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Little Golden Books Exhibition
From "The Poky Little Puppy" to "Doctor Dan the Bandage Man," the Little Golden Books have been a childhood staple since 1942. Take a trip back in time and explore some of earlier books in the series with this National Museum of American History exhibition.
Symbols in a Story: What’s What?
Invite students to explore this interactive, in which players go deep inside the painting “Achelous and Hercules,” by American regionalist Thomas Hart Benton. The artist set the Greek myth in rural Missouri, giving it a new figurative meaning. The activity introduces the literary devices of symbol, simile and metaphor.
The Storied, International Folk History of Beauty and the Beast
Read this Smithsonian article to learn all about the tales of a bride and her animal groom, which have circulated orally for centuries in Africa, Europe, India and Central Asia.
Children’s Book Creations
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, high school students will read a Japanese folktale, “Momotaro: Boy of the Peach,” to learn about Japanese culture and story structure. They will then create a children’s book version of the Momotaro story to share with younger readers.
Camping With the Sioux
In the fall of 1881, Alice Fletcher traveled to Dakota Territory to live with Sioux women and study their way of life. Visit this site, created by the National Museum of Natural History, to read the journals she kept and the Sioux folktales she recorded during her stay.
Cultural Education Resources
Broaden your students’ minds with these cultural educational guides, lesson plans, media programs and other useful materials from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, part of the National Zoo, is dedicated to understanding, conserving and championing the phenomenon of bird migration. Explore the center’s site to learn all about bird friendly coffee, how to get involved and ongoing research. The site also features a host of lessons, fact sheets and games to share with students.
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, high school students examine bird art to get a deeper understanding of a bird’s anatomy. Then they make connections between physical traits and habitat so they can design an imaginary bird in its environment.
Vegetation Determines Animal Migration Patterns
Read this Smithsonian article to learn how scientists have shown that patterns in vegetation across a species’ range determine whether and how it moves.
Tale of a Whale and Why It Can Be Told
In this multistep lesson from the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, students do the work of scientists who study the endangered North Atlantic right whale. They compare photos to identify an individual whale and use a record of sightings to track this whale’s movements along the eastern seaboard.