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The Best Resources For Using “Object Lessons” In History

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“Object lessons” have become fairly popular in studying history, and they’re great to use in class. The ones available online can be used as models for students — why not have them create their own histories of the U.S., their native countries, or even their families in 10 or so “objects”?

Here are some of those models:

A History of the World in 100 objects is from the British Museum. Here are connected resources from the BBC.

The New York Times has published an interactive A History Of New York In 50 Objects.

What Objects Tell the Story of Your Life? is from The New York Times Learning Network.

The New York Times has published a column on this phenomena and headlined it Object Lessons in History.

Here’s a post I wrote about an intriguing version called Disobedient Objects.

Documents That Changed The World is a different “take” on the idea.

Famous NYC Tenement Museum Expands Physical Facility & Online Site

Confronting Racist Objects is an interactive from The New York Times.

What It Means To Be An American is an interactive from the Smithsonian:

Upload a photograph of an object in your home and explain what it tells us about your family’s American story and why it belongs in the collections of the National Museum of American History.

‘Mysteries at the Museum’ Offers Engaging History Lessons is by Starr Sackstein at Ed Week. She offers some good lesson ideas for how students can use family artifacts, and the stories behind them, in class.

You might also be interested in The Best “Lists Of Lists” Of Influential People, Events & Ideas.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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