Lesson Plan

Teaching with Objects: Upper Elementary

Historical objects are a tool to learn about people, places, and events.

During this lesson, students examine a collection of historical objects in search of clues. Students work together to compile their research in an effort to discover the story behind the objects—who owned them and how they were used.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Understand that objects provide information about people, places, and events.
  • Experience how researchers use objects to find clues that help them understand the past.
  • Learn the importance of compiling research in order to reconstruct history.

Grade Levels

Upper Elementary | Grades 4‐5


1‐3 class periods

Related Programs

All, Uses content from Meet Victoria

Essential Questions

  • How do historians learn about the past?
  • How can research help us to understand the past?


(see appendix)

  • Object Photos
  • Object Guide
  • Photo of the Confino family’s apartment
  • Portrait of the Confino family
  • Object Study Worksheet
  • Loose leaf paper or notebooks
  • Pens or pencils


  • History
  • Detectives
  • Artifacts

Questions on lessons and activities?

The materials on this page can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us.

Are you an Educator?

Sign-up here to receive information on upcoming workshops and school program opportunities.