The Object of History is a joint effort between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media. The site contains virtual museum field trips based on six themes: Desk, Gold Nugget, Dress, Voting Machine, Lunch Counter and Short-handled Hoe. If you click on the “1. Browse the GUIDE to doing history with objects”, you’ll be taken to a page that offers suggestions for using artifacts for teaching history. Be sure to click on the links on the left of that page (Stories, Connections, Meanings…) for more good ideas. Each page has a “Resources” tab that takes you to a page with links related to the topic of the page. One of the best features of the site is that it allows teachers and students to create their own virtual field trips using the artifacts available on the site. They have a really good video that explains how that can be done. (Click on the “Watch a video about how to use this site” link.) This site is a little difficult to navigate, but the materials and potential that it offers make it worth the trouble.
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