5 Be a History Mystery Detective


Competencies: Social Studies, Social Studies Skills

Social Studies Skills 5.2: Uses inquiry-based research.

CBA: Meeting Needs and Wants


 

Objective: Students brainstorm all of the resources we have to learn about the past: photos, letters, journals, memoirs, newspapers, interviews, people, official records, artifacts, objects, etc.  They discover how we learn about the past, specifically through asking questions and thinking about clues in artifacts.

Materials: buttonhook and pair of child’s shoes, wool cards or lucet with yarn, butter press, Edison record, shaving brush, pair of stocking shapers/stretchers/dryers (in Kit 1 only), and old newspaper

Procedure:

  1. Brainstorm all of the resources we have to learn about the past (photos, buildings, structures, letters, journals, memoirs, interviews, people, official records, artifacts, objects, etc.).
  2. Use an inquiry approach to identify a set of artifacts in the kit. Hold up each item and ask students to answer the following questions:
    • What materials is it made from?
    • Where do you think it came from?
    • How was it made?
    • How was it used?
    • Do we still use this? If so, how has it changed? If not, what do we use in place of this?
  3. Discuss how we know life was different and in what ways it was the same, based on these artifacts.

Extensions:

  1. Discuss what objects we use now that in 100 years might be considered antiques or artifacts.
  2. Discuss how photos have changed over the years. Why are some historic photos black and white? Today we can choose to have our photos printed or stored on computer disks.
  3. Can students think of any other clues around their neighborhood that tell about the past (old buildings, old street names, murals on walls that depict scenes from the past, old train or lumber machinery, etc.)?
  4. For the kits containing the lucet (numbers 1, 3, and 5) instead of the wool cards, students can learn how to make sturdy braided cords using this simple wooden tool. Background, pictures, and directions are attached to this activity in those kits.

Downloads:

Activity 5 (DOC)
Activity 5 (PDF)
Lucets
Issaquah Press (selected back issues, 1909-2011)

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