Lesson Plan: Overview

Lesson Plan Two: History, Artifacts, and Museums

Grade Level: 11th


Academic Standards

Depending on the artifacts used to teach this lesson the content standards will vary, but it can be applied to any time period.  Coordinate with the South Carolina State Museum or a local cultural institution to design an artifact-based lesson that fits the historical period you are teaching.

Social Studies Literacy Elements

A. Distinguish between past, present, and future time.

E. Explain change and continuity over time.
L. Interpret calendars, time lines, maps, charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, diagrams, photographs, paintings, cartoons, architectural drawings, documents, letters, censuses, and other artifacts.

Historical Background Notes

No historical background notes available for this lesson plan.



Primary Sources

  Artifacts provided by Linda McWhorter. The South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, South Carolina. (Linda McWhorter has since left the State Museum but the museum staff will be happy to field requests for similar programs - click here for contact information))

Secondary Sources

  McWhorter, Linda.  “History, Artifacts, and Museums.”  Swansea High School, Swansea, South Carolina, 14 Jan. 2004. (Linda McWhorter has since left the State Museum but the museum staff will be happy to field requests for similar programs - click here for contact information))


  McWhorter, Linda. "Reading an Object" - worksheet. Swansea HIgh School, Swansea, South Carolina, 14 January 2004.
  U. S. National Archives & Records Administration.  “Artifact Analysis Worksheet.”  28 May 2003. Available online at: National Archives
  Digital camera
  Planned itinerary and visit to the South Carolina State Museum.

Lesson Plans

No lesson plan available.


Lesson Two provides student with a hands on activity.  It encourages them to learn to use artifacts to study history.  This lesson requires one class period of 90 minutes.

1. Secure the digital camera and any other materials Mrs. Linda McWhorter requires.
2. After students are seated, introduce Mrs. Linda McWhorter, Director of Education at the South Carolina State Museum.  She will speak about history, historians, artifacts, and museums. 
3. Group students for the activity concerning reading objects (artifacts).  Distribute the activity sheets “Reading an Object.”  Distribute the objects that Mrs. McWhorter has brought.  Instruct students to work together in using the guide sheet to read the object.  Students are to record their findings on the sheet.
4. Conclude the activity with each group presenting information about its assigned object.  Mrs. McWhorter then reveals the actual nature of the objects they have read.  
5. When Mrs. McWhorter concludes her presentation, allow students to ask questions and discuss points with her.
6. Collect the “Reading an Object” sheets for assessment.
7. Assign a homework composition in which students reflect on what they learn through today’s guest speaker and presentation.  These writings will be collected at the beginning of class tomorrow.
8. Remind students that a major question about what history is, etc., will be part of their next regularly assigned test.

Teacher Reflections

No teacher reflections available for this lesson plan.

Student Assessment

No student assessment available for this lesson plan.

Examples of Students Work

No examples available for this lesson plan.


Provided by the Teaching American History in South Carolina Project