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The Hidden Life of Artifacts

Posted under History in Your Hands for Grades 3, 4, 5

Introduce students to historical inquiry through hands-on exploration of artifacts. Each lesson can be adapted for use with objects from any historical era.

i53270Artifact Analysis
In this lesson, students will explore and analyze the items in an artifact kit, an important first step in developing historical empathy. The interpretation of these artifacts encourages students to construct their own meaning and ideas about the history that surrounds us. Download Artifact Analysis.

Life Story of an Artifact
In this lesson, students will write and illustrate the “life story” of an artifact to encourage students to construct their own interpretations of and connections with history. Download Life Story of an Artifact.

History Detective: The Case of the Mysterious Trunk
Students will take on the role of “history detective” in their own classroom detective agency to crack the case of the strange artifacts in the mysterious trunk owned by Ms. Nora Nostalgia. Download History Detective: The Case of the Mysterious Trunk.

The ABC’s of Artifacts
Students will learn the ABC’s of historical inquiry by conducting original research about an artifact then writing and illustrating an ABC book as a class. Download The ABC’s of Artifacts.

Tips for Assembling Your Artifact Kit
Our tips and resources will help you build an artifact kit to use with these lessons.

Local teachers wrote the History in Your Hands lessons as part of History Connections and Artifact Collections, a project made possible by a generous grant from the Polk Bros. Foundation.

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