We ELL teachers have used realia for years, as well as using images (see The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons).

A couple of years ago, the IB program changed one of its major assessments into “Exhibitions,” which require students to use objects to answer prompts, and I’ve been thinking since then how to better use “objects” in my ELL classroom.

I recently discovered that there is a concept called “Object Based Learning” that has been developed by museums for teaching students.  I’m still exploring how to use it in my classroom, but thought I’d share some of the related materials I’m looking at:

The Case for Training Teachers in Object-Based Learning is from Smithsonian Magazine.

Here are some “worksheets” to use with objects: Two from the National Archives; one from Stanford and one from NSW Government. The Frick offers good questions, though not a worksheet.

Using objects with English language learners is from The National Museum of American History.

OBL resources and further reading is from Flinders University.

Historical Collections in Teaching: Object-Based Learning Examples is from Federation University.

The Maine Dept. of Ed offers some good resources.


I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Using “Object Lessons” In History.