Curriculum Resource Spotlight: The Smithsonian

This is the second in a series of five posts about online curriculum resources. If you missed Post One, you can certainly start here as they are not presented in any specific order.

The Smithsonian is more than just a special place to visit it is also an extensive online resource for educators and families. I have used a few of these lessons myself while working as a substitute teacher. They were all well thought out, common core state standard aligned and rigorous lessons that students engaged with easily and with excitement.

The Smithsonian offers artifacts, reviewed websites, reference materials, primary sources, interactive & media, lessons & activities, and worksheets. You can filter by grade level, resource type, historical era and cross-curricular connections (Smithsonian, “Lessons & Activities”).

Another really cool new project that The Smithsonian is working on is the 3D digitization of the collection. Only about 1% of the collection is ever on display for the public, the goal is to get the other 99% digitized and available virtually (Smithsonian, “About Smithsonian X 3D”).  Some of these data files can be downloaded and used to print 3D replicas to use for props and interactive inquiries by students (Smithsonian, “Educators”).



About Smithsonian X 3D. (2017, August 03). Retrieved September 04, 2017, from

Educators.(2017, August 03). Retrieved September 04, 2017, from

Lessons & Activities. (n.d.). Retrieved September 04, 2017, from