Posts Tagged ‘Smithsonian’

Smithsonian Bicycle Collection & Extras

June 26th, 2015


It’s Friday, June 26, 2015, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:


Smithsonian Bicycle Collection



Age Range: All (children with parental supervision)


Part of the larger America on the Move collection at the National Museum of American History, Behring Center, in Washington, D.C., this portion of the website shares the history of bicycles through informative text and interesting pictures.
When arriving at the link above read a brief description of the collection, then use the “Table of Contents” drop down menu in the upper right to navigate through time. Select from: 
  • Introduction to the Smithsonian Bicycle Collection
  • The Development of the Bicycle
  • Bicycle History from the late 19th century
  • The collection, 1818-1869
  • The collection, about 1875-1881
  • The collection, 1883-1886
  • The collection, 1887-1891
  • The collection 1896-1927
  • The collection, 1935-1965
When arriving at the collection pages, visitors can select the images of the bicycles to learn more details about the bike and its history. Use the link on the left hand side bar to return to the collection of images.

After you are finished checking out all the bicycles in the online exhibit, jump over to the British Council Film Collection to step back in time as you watch the 1945 short film, “How a Bicycle is Made“.

Native Words, Native Warriors

December 4th, 2014


It’s Thursday, December 4, 2014, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:


Native Words, Native Warriors


Age Range: 11-17 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)


American Indian “Code Talkers” contributed significantly to the war efforts of World War I and World War II. This website, a companion to the Smithsonian Institution exhibition, Native Words, Native Warriors, provides an in-depth lesson plan that explores the lives of Code Talkers.
When arriving at the link above, you are presented with an Overview of the Website that provides a brief description of what will be covered in this unit. Using the upper navigation bar, you may choose to work through the unit in a “Text-Only” version, but many students may prefer the Flash Version (link located at the end of the navigation bar.) In the Flash version, audio and images work together to present information along with additional text. Listen to real Code Talkers tell their stories throughout the presentation. Use the upper navigation on the flash page to move through the chapters, which include: 
  • Introduction: Code Talkers
  • Languages: Living the Culture
  • Boarding Schools: Struggling with Cultural Repression
  • Code Talking: Intelligence and Bravery
  • Coming Home: Strength through Culture
  • Survival: Hard Times and Racism
  • Recognition: Medals and Praise
As you work through the presentation, “code” words in the native language with the English translations are presented throughout. At the end of each chapter, there is an online workbook activity that students can do then print out for their records or thought-provoking questions to encourage further discussion. In the Code Talking chapter, students will use the Navajo’s Code Talker Dictionary online to write coded messages.

Visit the Gallery by selecting the link on the right hand side of the presentation window to view over 170 images.

You can always return to the text version of the chapters or return to the lesson plan by selecting the links under the presentation window. You may also wish to check out the Resources list for further study.

This website provides thorough and interesting insight into the world of Code Talkers.

National Zoo’s AnimalCams!

May 23rd, 2014


It’s Friday, May 23, 2014, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:


Smithsonian National Zoo: AnimalCams


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


Take a virtual field trip to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park where you can see many animal exhibits streamed live through web cams! When you get to the site you’ll see a menu of WEB CAM exhibits that include:

  • Asian small-clawed otter
  • Clouded leopard
  • Fishing Cat
  • Lion cub
  • Microscope cam
  • Naked mole-rat
  • Orangutan
  • Panda Bear

Click on any one and a new page opens. You may have to scroll down the page slightly to find the screen where you can watch the live footage. Sometimes you can see the animals quite clearly, and other times they are out of camera range. Remember that the Smithsonian National Zoo is on Eastern Standard Time – so if you visit after sundown and before sunrise Eastern time, you may see nothing but a dark screen.

In addition to viewing the web cams, you’ll find “Fact Sheets” and “Photo Galleries” that you can explore to learn more about the animals featured on these web cams.

Bookmark this site so you can return often!

Postal History

April 3rd, 2014


It’s Thursday, April 3, 2014, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:


Smithsonian National Postal Museum


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


Postal history opens a unique window into the past. It brings personal histories to life and offers a compelling avenue for study. The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum provides educators with an interesting selection of lesson plans and materials that can be used online or downloaded, as well as an opportunity to explore the museum and its collections through virtual tours and online galleries.

