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Artifacts in Oral History

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School History, Language Arts

Students will:
• Identify artifacts as symbols.
• Make inferences and draw conclusions.

Introductory Activity:
Students will write a five to eight line reflection answering the following: "Describe a toy you
absolutely loved when you were younger. Describe the toy and explain why it was so special."
Students will then share their response with a partner. The teacher will lead a discussion based
on volunteer student responses.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will place five to ten historical (or replica) items on a table and label each (1, 2, 3, etc).
These items need to be school appropriate and sturdy enough for students to pick up and examine.
Students, using the back of their note card (numbered from 1-10), will examine each item, guess the
name and purpose of the item, and record this information on the note card.

Small Group/Individual Activity:
The students will then compare their results in small groups.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will review the items and ask students about their responses. The teacher will lead a
discussion based on the use of these items to represent a person or time period. The teacher will
distribute the Artifact Worksheet and discuss.

Concluding Activity:
The students will then list five to ten items that may represent the person they choose to interview
and where they might locate these items.

Reflection, list of five to ten items

Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. NY: Artisan, 2006.
Ten artifacts