Artifacts

Here are some helpful resources on teaching with artifacts.

Historical Thinking Skills: Placing Artifacts in Time – This interactive focuses on the concept of Chronological Thinking. Using the example of Pocahontas, students explore how historical representations change over time, and often reflect the period in which the representation was created.

Historical Thinking Skills: Analyzing Artifacts – This interactive introduces the process of analyzing historical artifacts.

Artifact Interpretation – Here’s a simple lesson that demonstrates the amount of information a single artifact can yield about a society.

Art to Zoo (Nov/Dec 1995) – Decoding the Past: The Work of Archaeologists – In this issue of the magazine from the Smithsonian are a series of activities on analyzing artifacts.

What Artifacts Reveal About the Past – In this lesson, students will analyze artifacts to learn about life in colonial America and will apply what they learn about analyzing artifacts to objects found in our own culture.

Archaeological Artifact Analysis – In this lesson, students will learn how an archaeologist looks at artifacts and examines their relationship to other artifacts found within the same context.

Artifacts 1: What Can We Learn From Artifacts? – In this lesson, students will determine what artifacts are, how they are discovered, and what information can be learned from them.

Artifacts 2: Artifacts in Context – In this lesson, students will hypothesize how people lived during a certain time, based on archaeological sites and artifacts.

What Do Historical Objects Tell Me? – In this lesson, students will learn to analyze objects and pictures to gather important information about their features, provenance, authenticity, and reliability.

Artifact Analysis Worksheet – Here’s an artifact analysis worksheet from the National Archives and Record Administration.