This activity from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum teaches students the differences and similarities between “masterpieces” and mass-produced objects. Students analyze the value of items and persuade panel members to accept recommended items into their museum collection.
The Museum Environment and Preservation
In this lesson from the National Museum of American History, students will discuss and brainstorm ideas to discover the destructive impact of environmental factors on man made artifacts and structures. Upon completion of one or more activities, students will gain a concrete understanding of the complexity of the science of preservation.
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Invite students to find onsite resources on subjects ranging from agriculture to zoology with the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the digitization component of the Encyclopedia of Life. This consortium of 12 major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries and research institutions is organized to digitize, serve and preserve the legacy literature of biodiversity.
Judging a Book by Its Cover
Through this lesson plan from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students explore the relationship between the form of books and the content inside. They “author and publish” a book using both ancient and modern binding techniques that relate to the content of their writing.
Portraits, Visual and Written
These lessons from the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access introduce students to the lives and works of Louisa May Alcott and Samuel Clemens through portraits a well as through their writings. Students come away with a better understanding of how the events of one’s life can be an inspiration for creative writing.
History on Stage: A Pop-Up Lesson
This lesson from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries accompanies “Paper Engineering,” an exhibition on pop-up books. The site includes detailed illustrated instructions to guide students as they make their own pop-up books on historical subjects.
Galaxy of Knowledge
This virtual portal to the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ extensive collections and resources features on-line exhibitions, digitized books and bibliographies.
A New Candidate for Animal Farm
This Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson requires high school students to identify and analyze the effectiveness of propaganda, rhetoric and satire as they read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” Students campaign as one of the animals in the book: making speeches, cartoons and brochures to rally for their views. The lesson culminates in a voting process to assess the success of their attempts at persuasion.