Teaching Resources

Lesson Plans

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Primary Document Analysis

“Reading” Portraiture Guide for Educators

At the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, we use the visual clues found in our objects (painting, photography, drawing, and sculpture) to learn about the individual featured in the artwork. Do you want your students to learn about Rosa Parks? Your first inclina¬tion might be to have them read something about Parks, and this is certainly a valid way for them to gain information. But we are asking that you turn that notion on its side and have students “read” a portrait prior to reading an essay or biography.

This guide will encourage you and your students to look at the visual image first. Although you will want to supplement the visual reading with some actual reading, we are confi¬dent that this new technique of “learning to look” will produce a richer—and possibly more memorable—examination of the individual.

Colored Troops Flag

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Billboard

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Vestibulum bibendum diam in lorem consectetur viverra. In sit amet tortor ut leo hendrerit scelerisque a eget quam. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Nullam vel neque nisl. Donec adipiscing sapien a dolor elementum et vulputate nunc scelerisque. Integer sodales mi mauris. Suspendisse magna leo, tristique vitae viverra vitae, sodales sit amet massa. Nunc aliquet dui sed quam scelerisque aliquet. Suspendisse hendrerit bibendum libero et dapibus. Quisque accumsan arcu non arcu placerat feugiat. Aenean adipiscing mauris et nibh dignissim faucibus. Maecenas dui felis, luctus ut fermentum sed, rhoncus nec elit. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas.