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The Wilderness Road
In 1775, the now-legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap—a notch in the Appalachian Mountains located near the intersection of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. The trail, known as the Wilderness Road, then passed through the interior of Kentucky and to the Ohio River. Use this collection materials from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to learn more about Boone’s pioneering path.
This Account is Reclaiming the Indigenous Names for Mountains One Geotag at a Time
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn about the Navajo climber who is leading a social media campaign to spread awareness of the indigenous names of peaks.
Interview with Sir Edmund Hillary: Mountain Climbing
On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary scaled the peak of Mount Everest, becoming an instant celebrity. Invite students to listen to these snippets from a Smithsonian Folkways interview with Hillary to learn more about this great mountaineer and his expeditions.
The Tallest Mountains in the Solar System
Read this Smithsonian Magazine article to learn why Mount Everest is just a peewee when compared with such giants as Mount Olympus on Mars.
Tengir-too: Mountain Music of Kyrgyzstan
From the mountainous Kyrgyzstan, Jew’s harps, fiddles, plucked stringed instruments and powerful voices transmit the vibrant rhythms of nomadism and the serene atmosphere of the Kyrgyz mountains. Watch this video from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to see and hear musicians perform in this musical language, which as contemporary as it is ancient.
The Woman Inventor Behind “Monopoly”
Invite students to read this article from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation to learn how a desire to teach economic theories led one woman to invent the game of “Monopoly.”
Number Operations
Help elementary students practice basic math facts and gain a deeper conceptual understanding of number relationships with this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Center. Students will design and write clear directions for a new math game.
These Complex, Beautiful Game Pieces are 5,000 Years Old
With pigs and pyramids and dog-shaped tokens, what kind of game might they have been playing? Read this Smithsonian magazine article to find out.
Researchers Are Trying to Figure Out How to Play This Ancient Roman Board Game
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn about one of Europe’s best-preserved ancient gaming boards, which was found in a grave in Slovakia in 2006.
Board Games Have Been Teaching Us How to Shop for More Than a Century
Read this story from the National Museum of American History to learn how the board games Americans played can give us insights into consumer culture during different periods of U.S. history.