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Smithsonian English/Language Arts (PK-12)
We’ve taken the themes and topics that are most often taught at each grade level and organized resources by grade band. Look through all grade levels to find a resource that works best for you and your students. To search for a keyword in the document, use Control-F or Command-F. Email questions or comments to us: learningATsi.edu.
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Find even more Smithsonian Learning Resources at the Smithsonian Learning Lab: https://learninglab.si.edu and at Smithsonian Education: https://learninglab.si.edu/about/smithsonianeducation
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Grade BandTheme/TopicSmithsonian ELA Resource NameURLNote
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EducatorsCulture, Civics, Current EventsTalking About Race: I Am An Educatorhttps://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/audiences/educatorTalking about race, although hard, is necessary. We are here to provide tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation. As an educator, you care about your students’ racial consciousness and want to develop their racial awareness.
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7-12Culture, Civics, Current EventsLearning Together during COVID-19https://smithsonianapa.org/learn/Learn how to speak up against bias and disrupt anti-Asian racism in our communities.
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CivicsVoices of Social Justice: National Portrait Galleryhttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/UXvNHGsRjLz1B9zEStudents will learn about some of the major figures who struggled to obtain civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups.
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9-12Visual Arts, PandemicHirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Artist Diaries
https://hirshhorn.si.edu/explore/artist-diaries/Video | This living archive captures the responses of contemporary international artists to the pandemic in their own voices.
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ELA & Social StudiesSmithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
#MomentsOfResilience
https://anacostia.si.edu/collection/moments-resilienceStory Submission | Submit a selection of collected stories for inclusion in the Anacostia Community Museum's storytelling initiative, "#MomentsOfResilience"
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Grade BandTheme/TopicSmithsonian ELA Resource NameURLNote
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KVisual Arts, Socio-Emotional LearningKindergarten Grade: Living Through History with Social & Emotional Learning Toolshttps://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/ehwOSdlQct0aN2IgActivity | Smithsonian Libraries and National Portrait Gallery offer social & emotional learning tools anchored in kindness to help navigate the impact and feelings of living through big moments in history.
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1Visual Arts, Socio-Emotional Learning1st Grade: Living Through History with Social & Emotional Learning Toolshttps://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/mDf0UkVAdwvagXTZActivity | Smithsonian Libraries and National Portrait Gallery offer social & emotional learning tools anchored in kindness to help navigate the impact and feelings of living through big moments in history.
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2Visual Arts, Socio-Emotional Learning2nd Grade: Living Through History with Social & Emotional Learning Toolshttps://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/wqUangmNljFtOrJpActivity | Smithsonian Libraries and National Portrait Gallery offer social & emotional learning tools anchored in kindness to help navigate the impact and feelings of living through big moments in history.
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PK-2READING Grades K-4Smithsonian Tween Tribunehttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/junior/
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PK-2READING Grades K-4Smithsonian Tween Tribune in Spanishhttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/spanish/Español / Spanish
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PK-2Early Childhood LiteracyDiscovery Theaterhttps://discoverytheater.org/digitalresources/index.shtmEspañol / Spanish
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PK-2Early Childhood LiteracyTalk with Me Toolkithttps://learninglab.si.edu/profile/45521
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PK-2Early Childhood LiteracyExpedition: Insectshttps://ssec.si.edu/expedition-insects
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PK-2Early Childhood LiteracyZoo Crew Family Guidehttps://nationalzoo.si.edu/sites/default/files/documents/smithsonians_national_zoo_family_guide_-_2018.pdf
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PK-2Early Childhood LiteracyZoo Crew Manual de Entrenamiento: Una Guia de Zoologico Nacional de Actividades para la Familia")https://nationalzoo.si.edu/sites/default/files/documents/zoo_crew_family_guide_2018_spanish_language.pdf
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PK-2Early Childhood LiteracyGuest Storytime with Author/Illustrator Cori Doerrfeld, "The Rabbit Listened"https://postalmuseum.si.edu/story-time-the-rabbit-listened
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EducatorsUS History, Asian Pacific American HistoryLearning Together - Representation in Children’s Literaturehttps://smithsonianapa.org/learn/learn-archives/08-2019/
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3Visual Arts, Socio-Emotional Learning3rd Grade: Living Through History with Social & Emotion Learning Toolshttps://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/p6iuEvnH6qWqVCryActivity | Smithsonian Libraries and National Portrait Gallery offer social & emotional learning tools anchored in kindness to help navigate the impact and feelings of living through big moments in history.
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3-4READING Grades K-4Smithsonian Tween Tribunehttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/junior/
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3-4READING Grades K-4Smithsonian Tween Tribune in Spanishhttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/spanish/Español / Spanish
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3-5Early Childhood LiteracyExpedition: Insectshttps://ssec.si.edu/expedition-insects
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3-5All Eras 1600s-2011Our Story: Stories and Activities https://amhistory.si.edu/ourstory/activities/byhistoric.htmlYou can do Together OurStory is designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through children’s literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities. Each OurStory module examines a moment in American history through a work of historical fiction and related activities and includes a reading guide for parents and caregivers. There are 23 stories and multiple activities for each story.
