Resources Directory

The following resources can be sorted by “Category”, “Source/Institution” or “Title” by clicking on the desired header name.

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Category Source/Institution Title Excerpt

Civil Rights

National Portrait Gallery

In this online exhibition, explore photographs of some of twentieth-century America’s famous and influential women.

Civil Rights

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Smithsonian Magazine article and video highlighting “The Story Behind the Emancipation Proclamation” with National Museum of African American History and Culture Director.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

Smithsonian Magazine article spotlighting four college students sat down to request lunch service at a North Carolina Woolworth’s and ignited a struggle.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

National Museum of American History website, with interactive resources and timeline for student use, highlighting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education as a turning point in the history of race relations in the United States.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

Examine collections of the National Museum of American History’s key resources on major themes in American history and social studies teaching.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

Restaging the Greensboro Counter Sit-in | Smithsonian Video | Learn how to stage a sit-in right next to the Greensboro lunch counter, the location of one of the civil rights movement’s most famous protests.

57th Inauguration

National Museum of American History

Online exhibition that looks at the history of voting methods in the United States, which are as varied as the individual states and their local election districts. “Vote: The Machinery of Democracy” explores how ballots and voting systems have evolved over the years as a response to political, social, and technological change, transforming the ways in which Americans vote.

57th Inauguration

National Museum of American History

Online exhibition that examines the history of the American presidency. Using objects from the museum’s extensive collection, an interactive timeline, and online activities, learn about the realities of the presidency, from its origins to the present, as well as the lives of the men who have held the office.

57th Inauguration

National Museum of American History

Two curators from the American History Museum show the highlights of the archives of inauguration relics.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Online exhibion from the National Portrait Gallery that features likenesses of former presidents as well as brief summaries of major events occurring during their presidencies.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Online exhibion from the National Portrait Gallery that features likenesses of former presidents as well as brief summaries of major events occurring during their presidencies.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Online exhibition that explores how U.S. presidents shaped or reacted to the events of the Cold War.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Online exhibition that contains Block’s original drawings of presidential cartoons from Franklin Roosevelt through Bill Clinton. The political cartoons of Herbert Block (1909–2001) appeared in American newspapers for more than seven decades under the pen name Herblock.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Online exhibition dedicated to examining the Civil War through the Smithsonian Institution’s extensive collections. Includes uniforms, equipment, weapons, paintings, and photographs of the war’s most celebrated personalities organized by topic as well as a timeline of the war and additional resources.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Five lesson plans in which images of Lincoln—in paintings, prints, photographs, plaster “life masks,” and the poetry of Walt Whitman—are the basis for a study of the Civil War. Also includes audio commentaries from the onsite exhibition.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Comprehensive study of the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. Features an interactive guide pointing to the symbolic, biographic, and artistic elements of the painting, a biography of Washington’s life, kids’ activities, teachers’ guides, family tips, and tour details.

Civil Rights

National Portrait Gallery

This is an exhibition of photographic portraits of prominent African Americans. The theme, African American resistance across 150 years of United States history, was inspired by the words of Henry Highland Garnet, an abolitionist and clergyman. Throughout American history, most black Americans embraced Garnet’s plea. The photographs reveal and illuminate the variety of creative and courageous ways that African Americans resisted, redefined, and accommodated in an America that needed but rarely accepted its black citizens.

Civil Rights

National Portrait Gallery

This exhibition showcases major cultural and political figures—from key 19th-century historical figures to contemporary leaders—who struggled to achieve civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups.

Civil Rights

Smithsonian Education

Explore the variety of teaching strategies and guidelines, lesson plans and document-based questions (DBQs), and information about museum objects and other primary sources. You might get started by showing the video, in which Smithsonian curators examine a photograph of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. You can then help the students examine other historic photographs.

Civil Rights

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Smithsonian Folkways – Sing For Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs – Various Artists and Related Lesson Plans: “South Africa, Free At Last: The Freedom Songs of South Africa and the Civil Rights Movement in America”

Civil Rights

Smithsonian Museum of American Art

Online exhibition of African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond. This slideshow has 79 images. Click the arrows at either end of the group to see the next group. You can also navigate clicking on the dotted line under the groups. Click on the images to get a larger view.

Civil Rights

National Portrait Gallery

A portrait created by a graphic designer ended up becoming the icon for the 2008 Obama campaign and an international phenomenon. Here’s an interview showcasing the designer and the stories behind the portrait.

57th Inauguration

Smithsonian Education

Looking for information on a specific president? Want to expand your search to resources surrounding a certain historical era? SmithsonianEducation.org offers access to a searchable database of educator resources from all of the Smithsonian museums and research centers. You can also search to find Smithsonian educational resources that are aligned to national, common core, or state standards.

57th Inauguration

Smithsonian Education

Since the days of George Washington, the United States has been led by the Office of the President, as originally planned by the Founding Fathers, written out in the U.S. Constitution, and continued today. These badge quests focus on the process of becoming President – from campaigns, elections, and inaugurations to the legacy that Presidents leave behind for future generations. As you take on the quest challenges, you’ll look at the role that everyday citizens play in government and how civic responsibilities and rights have changed over time.

