Lesson Plan

Teaching with Objects: High School

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

During this lesson, students investigate how historians and curators use historical objects to inform our understanding of people, places, and events from the past. As students learn about Josephine Baldizzi, the daughter of Italian immigrants who lived in 97 Orchard Street in the 1930s, they consider what her home may have looked like and how the objects that we surround ourselves with, make statements about our own identity.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Understand that objects provide information about people, places, and events.
  • Experience how researchers use information and objects to find clues that help them understand the past.
  • Learn how curators use historical research to reconstruct the spaces in which people from the past lived and worked.

Grade Levels

High School | Grades 9-12


1‐3 class periods

Related Programs


Essential Questions

  • How do historians learn about the past?
  • How do curators recreate spaces from the past?


(see appendix)

  • Description of Josephine Baldizzi
  • Photograph of Josephine Baldizzi
  • Designing Josephine’s Home worksheets
  • Apartment image


  • Curator
  • Historian

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.

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