At a Glance


National Park Service lesson plans, teaching materials, and vibrant images reveal what historical objects tell us about history.

Teaching with Museum Collections

National Park Service Teaching With Museum Collections offers object-based learning emphasizing the links between the real things and historical analysis. Collections connect students to their past, rich and varied cultures, momentous events, inspiring ideas, and the places where the nation's history happened.

Lesson plans provide teachers with easy-to-use, grade-appropriate educational activities, and link to national educational standards. Photographs of museum objects and specimens, historic photographs, maps, and other documents are used to teach. Reading materials, web resources, and glossaries are included. Suggestions on how teachers can substitute similar available objects, and develop local, community-based activities are provided.

Teaching with Museum Collections includes a worksheet for analyzing artifacts asking students to examine such factors as the object's construction purpose, value, and design. The site also includes a similar worksheet for analyzing photographs.