57th Inauguration

Smithsonian Education

Lessons in which Smithsonian portraits of Lincoln introduce a study of the Civil War. Analysis of the portraits—the famous “cracked-plate” photograph, two plaster “life masks,” and an eyewitness drawing of Lincoln’s arrival in the enemy capital of Richmond, Virginia—leads to an analysis of the times.

57th Inauguration

Smithsonian Education

Explore Smithsonian research and collections related to Lincoln’s life – everything from portraits and diaries to documents and historical artifacts. Alongside Smithsonian curators, you’ll look at Lincoln’s life and legacy from the perspectives of history, science, and art. Archived sessions from the 2009 celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial.

57th Inauguration

Smithsonian Education

Online publication with activities to introduce students to the office of the presidency and the process of electing the president. Includes lessons on political campaigns, political parties, and the Electoral College. NEW! 2012 Elections Supplement available as well.

57th Inauguration

Smithsonian Education

Did you know that Thomas Jefferson offered his own huge book collection as a replacement when British troops burned the Library of Congress? Or that John F. Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected president—and the youngest to die in office? Visit Mr. President to learn the facts about each of our nation’s presidents. It’s a great place for browsing, research, or homework help.

57th Inauguration

National Portrait Gallery

Lesson plans and activities from National Portrait Gallery educators, focusing on content found in online exhibitions.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

Explore the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, the Freedom Rides, Japanese internment, and other civil rights issues of the 20th century through lessons, videos, and activities.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

Hear historians and activists in conversation with high school students discussing the legacy of 19th century abolitionism and its lessons for ending modern-day slavery in this webcast.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

Hear Chris Wilson, the Museum’s Director of the Program in African American History and Culture, discuss the use of freedom songs during the civil rights movement.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

This online exhibition features a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and 10 letters expressing Lincoln’s views on emancipation and the conclusion of the Civil War.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

This OurStory module from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History entitled Winning the Vote for Women, includes links to hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings related to the topic of women’s suffrage.

Civil Rights

National Museum of American History

Highlights the “Changing America” exhibit, with additional education resources available.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

Blog post from the National Museum of American History chronicles the donation of objects that tell the story of two young girls, Mariela and Maria Isabel, who journeyed with their family from Cuba to the United States in 1964.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

To complement the Smithsonian Immigration/Migration Initiative, a team of ARTLAB+ teens filmed video interviews at the 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day, asking festival goers to talk about their family roots.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

This exhibit looks at the history of Puerto Rico through the eyes of a collector who captured the island’s history with the wonderful objects that he collected.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

Blog post highlighting the recent donation of objects that tell the story of two young girls, Mariela and Maria Isabel, who journeyed with their family from Cuba to the United States in 1964.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

This OurStory theme explores the experiences of immigrants who came to America and the ways that immigration has changed life in America.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

This exhibit explores the role of transportation in American History. Visit communities wrestling with the changes that new transportation networks brought.

Immigration/Migration

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art explores a key cornerstone in our national narrative—that we are “a nation of immigrants”—by considering the varied contributions of Latino artists to American art and culture from the mid-twentieth century to the present.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

Blog post highlighting the rehousing and storage of onsite collections, including Frank G. Carpenter’s collection of shoes from around the globe.

Immigration/Migration

Smithsonian Education

Book Activity: “Today I am Here” book making instructions. Students design, write, and illustrate a book about their family history.

Immigration/Migration

Smithsonian Education

Resource website, featuring Smithsonian Heritage Month Celebrations, Virtual Tours and Special Family Storybook Activities.

Immigration/Migration

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Interviewing Guide: How to conduct an Oral History. Turn to members of your own family and community as key sources of history, culture, and tradition.

Immigration/Migration

Hirshhorn Museum ARTLAB+

VIDEO: A team of ARTLAB+ teens filmed video interviews at the 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day, asking festival goers to talk about their family roots.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

Teaching Poster: Downloadable pdf version of the “If You Walked in My Shoes” teaching resource, highlighting the power of objects and the essential questions to ask with students as they interpret them.

Immigration/Migration

National Museum of American History

An easy to use study guide for the civics portion of the U.S. Naturalization Test. Learn about U.S. History and Government and practice for the test. Excellent resource for students understanding the citizenship process.

Astrophotography

Smithsonian Magazine

Stunning photographs of the cosmos, like the wondrous images captured by the Hubble Space telescope, convey the beauty that arises from the simple interactions of dust and light and gas on absolutely massive scales. Missing from photos of the universe, however, is a sense of depth: These stunning nebula are not a paint splatter on a celestial canvas, but truly massive constructions hanging in the void.

Astrophotography

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

By looking back in time, we can observe how the universe has evolved from its beginnings. Start in our solar system and travel out into space, or begin at the Big Bang and travel forward in time.

Astrophotography

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Teaching poster to help students think about the colors found in many photographs published and captured by Observatory Telescopes.

Astrophotography

Harvard – Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Observe with NASA, explore exoplanets, control the MicroObservatory Online Telescopes and more!

