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Cooper-Hewitt Educator Resources

Found In: arts, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s Educator Resources is a collection of K-12 cross-curricular lesson plans. Lessons are searchable by grade level, subject, or keyword. Results can be listed newest first or by title, A-Z or Z-A. Lesson plans include National Standards, links to Internet resources, detailed procedures, enrichment activities, and links to related files.

Lesson Plans

What Should a Playground Look Like? asks PreK-1 students to design a playground.

Let the Games Begin challenges students in elementary school to work in small groups to design a game requires players to round three- and four-digit numbers to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousand.

In Redesign My Street! Street Design For Pedestrian Safety, middle school students explore the problems of pedestrian safety in their community, and consider how current street design enhances or hinders walking safety near their school.

In Viewing Device: New Perspective high school students work in small groups to create a simple device that will allow users to see a different perspective of a space without moving.


Some videos in the Design K12 Pre-Visit  playlist are specifically intended to prepare students for visiting the museum. Others are standalone. Their length and vocabulary make them best suited for high school. For example, What Is Design?  (54:34) illustrates how design is a step in all human-fashioned things and takes a look at examples of good design and bad design. Another, How and Why Things Work,  (56:25) discusses how good design affects human behavior and solves everyday problems.



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