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1930s and 1940s Highway Classroom Activity Guide
Highways and roads are an integral part of many summer vacations. In these classroom activities, developed for the National Museum of American History exhibition America on the Move, students will use visual, analytical and interpretive skills to examine primary sources including a historical map and photography by Dorthea Lange and answer questions about them to investigate road travel and the role of highways played in the 1930s.
A Deep Dive into the Plans to Take Tourists to the Titanic
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn about a daredevil inventor who—for a handsome price—will bring you aboard his groundbreaking submarine to put eyes on the most famous shipwreck of all.
How Alcatraz Has Changed Throughout History
Alcatraz has gone from a ‘place of evil spirits’ in native American lore, to a military prison, to a federal lockup. Today, it’s a tourist attraction that draws people from across the globe. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn more about Alcatraz, an unlikely tourist attraction.
Indonesian Village Turns into a Rainbow to Attract Tourists
Every house and business in Kampung Pelangi is painted in bright rainbow colors. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to see the structures for yourself and to learn about the impact this project has had on the village.
Smithsonian’s Nature of Science: Expedition to Arctic Volcanoes
Some sites are little-known and visited because they are remote. Others because they are dangerous. And some, like the active volcanoes of Alaska’s Western Aleutian Islands, are both. Invite students to join geologist Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell in this video from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History as she explores these active Arctic volcanoes, searching for evidence of how the continents formed.
How Tombstone, Arizona Found New Life as a Tourist Attraction
The town of Tombstone, Arizona is cemented in wild west history, thanks to the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Years later, this epic event would be re-enacted for tourists—in the exact spot where it happened. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn how that came to be.
Why Does Every Tourist Attraction Sell Fudge?
One thing that places as different as Niagara Falls, Disneyland and Ellis Island have in common is fudge. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn why.
The Season of Caps and Gowns
Graduation season is upon us! Some students have already graduated. Others are just about to graduate. Ever wonder if academic regalia looked any different in the past? Explore this article from the Smithsonian Libraries to find out.
Graduating in the Navajo Way
In this documentary from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, you will meet the spiritual leaders, graduates, faculty and staff from Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, New Mexico. You will witness students who are, in the words of medicine man Dan Jim Nez, Graduating in the Navajo way.”
Commemorations Across the Disciplines
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students will explore how cultures commemorate people and events through music, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and poetry. Then they will work in collaborative groups to create a commemoration of their own and host a festival to share their work with others.