“Inspiration Nation,” a new 40-page activity guide from the Smithsonian in collaboration with USA Today, features inspiring stories, hands-on investigations, and art projects for K–8 learners. From storytelling to stargazing, learners can experience a wide variety of activities to inspire them to expand their learning, explore their interests, and take action in their communities. For example: Inspired by Smithsonian Environmental Research Center scientists, learners can conduct a science investigation using everyday kitchen supplies to learn about extracting DNA. Inspired by different depictions of the Statue of Liberty from the National Museum of American History and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, learners can reimagine this American symbol to communicate ideas about causes they feel passionate about. Inspired by posters from the Division of Community Education of Puerto Rico, learners can craft persuasive messages and visuals as they design a poster spotlighting an important social issue, with guidance from the Smithsonian Latino Center. A free download of the printer-friendly guide is available online. The guide features bilingualSpanish/Englishlanguage content, and as a bonus, caregivers can learn more about featured resources and related activities for each of the guide’s topics in the Smithsonian Learning Lab collection.
Now with Apple ARKit, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar can be brought to life in the real world. Through an augmented reality experience, children can watch their own Very Hungry Caterpillar appear in their classroom, on a kitchen table, in a garden, on their playground, or anywhere else they want to play with it.
Three new early-literacy apps have been released for free by a team in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and its Reach Every Reader initiative. The apps are designed for parents and caregivers to use with their children to encourage fun and rewarding interactions, promote dialogue, and give children the foundations they need to read, learn, and thrive.