This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics
In the early 1960s, the emergence of the theory of plate tectonics started a revolution in the earth sciences. Since then, scientists have verified and refined this theory, and now have a much better understanding of how our planet has been shaped by plate-tectonic processes. We now know that, directly or indirectly, plate tectonics influences nearly all geologic processes, past and present. Indeed, the notion that the entire Earth's surface is continually shifting has profoundly changed the way
Kermit and Elmo LOUD and QUIET
difference between loud and quiet
Inside Caitlin's Head
In the 1830s, George Catlin (1796–1872) packed his paintbrushes and trekked through remote Indian country in the Great Plains. Committed to documenting traditional Native culture, he visited more than 140 tribes and painted more than 325 portraits and 200 scenes of American Indian life. Catlin's prolific works, both his art and his writings, illustrate Indian cultures on the precipice of radical change—change that would come with U.S. expansion into tribal territories. In this lesson, stude
Leadership Past and Present
Studying leadership qualities is highly important for students of all ages so that they can identify and develop their own. In this lesson, students will be introduced to several Native American leaders, both past and present, and will be asked to examine their different styles of leadership. Catlin painted Indians who were famous in American Indian history—men such as Black Hawk, the Sac and Fox chief, and vanquished leader of the so-called Black Hawk War; Kee-o-kúk, who replaced Black Hawk
The Mandan Buffalo Dance
The Mandan and the Sioux depended so heavily on certain animals that they would starve without them. In the Southwest, the Hopi and Zuni depended as heavily on annual rainfall for their survival. In each of these cases, the tribes created interpretive dances to encourage the arrival of something that was so important to their survival that they would die without it. In this exercise, we will learn about how several Native American tribes construct their dances and dedications. We will also look
Smithsonian Source: Invention
This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on American inventions and innovations. The teacher-developed resources in the section will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. You might get started by showing the video, which traces the development of the electric guitar. The lesson plans and DBQs are organized by grade level. The DBQ primary sources can stand alone in DBQ exercises. Images of the primary s
You Be the Historian
This site invites students to examine clues and determine what life was like for a family that lived in New Castle, Delaware, during the 1700s. Students also discover what historians in the next century might learn about us if they found our homes the way they are today.
Vote: The Machinery of Democracy
This site looks at the history and variety of voting methods in the U.S. -- the voice vote, party ticket (paper ballots listing candidates from just one party), Australian ballot, gear and lever machine, and others. Voting reforms of the early 1900s, when the U.S. electorate doubled, are described. Kinds of voting equipment used in counties across the U.S. are shown on a map. Innovative design improvements are discussed.
The Online Academy
The Online Academy highlights artifacts, scholars, collectors, and preservers of African American history. Features include the inventor of the multiple effect vacuum process for producing sugar, the first identified African American toolmaker, the autobiography of an African American cowboy, and Zora Neale Hurston's first novel.
Smithsonian: History and Culture
This site examines the history of transportation in America, early history of mail service, the Civil War, West Point, profiles of U.S. presidents, Lakota winter counts, Lewis and Clark as naturalists, Japanese Americans during World War II, Brown v. Board of Education, athletes who broke social barriers, how voting systems have evolved, September 11, and America's wars.
Smithsonian: Art and Design
This site features modern portrait drawings, historical portraits of famous Americans, African and Asian art, modern Japanese prints, works of Latino artists, illustrated manuscripts of Persian lyrical poetry, paintings by James Whistler and Gerhard Richter, lighthouse postcards, lunch containers, Tibetan healing mandalas, photos of famous 20th-century American women, and the Smithsonian's blog, Eye Level, which looks at how art reflects our history and culture.
North American Mammals
Welcome to the National Museum of Natural History's North American Mammals Web site. This is a searchable database of all living mammals of North America.
HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things
Welcome to the Smithsonian Institution's HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things. This experimental site introduces visitors to some of the three million objects held by the National Museum of American History, Behring Center. With less than five percent of our vast and diverse collection on public display in our exhibit halls, we hope that Web sites like this will bring many more of our treasures into public view. The initial 450 objects, selected by curators from across the Museum, include
The English Renaissance in Context
These tutorials focusing on "Shakespeare in Context" present viewers with background and contextual material to particular plays and a series of challenges based on that material. Select a play; as the presentation unfolds, you may follow links to view facsimile texts, and from there navigate freely between the texts themselves and the tutorials. The tutorials treating "The Early Modern Material Text" introduce viewers to book production in the period, and suggest that how old books were made an
Establishing Borders: The Expansion of the United States, 1846-48
This site offers geography and history activities showing how two years in history had an indelible impact on American politics and culture. Students interpret historical maps, identify territories acquired by the U.S., identify states later formed from these territories, examine the territorial status of Texas, and identify political, social, and economic issues related to the expansion of the U.S. in the 1840s.
Campfire Stories with George Catlin: An Encounter of Two Cultures
In this lesson students will learn about the varying attitudes and definitions of land ownership held by Native and European Americans by studying a variety of primary documents from the nineteenth century. They will learn about how various treaties—the Homestead Act and the Dawes Act—affected both Native and European Americans. Students will discuss these issues in the form of a debate, and will also write journal entries.
A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution
This activity “Becoming aware of the Japanese American Internment Camp Experience” is intended to help students become aware of, and sensitive to, the Japanese American interment camp experience. They will develop a sense of empathy by simulating the situations which Japanese American children faced.
Jazz in America: National Jazz Curriculum
The school offers lessons for teaching about jazz in American history or music class for Grades 5, 8, and 11. Learn about the evolution of jazz, different jazz styles, improvisation, basic musical elements, and how jazz influenced (and was influenced by) American culture. The mission of The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is to offer public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world, helping students develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive s
Photographs of the 369th Infantry and African Americans During World War I
This site features an all-black regiment that rose to fame at a time when the Army, federal workers, and other parts of society were segregated. The 369th Infantry, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters, was among the first regiments to arrive in France in 1917 after the U.S. declared war on Germany. Under the command of mostly white officers, the regiment spent 191 days in combat, longer than any other American unit, and emerged as one of the most highly decorated regiments during the Great War
Letters, Telegrams, and Photographs Illustrating Factors That Affected the Civil War
This site allows students to analyze a variety of documents to identify events, actions, and individuals who contributed to the Civil War's outcome. This lesson correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Social Sciences. It also has cross-curricular connections with your history, government, and American literature.