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How a Teenager from Idaho Invented TV
Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn more about Philo Farnsworth and how this scarily smart teenage sharecropper invented TV.
Science TV: Making It Real
In this Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson, high school students make connections between science and design and ultimately create a mock science television show that addresses social issues.
Exile: Cuba and the United States
In this National Museum of American History lesson plan, high school students utilize the life story of Celia Cruz to research the events of the Cuban revolution and its effect on U.S.-Cuban relations and U.S. foreign policy. Students will then prepare a story about the revolution as if they were members of a television news team reporting events of the time.
Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture
Invite students to view this exhibition from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which explores the era that shaped Oprah Winfrey’s life and early career in TV, her talk show that dominated daytime TV for 25 years and the ways in which she has influenced American popular culture.
Turn Off the Tube
In this activity from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students design surveys on teen television viewing habits and create informational materials to inspire teens to watch less television.
The Dawn of Television Promised Diversity. Here’s Why We Got “Leave It to Beaver” Instead
Using original archival research and FBI blacklist documents, a new book pieces together the intersectional narratives that never made it on air. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn all about it.
The Moon Landing Was the Television Event of the Decade
On July 16, 1969, Americans filled highways, streets and homes to witness the launch of a rocket from the Kennedy Space Center: the legendary, moon-bound Apollo 11. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn more about this historical event.
Thanksgiving—A Reflection of a Nation
The images in this Smithsonian Learning Lab collection depict different portrayals of Thanksgiving from 1863 to 1994. Invite students to examine the images and complete the activities as they explore the meaning behind the Thanksgiving holiday.
American Indian Perspectives
Contemporary celebrations of the Thanksgiving holiday focus on the idea that the “first Thanksgiving” was a friendly gathering of two disparate groups—or even neighbors—who shared a meal and lived harmoniously. Encourage students to review these materials from the National Museum of the American Indian to understand Native perspectives on the annual holiday.
Thanksgiving Activity for the Classroom
Watch this short video from the National Museum of the American Indian to learn how to use widely accessible and inexpensive materials to create a corn necklace. The activity, designed for students up to fifth grade, provides an alternative to the culturally inappropriate paper feather headdress that is often made for Thanksgiving and during Native American Heritage Month.