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Smithsonianeducation.org - Resources for Parents, Teachers and Students

The Smithsonian, is the world’s largest museum and research complex. Its holdings include 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoo and 9 research facilities. SmithsonianEducation.org, is a website providing digital access to its collections and resources.

Teachers, students and parents can access a vast amount of information from SmithsonianEducation.org. All the resources are free. The site’s superb organization facilitates the process of finding materials, whether it’s a lesson plan, a video or a web quest.

Smithsonian Education provides resources for parents, teachers and students.

For Educators

Teachers can search for lessons and materials by subject area.

The Educator page is easy to search.

They can also locate items by using a keyword search and narrowing results by grade level and subject. The site is responsive to the current emphasis on standards-based learning, and provides standards-aligned materials as well as a way to search by using state and Common Core standards. SmithsonianEducation.org also has its own YouTube channel,.
Visiting the Lesson Plans page gives users the option to see the site’s top 10 lessons for the month, which is great for a casual user who may be seeking innovative lesson ideas.

The Lesson Plans page features the most popular lessons.

One of the current Top 10 lessons, The Music in Poetry, includes a soundtrack and also welcomes students to submit original poetry written during the lesson, though it makes no guarantee of publication. The lesson is rounded out by poetry written by students across the country, with samples from elementary, middle and high school, making it accessible to students of all ages.
In addition to lesson plans, the site includes an “Idea Lab” which is a collection of multidisciplinary, interactive tutorials covering a range of topics. Current offerings include Symbols in Art and Prehistoric Climate Change.

Idea Labs are featured prominently across the site.

The Resources Library is extensive, and allows users to search by key word and standard.

An extensive Resource Library provides additional resources.

It includes a specific page of Heritage Resources, which contains materials teachers can use during Heritage Months, including Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Native American Heritage. Each month’s page includes lesson collections exploring different aspects of each group’s contributions and culture.

Each Heritage Month has a collection of materials.

Because of the sheer amount of information available on SmithsonianEducation.org, there is a helpful page with search tips.

A page with tips for searching will help navigate all the material.

For Families

The main emphasis on the Family section is on planning a memorable visit.

The Family page encourages in-person visits.

It includes a list of books that will enhance the Smithsonian experience. Users can also access to the Resource Library. Idea Labs are the primary educational resource in the Family section, which parents can explore with their children.

For Students

Like the Family section, the Students section primarily features its Idea Labs, which all but the youngest students should be able to navigate independently. It also includes a tab where students can see all the topics addressed on the site, so they can easily explore their interests.

Students can explore a wide array of topics.

Many kids love a good mystery, and they can pursue this interest on the Secrets of the Smithsonian page, which currently features Spiders In Space and History of the Hope Diamond.

Mystery-loving kids will enjoy the Secrets page.

Overall, SmithsonianEducation.org provides educators, students and parents with a wealth of knowledge, allowing users a great look at everything the Smithsonian has to offer.

Written March 23, 2015 by Tracy Derrel

Art , K-12 , Music , Science , Social Studies

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