Astrophotography

Harvard – Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Scroll through the entire library of released Chandra images in a quick-downloading 3d wall format. Click on any of the Chandra images to learn more about the object.

Astrophotography

Miami Science Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

Student-created works of astrophotography art!

Astrophotography

Miami Science Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

Student-created works of astrophotography art and videos.

Astrophotography

Harvard – Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Image Processing Challenges for Students– Explore the wonders of the cosmos from your computer!

Astrophotography

Smithsonian Education

Lesson plans and student activities looking at size, distance and age in space. Online interactive game where students can size up the moon, earth and sun, based on everyday objects.

Astrophotography

Harvard – Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

A science enrichment program for Grades K-6. Series of posters and accompanying questions designed to pique student interest in science concepts and their application to the world in which we live.

Astrophotography

Smithsonian Science

Explore how Smithsonian scientists are unlocking the mysteries of the universe.

Astrophotography

National Museum of African Art

Explore cultural connections to the cosmos through the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy.

Astrophotography

National Museum of African Art

In this symposium, experts discuss the cultural astronomy traditions of four indigenous regions/cultures: Ojibwe, Inuit, Andean, and African. Stellar Connections, a partnership between the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African Art in furtherance of indigenous cultural astronomy, was presented in conjunction with the exhibition, African Cosmos: Stellar Arts, on view at the National Museum of African Art from June 20–December 9, 2012.

Astronomy

NASA’s “Amazing Space”

Two collections of resources: Lithographs (downloadable PDFs of some of Hubble’s greatest hits) and Fast Facts (Hubble photos of celestial objects accompanied by tables that highlight facts)

Astronomy

NASA’s “Amazing Space”

Star Witness news available in pdf- Great for Reading for Comprehension activities

Astronomy

Hubble Site

Video of computer simulation compared to five Hubble Observations

Astronomy

Hubble Site

Hubble’s Universe Unfiltered (video podcast with Dr. Frank Summers)

Astronomy

Hubble Site

Take a thrill ride through 15 years of Hubble images, starting with Hubble’s first picture and ending with its anniversary image of the Whirlpool Galaxy. In less than three minutes, 800 Hubble images flash over the screen, sometimes as fast as 60 pictures per second.

Frog Biodiversity and Conservation

Imagine Magazine

Interview with Brian Gratwicke and how his fascination with frogs has turned into a career and how he uses that career to help preserve the nature that he loves

Frog Biodiversity and Conservation

Smithsonian Videos

Join National Zoo Conservation Biologist Brian Gratwicke in his work to save Panama’s frogs and other amphibians from extinction.

Frog Biodiversity and Conservation

Smithsonian Education

Climb into the tree canopies with frogs and delve into the underground world of salamanders with Ed Smith and Jennifer Sevin from the National Zoo. They will explore the various ways amphibians use and need water and the current challenges these animals face. Focusing on the role of water, we’ll learn about what the National Zoo and their partners are doing to conserve amphibians in captivity and the wild, and what you can do to help them.

Frog Biodiversity and Conservation

Smithsonian Channel

The deadly chytrid fungus is ravaging amphibian populations worldwide, leaving behind a destructive path of incurable disease. Frog species that have survived on our planet for more than 200 million years are facing mass extinction at an alarming rate. But an ambitious new plan involving a modern day Noah’s Ark, and Smithsonian biologist Brian Gratwicke, just might be a last hope for these species. Venture deep into the Panamanian jungle as scientists search for these endangered frogs and fight to bring them back from the brink of extinction. *Free download of entire video available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/mission-critical-amphibian/id451883727?i=460475041&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Frog Biodiversity and Conservation

Smithsonian Folkways

The amphibian song revival begins here! This classic of both biological fieldwork and natural sound recordings, originally released by Folkways in 1958, presents 57 species of frogs and toads on 92 tracks, digitally remastered from the original master tapes. Compiled and narrated by renowned herpetologist Charles M. Bogert, these sounds were recorded in swamps, lakes, woods, creeks, and road-side ditches all over North America. Sit back and let the bewitching tones of the Pig Frog, Dwarf Mexican Treefrog, Little Green Toad, Southwestern Woodhouse’s Toad, Great Basin Spadefoot, and other famed vocalists entrance and amaze you. In a time when frog and toad populations are in rapid decline, this recording reminds us of the remarkable diversity and beautiful music we are in danger of losing.

Waterways

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Watersheds 101, Action Steps, Vocab & Videos

Waterways

Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Games and activities about Mid-Atlantic maritime culture. You’ll learn about the ways of life of people who live in the coastal area of the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

Waterways

Smithsonian on ePals

Citizen Science project, videos and student blogs via Anacostia Community Museum.

Waterways

Smithsonian Center for Learning & Digital Access

Water, especially urban waterways, will be discussed in terms of systems, human impact, and civic responsibility. Using the Anacostia River as a case study, the session makes learning about global water systems easy to comprehend by all ages in any locale.

Waterways

Smithsonian Magazine

Check out photographer Edward Burtynsky’s awe-inspiring photos exploring humans’ relationship with water.

Waterways

MySI

Waterways explores human-biosphere interactions in water based environments with the goal of increasing your awareness about the environment and eco-stewardship.