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3-5StorytellingSeeds of Storytellinghttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_SeedsForStorytelling.pdf
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3-5Visual Analysis StrategiesThink, Puzzle, Explorehttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_ThinkPuzzleExplore.pdf
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See, Think, Wonderhttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_SeeThinkWonder.pdf
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7 Ways to Read a Portraithttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_7WaysToLookAtAPortrait.pdf
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Naming Portraits with Katy Perry (Cupcake Katy)https://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/katy-perry-cupcake-katy-born-1984
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Portraiture Now: Communitieshttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/portraiture-now-communities
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Learning to Lookhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_learning_to_look.pdf
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3-5Writing about ArtWriting Label Text for a Museum Portraithttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/writing-label-text-museum-portrait
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3-5Visual Analysis StrategiesPortrait Detectiveshttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/pr08K68WzDNayh8K
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3-5Sensory WritingJump In! Find a portrait. If you could jump into this portrait, where would you like to be? https://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_Jump_In.pdf
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3-8Symbolism, StoytellingSymbolism, Story, and Art: Achelous & Herculeshttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/fcD4AqreYVE7F8GR
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"Achelous and Hercules" by Thoms Hart Benton, 1947 Presented by Taye Akinola Art Signs, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's monthly program, features 30-minute gallery talks presented by deaf gallery guides in American Sign Language (ASL). http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/29912American Sign Language (ASL)
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"Achelous and Hercules" by Thoms Hart Benton, 1947, mural paintinghttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/30044
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5-6Literacy, READING Grades 5-6Smithsonian Tween Tribune Grades 5-6https://www.tweentribune.com/category/tween56/
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5-6Literacy, READING Grades 5-6Smithsonian Tween Tribune in Spanishhttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/spanish/Español / Spanish
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7-8Literacy, READING Grades 7-8Smithsonian Tween Tribune Grades 7-8https://www.tweentribune.com/category/tween78/
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7-8Literacy, READING Grades 7-8Smithsonian Tween Tribune in Spanishhttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/spanish/Español / Spanish
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6-8Artworks aligned with concept-based units: Outside Influence, Friendship & Relationships, Resiliency, The Impact of Choices, Changing the World, Competition and Challenge, Overcoming Obstacles, Survival & Dystopia, Why Stories Matter, IdentityFCPS Middle School English/Language Artshttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/zmem67hKv4oxGuPz
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6-8Art & Poetry6 Word Memoirhttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_SixWordMemoir_0.pdf
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6-8Art & PoetryBrave, Black, First Activity Guidehttps://images.randomhouse.com/promo_image/9780525645818_6881.pdf
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6-8Considering MediumHarlem Heroes: Photographs by Carl Van Vechtenhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_harlem_heroes.pdf
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6-8Constructing & Revising StoriesTelling Stories: Norman Rockwell (Workbook)https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_rockwell.pdf
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Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell (Supporting Artworks)https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_rockwell_featured_art.pdf
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6-8Comparing & Contrasting TextsAfrican American Artists: Myth and Modern Societyhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_aa_myth_modern.pdf
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6-8StorytellingSeeds of Storytellinghttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_SeedsForStorytelling.pdf
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6-8Visual Analysis7 Ways to Read a Portraithttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_7WaysToLookAtAPortrait.pdf
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Claim, Support, Question https://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_ClaimSupportQuestion.pdf
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Compelling Portraitshttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_CompellingPortraits.pdf
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Engineering Design Challengehttps://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/engineering-challenges-aar-design-hangar
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Learning to Lookhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_learning_to_look.pdf
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"The South Ledges, Appledore" by Childe Hassam, 1913; Art Signs, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's gallery talks presented by deaf gallery guides in American Sign Language (ASL).http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/29916American Sign Language (ASL)
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"The South Ledges, Appledore" by Childe Hassam, 1913 paintinghttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/30048
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Portraiture Now: Communitieshttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/portraiture-now-communities
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The Struggle for Justice: Activistshttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/struggle-justice
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Think, Puzzle, Explorehttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_ThinkPuzzleExplore.pdf
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"Monekana" by Deborah Butterfield, 2001 Presented by Tabitha Jacques Art Signs, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's monthly program, features 30-minute gallery talks presented by deaf gallery guides in American Sign Language (ASL).http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/29907American Sign Language (ASL)
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Monekana, Deborah Butterfield, 2001, horse sculpturehttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/30040
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6-8Creative WritingCreative Writing Through Portraiture: Red Cloudhttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/red-cloud-1822–1909
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6-8Writing about ArtWriting Label Text for a Museum Portraithttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/writing-label-text-museum-portrait
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6-8Writing with Descriptive LanguageEkphrastic Poetry (Describing a Work of Art)https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-11/education_guide_ekphrastic_poetry_lesson.pdf
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6-8Writing with Descriptive Language"Sunflower III" by Joan Mitchell, 1969 Presented by Tracey Salaway Art Signs, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's monthly program, features 30-minute gallery talks presented by deaf gallery guides in American Sign Language (ASL). http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/29909American Sign Language (ASL)
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Sunflower III, Joan Mitchell, 1969, paintinghttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/30042
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6-8Close reading, citing textual evidence, writing arguments, supporting claimsAmerican Indian Removal: What Does it Mean to Remove a People?
