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Celebrate the Founding of the Smithsonian Institution!

Founded in the United States on August 10, 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is considered the “nation’s museum.” Today, the Smithsonian is comprised of 19 museums and 129 affiliate museums—including the National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum.

In addition to the exhibits at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, the institution has an extensive website, with information on exhibits and special events, including many online resources. Visit the Learning Lab and explore a variety of interactives. The Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources, creating content with online tools, and sharing in the Smithsonian’s expansive community of knowledge and learning.

Smithsonian’s History Explorer was developed by the National Museum of American History to offer hundreds of free, innovative online resources for teaching and learning American history. History Explorer’s resources focus on learning history by “reading” objects for the stories they hold about the nation and its many peoples. Learning activities feature artifacts selected from over 3 million items in the museum’s collections, and draw on the expertise of the museum’s renowned curatorial staff.

The Smithsonian’s IdeaLabs bring history, science, and art to life for young people. This interactive site is a place for students to learn about evertything from rock collecting to American presidents to the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Smithsonian Magazine has compiled a list of virtual experiences that cater to an array of interests based on all many of the resources available from the Institution.

How have you engaged with the Smithsonian Institution?

Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced recently by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!

It is the policy of NCTE in all publications, including the Literacy & NCTE blog, to provide a forum for the open discussion of ideas concerning the content and the teaching of English and the language arts. Publicity accorded to any particular point of view does not imply endorsement by the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the staff, or the membership at large, except in announcements of policy, where such endorsement is clearly specified.