Artifact Box Lesson

This lesson focuses on developing historical inference skills and allowing students to function as “archaeologists” in a fun, interactive environment that helps students and teachers get to know one another better.

Prior to the lesson, ask students to create an “artifact box” about themselves: a box or bag filled with 4–6 “artifacts,” or objects that they believe represent something about themselves. These can be printed photos. Have students bring these in to class prior to the lesson.

Start the lesson by reviewing the concept of inference, and giving a short example. I chose to ask students to infer about neolithic people from cave paintings, since that is the content covered in my 6th grade placement.

Then ask students to grab a box that is not theirs, and pass out this (or a similar) graphic organizer for them to complete the artifact investigation activity: Artifact Investigation lesson.

After students have gone through the artifacts in their boxes and written observations and inferences on their graphic organizers, and answered the guiding questions on the sheet, have students share what they learned about their peer from the activity.


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