The Object of History

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Interactives & Media
Date Posted: 11/2/2009

This resource includes an introductory essay entitled Looking at Artifacts, Thinking about History, 6 sections that each focus on an object from the collections of the Museum, an archive of curator commentary, and an online tool with which students can create virtual exhibits. Also included is a section of teacher's materials, lesson plans and resources revolving around the themes that are highlighted throughout the website. 

The Object of History is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and George Mason University's Center for History and New Media. 

The following objects are included in The Object of History: Thomas Jefferson's desk, the gold nugget that launched the Gold Rush, Mary Todd Lincoln's dress, a voting machine, a short-handled hoe from the Braceros migrant worker program, and a segment of the lunch counter from the sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The materials on the site are designed to improve student's knowledge of standard topics in U.S. History and to improve their ability to understand material culture objects as types of historical evidence. 

National Standards

Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)

United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)

World History Standards (Grades 5-12)