Posts Tagged ‘Smithsonian’

Be a History Explorer

November 1st, 2018

 

It’s Thursday, November 1, 2018, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Smithsonian’s History Explorer

(historyexplorer.si.edu/)

Age Range: All (All grades, children with parental supervision)

 

Explore American history with the hundreds of lesson plans, activities, interactives, media and much more available at this website from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The homepage highlights featured topics, artifacts and resources. Visitors can use the search box on the right-hand side of the page to search for their topical interest which can easily be further refined by resource type, grade level, historical era, and/or cross-curricular connections. Once the list of resources populates, make your selection, review the information about the resource, then select the “Get Resource” button to access the material. Please note that some of the units bring you to an outside website while others are located on the Smithsonian site, so as always be sure to preview prior to allowing students to use this site. 

Visitors can also choose to browse content using the upper menu to locate resources by: 

  • Lessons & Activities – Search for specific lessons and activities to support your students’ learning.
  • Media – Explore relevant audio, video and interactive resources.
  • Museum Artifacts – Browse collections to use for object-based learning.
  • Themes – Dig deeper into resources focused on a major theme in American history including: 
    • A Nation We Build Together
    • American Experiments
    • Protest and Civic Action, the Civil Rights Movement
    • The American Revolution and World Wars
    • Presidential History, Politics and Voting
    • STEM Resources
    • Westward Expansion
    • Immigration
    • Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Teaching with Drama
    • Agriculture History
    • And more
  • Books – Check out the list of history related books to add to your reading list.
  • Teacher Resources – Find help for using the site and primary sources in teaching history as well as archived webinars and more.
  • Web Links – Examine additional links to other history websites.

Be sure to bookmark this website as it will be a valuable resource through all your American history studies.

Discover the History of the Lightbulb

October 18th, 2018

 

It’s Thursday, October 18, 2018, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Lighting a Revolution

(americanhistory.si.edu/lighting/index.htm)

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)

 

Explore the history of the lightbulb with this web presentation from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

This site takes visitors through the steps involved in the process of the invention of the lightbulb by Thomas Edison in the 19th century and then examines the major developments made to lamps in the 20th century.

After reading through the introductory text on the home page, students can begin their exploration by selecting from the three “doors” on the page: 

  • Invention Factory: 19th Century Electric Lamps
  • Invention Factory: 20th Century Electric Lamps
  • Guest Lounge & Library

The “Invention Factory” sections are broken down again into the 5 steps of inventing: 

  • Store Room: Knowledge & Equipment for Inventors (Step 1: Preconditions) – Dig into what previously discovered technology and inventions help in the creation of the new product.
  • Laboratory: Caution Inventors at Work (Step 2: Invention) – Learn about the people, places, events, and discoveries of lighting inventors.
  • Marketing Department: Promotions for All Occasions (Step 3: Promotion) – Gain an understanding of the importance promoting an invention has in bringing new inventions to the public.
  • Competition: Inventors: Have Patents Out & Ready for Inspection (Step 4: Competition) – Discover the importance of competition in the world of inventions.
  • Consequences: Intended & Otherwise (Step 5: Consequences) – Examine the results of the invention of the lightbulb and its impact on history.

Each section presents concise information about the topic accompanied by exhibit images.

The “Guest Lounge & Library” provides visitors opportunities for further research by providing exhibit scripts and notes, a time-line photo gallery of lamp inventors, links to other informative sites about Thomas Edison and lighting, history, technology, and energy files with additional images and information relating to lighting including ink blotters, patents, the science behind electric lighting and lightbulbs, and significance of energy efficiency.

Add this site to your list of resources for history and inventor studies.

Virtual Tours of Six Villages in Vietnam

September 14th, 2018

 

It’s Friday, September 14, 2018, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Mekong Lifeways

(folklife.si.edu/resources/mekong/Engframe.html)

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)

 

This site from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage provides a set of online photo albums that present a virtual tour of traditional lifestyles of people in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.


The sister site describes a trip taken along the entire length of the Mekong River (not just Vietnam). This is also where you’ll find the coloring pages.

One tricky characteristic of today’s featured site is that the navigation controls change location from page to page. Here is a quick summary so that you will be able to get through the site without difficulty: 

On the first page, the introduction runs down the right-hand column, and you need to select a city from the six photos in the central column. Then, on each city’s main page, you need to scroll down to read the introduction at the bottom of the large center/right column, then select a photo archive from the left-hand column. Once inside each photo archive, you need to read the information at the bottom center of the page, then navigate using the thumbnails across the *top* of the screen. Don’t worry, it’s easier then it sounds.

