Lesson Plan

Teaching with Objects: Lower Elementary

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

Grade Levels

Lower Elementary School; Grades 1‐3


1‐3 class periods. This activity has been designed to be customized based on your learning goals and your students’ individual needs. Choose to do the complete lesson plan or select parts with your students based on your schedule and objectives.


During this lesson, students explore how objects can be used to learn about people, places, and events from the past. Students work together to examine objects and try to unravel the stories they represent. Through this process, students begin to understand some of the strategies that historians use to learn about the past.

Related Museum Programs: All; Uses content from the Meet Victoria program

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Understand that objects provide information about people, places, and events.
  • Make predictions based on observations.

Essential Questions

  • How do historians learn about the past?
  • How can observations help us to make predictions?


  • Object Study Worksheet (located in appendix)
  • Exploring a Tenement Museum Object Worksheet (located in appendix)
  • Objects brought in by students (to be assigned in pre‐lesson prep)
  • Sample object brought in by teacher


  • 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.

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