Smithsonian Resources and The Big History Project
No websites, but I know we have objects related to creation myths in our
collections at the National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of
African Art, Sackler Freer Museum (Asian Art), and in the anthropological
collections at the National Museum of Natural History.
Origins of the
COSMIC QUESTIONS: OUR PLACE IN SPACE AND TIME addresses the
composition of the universe and its vast scales of space and time. Lessons
1) how astronomers use physical and anatomical tools to “learn from light;
2) the interplay of models, evidence and explanation in forming our
understanding of the universe;
3) “how we know” about the universe; and
4) various perspectives (historical, personal, cultural, artistic, etc.) on age-old
cosmic questions. Students are encouraged to explore their own ideas about
the universe and why answers to cosmic questions matter.
Mapping the universe http://blog.nasm.si.edu/2011/09/30/mapping-everything/
The Evolving Universe – journey back to the beginning of the universe about
13.6 million years http://www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/evolving-universe/galaxy/
Origins of the Galaxies Birth of the Solar System http://www.mnh.si.edu/earth/main_frames.html
Origins of the Earth Earth
How to Make a Planet http://www.mnh.si.edu/earth/main_frames.html
Plate Techtonics and Volcanoes
Build a Volcano http://www.mnh.si.edu/earth/main_frames.html
Interactive Map of Volcanoes
Video gallery of eruptions http://www.volcano.si.edu/education/video.cfm
Photo gallery of types and processes of volcanoes
The evolution of terrestial ecosystems http://www.mnh.si.edu/ete/
The Oceans Over Time http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-over-time/top-predators-
Change is in the Air http://forces.si.edu/atmosphere/
Theory of Evolution Videos
Dr. Rick Potts introducing some of the evidence for human evolution, in
the form of fossils and artifacts. http://humanorigins.si.edu/resources/intro-
Comparison of human and primate behavior.
Evidence of evolution: behavior (primate behavior, early footprints, stone
tools, carrying and storing vessels, hearths and shelters, burial objects,
methods of recording, tools for making clothing, art and music), dating,
human fossils, and genetics. http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/behavior
Evidence of what it means to be human: walking upright, tools and food,
bodies, brains, social life, language and symbols and humans change the
3D Collection of fossils, artifacts and primates.
Evolution of Life and
Evolve or Perish Board Game (downloadable)
Mystery skull interactive http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-
Human Family Tree http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-
Human evolution timeline http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-
Top Predators Timeline http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-over-time/top-predators-
Did Whale Evolution Go Backwards http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-over-time/did-
A collection of resources that explore the patterns and processes that
created the diversity of life on Earth. Topics range from the evolution of
life in the sea through the rise and reign of reptiles to the modern age of
Lessons (Grades 9-12): http://humanorigins.si.edu/education/lesson-plans
Alike, but not the same Students conduct a class inventory of human
traits, construct histograms of the data they collect, and play a brief game
that introduces the notion of each individual's uniqueness.
What does it mean to be human? Students plot the distribution of major
hominid taxa on a world map to hypothesize about the origin and
movement of prehuman ancestors.
The meaning of genetic variation Students investigate variation in the
beta globin gene by identifying base changes that do and do not alter
Evolution of Life and
It’s all in your head: An investigation of human ancestry Students
describe, measure and compare cranial casts from contemporary apes,
modern humans, and fossil hominids to discover some of the similarities
and differences between these forms and to see the pattern leading to
Human Origins Exhibit
Educators’ Guide Pre, during and post activities for visiting the David H.
Koch Hall of Human Origins in the National Museum of Natural History.
Some of the background information and lessons could be adapted for
more general use.
Floorplan of Human Origins exhibition
Origin of Agriculture The Human Connection
A collection of resources that explore the interactive forces that shape,
generate, constrain and sustain human cultures. Topics range from ancient
to modern cultures from around the world.
Database of Archeobiology Collection includes over 4000 cubic feet of
world class archaeobiological collections. These collections boast some of
the earliest examples of domesticated plants and animals in the Old and
New Worlds, as well as important archaeobiological collections from early
hunter-gatherer to early urban
Cites, States and
Artifacts that document cultural traditions around the world, but no coherent
overall storyline. Collections from National Museum of African Art, Sackler-Freer
Gallery of Asian Art, National Museum of the American Indian (Western
Hemisphere), anthropological collections in the National Museum of Natural
Seeds of Change Garden
Lessons that illustrate the Old World and New World origins of the foods we
eat and the impact Columbus' voyages had on the diets, cuisines, and ethnic
make-up of our world today.http://www.mnh.si.edu/archives/garden/history/
Modern World Changes in Communication More than 7,000 objects chart the evolution of
electronic communications, including the original telegraph of Samuel Morse and
Alexander Graham Bell's early telephones. Radios, televisions, tape recorders,
and the tools of the computer age are part of the collections, along with
wireless phones and a satellite tracking system. National Museum of American
20th Century Changes in the Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely http://forces.si.edu/arctic/
The Future Design for the Other 90% Of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion, 5.8
billion people, or 90%, have little or no access to most of the products and
services many of us take for granted; in fact, nearly half do not have regular
access to food, clean water, or shelter. Design for the Other 90% explores a
growing movement among designers to design low-cost solutions for this “other
90%.” Through partnerships both local and global, individuals and organizations
are finding unique ways to address the basic challenges of survival and
progress faced by the world’s poor and marginalized.
See panel discussion with designers http://cooperhewitt.org/live
societies around the world. http://anthropology.si.edu/archaeobio/collections.htm
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