Each photo comes with a short caption; together this montage gives you a little taste for the variety that exists here, and a bit of an idea of what makes each of these six cities special.

Challenge for older students: Try to practice your speed reading on the highly detailed descriptions that appear when you position your mouse over each photograph. (If you missed the description, don’t worry. Select a different photo and then return back right away to the one you were trying to read.)

Make the Dirt Fly: Panama Canal History

August 9th, 2018

 

It’s Thursday, August 9, 2018, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Smithsonian Libraries: Make the Dirt Fly

(www.sil.si.edu/Exhibitions/Make-the-Dirt-Fly/index.html)

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)

 

The Panama Canal opened on August 15, 1914 creating a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This digital exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries explains the history and process of undertaken to build the canal.

To enter the exhibition, click the home page image then read through the next few frames, using the red arrow on the right-hand side of the screen to move through the slides. After the first few slides, there will also be a map on the pages that can be used to move to different sections of the presentation. Topics covered include: 

  • Why Build a Canal?
  • Choosing a Route
  • Making the Dirt Fly
  • Waging War on Mosquitoes
  • Life in the Canal Zone
  • Civil Engineering
  • An Engineering Icon
  • Did you know?
  • Suggested Reading

Each topic includes informational text, relevant images that can be enlarged by clicking on them, quotes from people of the time, and additional facts relevant to the subject.

This site makes a nice resource for your history studies of building of the Panama Canal.

North Atlantic Vikings

October 5th, 2017

 

It’s Thursday, October 5, 2017, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

(naturalhistory.si.edu/vikings/start.html)

Age Range: 8-18 (Grades 3-12, with parental supervision)

 

Explore the saga of the North Atlantic Vikings with this website from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Read the brief introduction and then select either the “View the Exhibit” or “Viking Voyage.” Once on the exhibit page choose the “Guided Tour” link in the upper menu or left sidebar to begin examining 9 artifacts in the collection and discover interesting stories about the pieces. From this page, the Viking Voyage can be selected in the upper menu. Choose either the Enhanced site or the standard site. Both versions present the same information, but the enhanced site automatically begins the audio/video features. Intended to be explored sequentially, use the map to journey to: 

  • Homelands
  • Western Isles
  • Iceland
  • Greenland
  • Markland and Helluland
  • Vinland
  • Land of Legend

Each page includes textural overviews, archaeological information, images, interesting Viking sagas, and historical facts. There are links to videos and animations, but we found that we were not able to play these. However, don’t let that deter you from visiting this website as there is a lot of other valuable information readily available for your studies.

There are also other educational resources available by selecting the “Learning Center” link. There is an online Teacher’s Guide, a downloadable Family Guide PDF with questions to answer and more, as well as links to other resources such as additional websites, vocabulary, Hnefatafl Board (an old Norse game), a Viking world map, and the Futhark Runic alphabets.

This website will be a nice addition to your list of social studies resources.

Discover the Pioneers of Flight

August 24th, 2017

 

It’s Thursday, August 24, 2017, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

The Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery

(pioneersofflight.si.edu/)

Age Range: 6-18 (Grades 2-12, with parental supervision)

 

This website from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum focuses on the formative years of aviation during the 1920s and 1930s through historical images, videos, texts, and interactive activities.

After arriving at today’s link, read through the introduction then either use the upper menu to navigate or scroll down the page to review summaries of the topics available and click from there. Selections include: 

  • People – Learn about the innovators, business people, and pilots that blazed new trails in aviation and rocketry.
  • Technology & Innovation – Discover the advancements in technology during the 1920s and 1930s that changed aviation forever.
  • Aircraft & Rockets – Explore the record-setting and groundbreaking exhibits at the museum.
  • Culture – Examine the impact early aviation had on the culture of the day.
  • Media Gallery – Search through the gallery for images, maps, videos, and more.
  • Pioneering Moments – Use the interactive timeline to explore aviation through the early 1900’s.
  • Activities – Play games to put what you have learned around this website to the test. Games include: 
    • Pilot Pals – Put yourself in the pilot seat. (At this review, this activity was only available as a downloadable app from the AppStore.)
    • Packing for the Unknown –  Pack for an aerial journey and compare your choices with those that Charles Lindbergh made.
    • Tuskegee Airmen Flight Leader – See if you have what it took to be a flight leader.
    • Air Racing Activity – Design your own aircraft then see how it would do in a race.
    • First Flight Around the World – Plan a flight around the world dealing with the unexpected challenges.

This website provides an avenue for students of all ages to begin discovering the role aviation has had on history.

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