Information Architecture, Digital Strategy, Design, Development
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History needed to refresh and modernize their popular online activity, “Tracking the Buffalo: Stories from a Buffalo Hide Painting”.
Education through Exploration
The “What Story Does it Tell?” activity encourages users to examine the buffalo hide in detail through a seek & find challenge. Users are then asked questions about what they are looking at and given primary sources from which to draw their own conclusions. Once they are finished they can compare their conclusions to notes from a Smithsonian Historian.
Challenging the User
The “What Can You Make from a Buffalo?” matching game encourages users to use their critical thinking skills to determine which part of the buffalo was used in making assorted Native American objects. Users can guess which objects were made from which part by comparing the images of each object with each part of a buffalo. Users can also use a process of elimination to match all of the items correctly.
Also on the site are plentiful informational and classroom resources, including extra information on the hide and the artist who painted it, a map of the Plains Indians, a reading list, and a printable template on which students can draw their own hides.