Guide to Doing History with Objects

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Reference Materials
Date Posted: 11/11/2009

This essay will tell students how to look closely at artifacts and how to think about the ways they shape and reflect our history. Artifacts—the objects we make and use—are part of American history. If we know how to look at them, they can be sources for better understanding our history. While textbooks focus on the great documents of the American past, or the important events, artifacts can show us another kind of history, another way of approaching the past. It is included in The Object of History, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and George Mason University's Center for History and New Media.

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Instructional Strategies