A vejigante is a person who dresses in costume to help celebrate Carnival in Ponce, Puerto Rico. In this activity, students will read about being a vejigante and then design their own Carnival costume. OurStory is a series of modules designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring histo
In this activity, children will create their own family flag using colors and pictures that have personal meanings. They will then explain why they chose those colors and pictures and their meanings. This resource is included in an OurStory module entitled Making the Star-Spangled Banner
Students will learn about slavery, slave life and the Underground Railroad in this OurStory module. OurStory is a series of modules designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Mu
Although many children are already familiar with what money looks like and with how and when their families use money, it is important that they also understand how money itself works. The money we use, coins and currency, has very little value on its own. Coins and bills only h
In this activity, students will learn how to make their own fish kites, called koinobori. Koinobori are an important expression of Japanese culture that became an important part of life for children in Japanese American internment camps during World War II. This resource is included in an OurStor
In this OurStory module, children will read Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers, a children's book that tells the story of Grace Bedell and the famous letter that she sent to Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The module includes links to hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings for
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
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
Historians gather information about the past by looking at primary sources. In this activity, students will practice using primary sources by to learn about slavery and the Underground Railroad by analyzing newspaper advertisements regarding runaway slaves from the Charleston Mercury. It is inclu
Students will analyze images and objects relating to Celia Cruz then create an autobiographical exhibition using personal objects. This lesson is a resource included in the online exhibition entitled ¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.
There was a time when young people were the most passionate participants in American democracy. In the second half of the nineteenth century--as voter turnout reached unprecedented peaks--young people led the way, hollering, fighting, and flirting at massive midnight rallies. Paren
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.