When arriving at the site, the sidebar navigation offers the following destinations, each with wonderful historical educational opportunities: 

  • About the Museum
    • Take a 360° tour of the museum in the “Virtual Tour”
    • Visit the “Ford Education Center” to play educational games
    • Watch a video and learn the “History of the National Postal Museum”
    • Examine fascinating artifacts through the “Object of the Month”
  • Exhibits
    • Explore past, present and future exhibits to discover America’s postal history from colonial times to the present.
  • Collection
    • Delve into the world of philately and objects of postal operations with the “Arago Online Collection Database”. Visitors can even create their own digital collection of their favorite finds.
    • Learn about the “Collection History”, “Collection Projects”, and “Preservation Projects”.
    • Download “Finding Guides” that provide concise descriptions of the scope and content, provenance and list of materials for each collection.
  • Educators
    • Find lesson plans and downloadable material “Curriculum” for such interesting topics as:
      • Owney the Dog (early elementary)
      • Victory Mail (upper elementary through high school)
      • Moving the Mail West (interactive study of the Pony Express for middle school)
      • We Were There: Letters From the Battle Front (high school)
    • “Classroom Resources” offers a ‘jumping off’ point for supplemental activities.
  • Stamp Collecting
    • Discover the ins and outs of the intriguing world of philately.
  • Research
    • Additional information for serious enthusiasts, including links to the museum library, historical video footage and exhibit videos, and more.
  • Getting Involved – Ways to get involved with the museum
  • Activity Zone
    • Quick access to the online games, coloring pages, quizzes, and downloads.
  • Museum Library
With the wealth of information and educational material available, this website will surely receive your stamp of approval.

News Literacy Lessons, Games, & Resources!

June 19th, 2013

Hi!  It’s Wednesday, August 19, 2009 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:


Age Range: 9 and up (Late elementary through high school, approximately. Parents should preview to determine suitability of content.)

This website is a companion to the Newseum in Washington D.C. What’s a “Newseum”?  It’s a real museum (adjacent to the Smithsonian museums) with galleries, theaters, and exhibits “that offer five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology in hands-on exhibits.” It takes visitors behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.  This website offers free lessons, activities, games, and resources to promote language arts, social sciences, critical thinking, and civic responsibility.

The website provides an overview of the Newseum and it’s exhibits, including “Today’s Front Pages” that displays the front pages of daily newspapers worldwide in their original, unedited form. It’s a great way to get an idea of how news is featured and disseminated in any given country.

When you get to the site – you’ll see icon images of “Today’s Front Pages” from newspapers in North America (including every state in the USA), Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Oceania, South America, and Africa. Click on any one and the page gets larger so can read the entire front page.

The idea here is that reading worldwide headlines and front page stories may springboard learning and discussion of news events, history, journalism, and more.

When you are through reading the newspaper front pages, use the menu at the top of page to explore the rest of the site including:

*Education – Look for the menu on the left side of this page to register (free!) for theDigital Classroom” – a national news literacy website that provides digital media content in a curriculum-based structure for elementary, high school and college classes. It is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the freedoms of the U.S. First Amendment.

Then, from the same menu, click on “Resources for Teachers” to access “Lesson Plans” for students who are NOT visiting the museum.  Download free lessons (pdf) for Elementary, Middle School, and High School students on these topics:

  • Journalism
  • Headlines of History
  • The First Amendment

*Fun and Games – Enjoy some interactives that teach as they entertain including:

  • Newsmania – Play a  trivia game based on news headlines.
  • Virtual Tour – Can’t get to Washington, D.C.?  Take a virtual tour of the Newseum!
  • The News Comes to Life – Click on images (taken from headlines) in this interactive display to see and hear historic news stories.

This is a great way to combine language arts with social sciences.


Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane Artwork!

October 27th, 2012

Hi! It’s Saturday, October 27, 2012 and time for Art at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Age Range: 9 and up (with parental supervision)

The Smithsonian American Art Museum offers an interactive look at a classic painting titled, The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane by John Quidor. The painting was inspired by the famous short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving.

When you get to the website roll your cursor over the painting to see excerpts from the story that the painting depicts. You’ll see Ichabod Crane, wild-eyed in fear, as he’s pursued by the headless horseman. The horseman carries his “head” (a green pumpkin) as he chases Crane on horseback through a forest of twisted tree branches. It illustrates the frightening tale perfectly.

If you’re unfamiliar with the short story, you can read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving online for free at Project Gutenberg.

You can also download an audio version (mp3) of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for free at LibriVox.