studied the stars and shared stories through constellations and astrology. By using this OurStory module, children and adults can enjoy exploring history together through children's literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities. Focused around Maria's Come
Fritz maintains her reputation for fresh and lively historical writing with this biography of the 19th-century American feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), imparting to her readers not just a sense of Stanton's accomplishments but a picture of the greater society Stanton strove to change
Dynamic portrayal of two boys longing for something they no longer have and finding the resources to face the future. This story offers a fresh perspective on the thousands of children who moved west via the Orphan Trains in the late 19th century.
Beginning with the Stamp Act that angered the patriots, readers meet George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other historical figures, and learn about the documents and battles that kept the fight for freedom alive. Each striking illustration introduces readers to the people, places, and events
Author Ann Bausum peels back the layers of the story of the women's suffrage movement, exposing grit, fiery determination, and radical tactics. After covering the importance of familiar names, she devotes the bulk of the book to the events of 1906 to 1920, when a new group of young women emerged
Triple Olympic medal winning Mia Hamm tells a story inspired by her own experience as a very young athlete in this story for the youngest of readers. Little Mia overcomes her frustration by learning an important lesson in sportsmanship.
After contracting polio at the age of 4, Wilma Rudolph was told she would never walk again. This book tells the inspiring tale of how Wilma battled disease, her leg brace, and segregation to become the fastest woman in the world at the 1960 Olympics.