Smithsonian Institution
Talk Story
Festival Blog
Festival Radio
Smithsonian Folkways Magazine

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Cultural Education Resources

Tools for Learning

Link here for descriptions and downloads of guides, lesson plans, media programs and other useful cultural educational materials produced by the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Contact us if you have any trouble with downloads or need other guidance in using these materials.

The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide Download this comprehensive guide for conducting interviews with members of your own family and community.
Discovering Our Delta: A Learning Guide for Community Research Watch a video that uses examples from real student research to demonstrate interview methods; download student and teacher guides.
El Rio Do-Your-Own-Exhibition Kit Download a guide to create your own exhibition in your classroom, library, or cultural center; includes six short video clips.
Masters of the Building Arts Activity Guide Download a guide with hands-on activities and background information about the skills and traditions of master craftworkers in the building trades.

Lesson Plans
Smithsonian Folkways Tools for Teaching: Download free lesson plans and activities to introduce students to a variety of music and culture. Find information on subscribing to streaming Folkways collections in your school. Learn about upcoming Folkways teacher workshops and certification program.

Videos and DVDs
Workers at the White House This DVD features the skills, knowledge, traditions, and memories of White House workers, including a 32-minute documentary video based on the 1992 Folklife Festival program and a 33-page booklet.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival Videos View edited videos of past Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs, participants, and performances; learn more about maximizing your experience at the Festival.
Smithsonian Folkways Videos View videos related to Folkways Recordings, arranged by geographical and cultural area; useful for Heritage Month curricula.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Explore all that the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings site has to offer, including curated features and an on-line magazine. Use the search function to find the music of various cultural groups. Order CDs or download selections.

Find more cultural heritage education tools here:
Online Exhibitions and Special Features Curated pages create a rich cultural experience; many include lesson plans. The next best thing to a trip to a museum or to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival!
Publications and Media Order or download in-depth publications and media products from past cultural projects including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Folkways Soundscapes Features Short curated pieces on a variety of cultural subjects with related Folkways Recordings and other helpful links.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival Learn about past, present, and upcoming Festival programs.
Resource Links Links to other helpful cultural education sites.


Born in Washington, D.C., in 1881, Rosina Tucker helped to organize the first Black labor union — the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. For her family, neighbors, and members of her church community, Mrs. Tucker was a valued source of knowledge, wisdom, and local history. She is featured in The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide. Photograph by Paul Wagner.

Follow Us on Facebook