I’ve had a lot of down time lately, on planes and in airports, so I have been able to review and organize a lot of content from my museum school days.
Today I found an activity I used to do with students that I had completely forgotten about.
In introducing museums to our students we often did an activity where we matched museum objects to the type of cultural institution where the object might be found. This gave us the opportunity to expose students to the many different types of museums: living history sites, zoos, gardens, encyclopedic museums…
Luckily many museums now have their collections online for educational use. I printed out photographs and images of museum objects and asked students to categorize and classify museum objects. Then they labeled the categories by museum or cultural institution type. The images of the buildings and interpreters at Colonial Williamsburg always stumped students. There were lots of: “wait a building can be part of a museum?”
This activity also allowed us to introduce some interesting museums objects to students. Even animals were included in the images to classify
I added in a language arts component as an enrichment activity. Students were each given a juicy adjective. Images were placed around the room and students did a gallery walk, looking for the image that best represented that adjective. The words were placed near the image and then we shared out. In many instances, a variety of adjectives were used to describe just one image. It was a great way to introduce vocabulary and required students to justify their thinking.