Examining a Culture from Museum Artifacts

Higgs, Peter L. and McNeal, Shannon. “Examining a Culture from Museum Artifacts.” Social Studies and the Young Learner (2016): 27-30. NCSS, March/April 2006. Web.

In the article, “Examining a Culture from Museum Artifacts,” 5th grade students reconstruct a culture in the classroom by using prior knowledge and learning new concepts about culture as well as being able to handle cultural artifacts and use their skills to compare ancient cultures with today’s culture. To begin the lesson, the teacher provided the definition of “culture” and students were asked to think of groups of people who share similar ways of life. The students were then given museum artifacts and primary historical material to reconstruct an ancient North American culture. In addition, modern objects were included so students could make comparisons between ancient and modern materials. The students participated in six different tasks involving the artifacts. After the tasks were completed, the students engaged in a class discussion about the culture they studied. In this activity, the students deepen their understanding of culture and use higher-order thinking skills to compare and contrast ancient and modern cultures.

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