Artifact Share

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TSWBAT listen to a speaker and take notes to summarize information about the artifacts that were shared.

Big Idea

Visiting significant places in our country and world is something to share!

Warm Up

10 minutes

An Artifact Share is a way to practice speaking and listening skills, specifically SL.5.3, summarizing the points a speaker makes and explaining how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.

Students take interesting trips during the course of the school year, and may want to share experiences and souvenirs when they return.  I'm not advocating Disney World, Hawaii, a relative's home, etc. as a worthy Artifact Share lesson- that's overwhelming and takes away from important class time. What's relevant to share is when a student visits a historic location or has an experience that directly relates to school. 

My recent trip to Washington, D.C. was the perfect introduction to the Artifact Share.  They were excited to hear about my trip, (Washington, D.C. Artifacts) and liked the idea of sharing their own experiences if future trips warrant it.


30 minutes

I begin by passing out the Artifact Share Speaker Notes and tell them I will introduce each of the artifacts, some requiring longer "stories" than others, and they are to take notes on the interesting or surprising things they hear.  I then back it up by showing them the second sheet they'll complete (Artifact Share) adding that they'll want good notes to help with filling it out. This REALLY does the trick and the kids take fabulous notes.   On the Smart Board is a copy of the Speaker Notes page (Smart Board Assignment Introduced) and I fill in the topic- in this case, Trip to Washington, D.C.

Some souvenirs or artifacts must be shown (my gavel from the Supreme Court,) but for the small/paper/flat ones, I make a collage of the items on pieces of white paper. I use my originals during the discussion, but also take the opportunity to make copies for the students to use during the activity.  As I messed around with how to make a two-sided copy, without compromising the look due to too many versions, I accidentally shrunk them and they ended up side by side.  As soon as it came out, I thought, "This is perfect!"  Instead of the kids going from front to back constantly as they worked, it was right in front of them on one page. 

Using the actual artifacts, I begin to discuss each one and why I thought it was special enough to save (Discussing what it was like on the House Floor). The kids are interested and take notes while I'm talking. After answering questions, they begin to work independently (Using notes for help) to organize the information.  Chief Justice writes about the artifacts and they begin using Artifact Pages to assist with the writing.


10 minutes

The students were caught up in the stories I told about my trip (Student Reading Favorite Moments). They easily answered the questions about the Artifact page (Side by side copies for kids) and were eager to share their thoughts about which of the artifacts was their favorite artifact.  They also shared their own idea of the perfect trip. 

Speaker Notes 1 pg. 1 and Speaker Notes 1 pg. 2

Speaker Notes 2

Artifact Share 1 pg. 1 and Artifact Share 1 pg. 2

Artifact Share 2 pg. 1 and Artifact Share 2 pg. 2

We had time for about five examples and the kids enjoyed hearing from their classmates.





10 minutes

I couldn't wait to find perfect souvenirs for the kids while in Washington, D.C.  Although buying for a class can seem daunting, pencils and buttons are the way to go and they're usually available (Excited to pass out the pencil gavel souvenirs).

This trip proved the least expensive in the souvenir department that I've ever found- VOTE buttons for 0.89 cent at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center, ("Vote" pin from the Capitol) and Gavel Head pencils for 0.95 cents at the Supreme Court building (My Supreme Court likes their pencils). The kids were enthusiastic about both (but those Gavel Head pencils are the coolest!)

Here are some lesson images: Executive Branch formation and The Senate Standing Upright and House of Representatives Looking Up

I accidentally forgot to bring the souvenirs the first day I was back in the classroom, which was frustrating, however....with the Artifact Share, the kids had a nice time hearing stories and seeing my personal souvenirs, and it was actually better to pass out their things the following day.

They had a blast! (Pencil Gavels double as microphones)