Yesterday in one of my classes we were asked to bring in 5 artifacts that would define us as a person. I had my first three items picked out within a couple of minutes, but then I really had to think about what "defined me." The 5 items I picked were farm animals, a horse, my hunting hat, candy:), and a shopping bag. Some may think, "Do these items really define you?" My answer to that would be yes! Each and every item has a story behind it, and in order to find out that story you need to ask questions. One activity we did was go around the room and look at every ones artifacts. We were to choose one artifact and write about it. We had to describe the item in detail, ask questions, guess which time period it was from, and then we had to write about the story it told. This was a wonderful activity because we were able to learn more about one another, and it brought our community closer together. We are a tight knit community, but there were items that people brought in and I never would have paired that item with the person. Having a learning community is so important. A teacher can build a learning community by asking questions about one another, or pairing students up, but a teacher can also build a learning community by teaching Social Studies. It is becoming more and more clear to me that Social Studies can be integrated with any subject, or any subject can be integrated with social studies.
Below is a link to another blog about artifacts in the classroom.
Artifacts...do they define us?