A few weeks ago, during a week-long blogging challenge, I was reminded of how much I love teaching with objects and place. I use material culture in my history classroom quite a bit, but I want to incorporate it better into my entire curriculum, instead of just hit or miss within different units.
To help accomplish this, I'm creating a series of short videos called, "The Material Culture Minute". This series will follow a simple format: present an object, or a couple of objects, and ask students to think critically about the object(s). Each video will be around a minute long and will include resources for discussing the object(s) with a focus on sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, and close-reading.
This series will be used in my room throughout the upcoming year as bell-ringers, exit tickets, and incorporated into units. As videos are finished they will be posted on "The Material Culture Minute" page (the link is in the blog menu to the right) and are shared under a creative commons license for use in your classroom.
My plan is to release one every Monday, with the first one next Monday, April 24 (over a Civil War cannon ball). However, it's standardized testing season and the end of the school year, so that schedule may not be fixed.
Here are some other recent posts related to object- and place-based education:
"Why I Teach History with Place"
"The Power of Place"
"How to Start Teaching with Objects in Only 5 Minutes"
"Engineering a Flood Prevention System for Cahokia"
"Historical EDC (Everyday Carry)"
Again, these are created to help me incorporate object-based inquiry into my classroom, but I hope other teachers find them useful. If you do try the video series with your classes, please let me know your experience.
Trying new things together,