https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/removal/
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6-9World Studies - Europe, American History - Famous PeopleExplore Smithsonian: James Smithson - The Founder of the Smithsonianhttps://ssec.si.edu/explore-smithsonian-james-smithson-founder-smithsonian
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9-12Literacy, Reading Grades 9-12Smithsonian Tween Tribunehttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/teen/
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9-12Literacy, Reading Grades 9-12Smithsonian Tween Tribune in Spanishhttps://www.tweentribune.com/category/spanish/Español / Spanish
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9-12Artworks grouped according to concept-based units: Role in  the Community, Change & Transition, Perspectives, Self-Discovery, Persuasion & Consumerism, Art & Aesthetics, Power, Hope, Innovation & Progress, AlienationFCPS High School English/Language Artshttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/YyNxC7K7i9Fh0eso
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9-12African poetry an artThe Griot Poetry Contesthttps://africa.si.edu/education/online-resources/ten-at-home-activities-for-k-12/
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9-12Considering Why Medium MattersHarlem Heroes: Photographs by Carl Van Vechtenhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_harlem_heroes.pdf
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9-12Cognition, Thinking, Skill Building, ObservationThinking Routines from Harvard Project Zerohttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/oWYbEjpf19oxcFUp
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9-12Cultural, CultureSmithsonian Latino Centerhttps://latino.si.edu/learn/teaching-and-learning-resourcesEspañol / Spanish
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9-12StorytellingUnveiling Stories through Portraiturehttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_UnveilingStories.pdf
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9-12Visual Analysis Strategies, MythologyAchelous and Hercules: What makes you say that?https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/achelous-and-hercules-what-makes-you-say-that/4AjyU7Fu2mM6Gk8t#r
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"Achelous and Hercules" by Thoms Hart Benton, 1947 Presented by Taye Akinola Art Signs, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's monthly program, features 30-minute gallery talks presented by deaf gallery guides in American Sign Language (ASL). http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/29912American Sign Language (ASL)
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"Achelous and Hercules" by Thoms Hart Benton, 1947, mural paintinghttp://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD#r/30044
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9-12Visual Analysis Strategies7 Ways to Read a Portraithttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_7WaysToLookAtAPortrait.pdf
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9-12A Portrait of Sandra Cisneros and The House of Mango Streethttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/sandra-cisneros
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9-12Claim, Support, Question https://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_ClaimSupportQuestion.pdf
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9-12Compelling Portraitshttps://npg.si.edu/sites/default/files/NPG_CompellingPortraits.pdf
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9-12Learning to Lookhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-09/education_guide_learning_to_look.pdf
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9-12Portraiture Now: Communitieshttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/portraiture-now-communities
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9-12The Struggle for Justice: Activistshttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/struggle-justice
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9-12Informative WritingThe War of 1812: Create Your Own Textbook Entryhttps://npg.si.edu/exhibit/1812/lessons/lesson_1812_textbook.pdf
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9-12Writing about ArtWriting Label Text for a Museum Portraithttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/writing-label-text-museum-portrait
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9-12Writing with Descriptive LanguageEkphrastic Poetry (Describing a Work of Art)https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2017-11/education_guide_ekphrastic_poetry_lesson.pdf
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9-12SKill: "Reading" a painting"Reading Portraiture" Guide for Educatorshttps://npg.si.edu/learn/classroom-resource/reading-portraiture-guide-educators
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9-12Using Art to Teach History and Language Arts, Grades 5–12VIDEOS: Meet the Artist video series: features artists discussing their work in terms of identity, context and process. https://americanart.si.edu/videos/meet-artist
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9-12Using Art to Teach History and Language Arts, Grades 5–12The American Experience in the Classroomhttps://americanexperience.si.edu/
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9-12Teaching About DesignWhat is Design Toolkit from the Cooper-Hewitthttps://www.cooperhewitt.org/publications/k-12-teacher-resource-packet/
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9-12Cultural, CultureH1-B Visa Online Art Exhibition, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/QRdMk4sZ
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Grade Band
Additional Art & Design Resources from the Education Departments at the Smithsonian
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6-12Art & DesignSmithsonian Video Resources in American Sign Language (ASL)http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/5W43aXCu4VhGN4BD
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6-12Art Signs Smithsonian American Art Museum Gallery Talks in American Sign Language (ASL)https://americanart.si.edu/videos/art-signs-american-art-talks-asl-154402
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AllAfrican Art Online Resourceshttps://africa.si.edu/education/online-resources/