This resource will help students understand how to analyze historical photos to better understand the intentions of those who took them. Every photograph is both truthful and deceptive. These images were selected to illustrate some of the intricacies in reading historical photographs. This a
In this OurStory module entitled Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp, students will learn about the lives of Japanese American children who were forced to leave their homes and move to internment camps during World War II. The module includes links to hands-on activities, pertinent w
Ideals and Images invites students to share their own understandings of and perspectives on core American concepts, through a playful and thought provoking dialogue-based game.
The learning begins with the guiding questions: Do Americans have shared ideals? What do
In this activity, students will increase their knowledge of slavery, slave life and the Underground Railroad by answering questions about the book and song Follow the Drinking Gourd and then writing and illustrating a poem or letter playing the role of a conductor, agent or passenger on the
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of America's celebrated heroes for his use of nonviolent protest strategies during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. By using this OurStory module, children and adults can enjoy exploring history together through children's literature, everyday obje
In this lesson, students will carefully examine an authentic Massachusetts thirty-shilling note (1775) from the Museum's collection and hypothesize the meaning of its visual elements. Students will use primary and secondary sources to refine the hypothesis and in the process, discover the role th
In this lesson plan, students will learn how Cindy Whitehead, a skateboarding pioneer, changed the culture of skateboarding and fought for girls to have greater access to all sports. Students will examine the question: Why does gender equality in sports matter?
Learn more about First Lady Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and her work to protect the environment and bring beauty to every community. This module from the OurStory program includes active reading suggestions and discussion questions for the illustrated biog
OurStory is designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through children’s literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities. Each OurStory module examines a moment in American history through a work of historical fiction and related activities and includes a
Prototype Online: Inventive Voices is a podcast series from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center that reveals the stories behind the invention—motivations, successes, and disappointments—and highlights the persevering spirit shared by all who call themselves “inventor.”
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories
The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning
In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country. Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and power
It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat--by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them--everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's
The brainchild of three women-of-color sociologists, IntersectionAllies is a smooth, gleeful entry into intersectional feminism. The nine interconnected characters proudly describe themselves and their backgrounds, involving topics that range from a physical disability to language brokering, offerin
Grandma's hijab clasps under her chin. Auntie pins hers up with a whimsical brooch. Jenna puts a sun hat over hers when she hikes. Iman wears a sports hijab for tae kwon do. As a young girl observes the women in her life and how each covers her hair a different way, she dreams of the possibilities i
The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every
Kanzi’s family has moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that’s why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich her mother has made for her lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama
When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl's room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn't fit anymore, and he set