Make your own constellation commemorating an American woman, like Maria Mitchell. Many cultures have used constellations to remember the stories of heroes, like the Greeks and some American Indians. Included in an OurStory module from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled
Have you ever wondered how the lights in lighthouses are so bright? In this activity, students will examine a Fresnel lens to develop an understanding of how some lighthouse lenses work. They will then apply their knowledge of the lighthouse lens technology to imagine a new invention using a ligh
Freedom on the Menu is a work of children's literature that tells the story of the Greensboro sit-ins from the perspective of a young girl. This activity includes four reading helpers that will help adults and children actively read Freedom on the Menu together. It is included i
What would life have been like in a sod house? This group of activities will allow students to use their senses to see, smell, and feel what it would have been like to live on the prairie long ago. Included in an OurStory module, this activity is designed to help children and adults enjoy explori
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 something similar will strengthen your child’s observati
Architects design the buildings we use every day. Their designs solve problems, like how to make a sturdy building, and reflect their ideas about beauty and history. By using this OurStory module from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, children and adults can learn about archi
Although many Americans are turning more and more to credit cards to buy the things they want, most Americans still handle paper money and coins on a regular basis. It is important for children (and adults!) to be comfortable counting and handling money and to think about the people and ide
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
Scientists have had to record their observations in different ways throughout time. Use Google Sky to explore the sky, then share your observations through sketches and figurative language. Included in an OurStory module from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled Ex
Jingle the Brass is a book about a young boy who learns words used by railroad workers of the steam-engine era while on an exciting train trip. Part of an OurStory module entitled All Aboard the Train!, this activity includes strategies that will help adults and children activel
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.