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So many museums, so little time

I’m in downtown Washington, D.C. this week as part of the annual Teaching American History project directors meeting. I can’t think of a better place for a bunch of history teachers to get together.

The problem?

The conference starts at 8:30 and ends around 5:00. These sessions are really cutting into my museum touring ability.

Yesterday I did managed to stop by the White House, the Washington Monument and spent a few hours at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Of course, a few hours at the National Museum of American History was just enough time to speed through one wing of six and spend a few minutes at the Star Spangled Banner exhibit. The cool thing is that the Smithsonian museums all have great web sites that give you and your kids the chance to find lots of cool stuff. Use the links below to digitally take a trip to Washington, D.C.:

National Museum of American History
Your gateway to innovative, standards-based online resources for teaching and learning American history. The Museum is a proud partner with Verizon Thinkfinity.

National Portrait Museum
The museum offers a number of educational resources to accompany their exhibits. These include lesson plans, study guides, teacher’s guides, and a quiz game called The Great History Mystery. You can also access short articles on historical figures such as Rosa Parks and Walt Whitman. Face-to-Face podcasts offer an in-depth look at artists, major historical figures, and events as interpreted through a particular artwork.

National Museum of the American Indian
Home to one of the largest and most diverse collections of Native art and historical and cultural objects; exhibitions are designed in collaboration with Native communities from across the hemisphere.

National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, making it the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. Construction is expected to be completed in 2015.

This is just the short list. Find links to all of Smithsonian’s goodies on the museum entry page. You can also check out their extensive museum educators page. Realize that there is also an educators page that focuses more on specific teaching resources and lesson plans.

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