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Learning Resources

A closer look: Object Project learning resources

A closer look: Object Project learning resources

All objects have stories. Stories about how an object came into being, when and why it was used, and who used it. Some objects have had seismic effect on our lives and society because of the way people chose to use them. But it takes some digging to get at those stories.

You don’t have to work at a museum to join the adventure. All you need to bring is your curiosity and imagination and be ready to roll up your sleeves to ask big questions, do research, and share what they’ve learned with others.

Over the next year, the museum will release a series of activity guides, online resources, and media that will have students doing the work of historians, researchers, and curators on their own projects. All resources are aligned with National History Standards, Common Core, and the College, Career and Civic Life Framework.

New resources:

Download our new mini-poster, “Did Bicycles Change the World?” to get started integrating object- and inquiry-based learning into your social studies and language arts instruction. Full-sized copies of the poster can be ordered by emailing your name and address to:

Download the worksheet, "How Do We Use Objects to Change the World?" (grades 5-12)

Coming in 2015 - 2016:

Object Project teacher videos & activity guides

A series of short video segments for teachers that demonstrate how each Object Project online resource can be used within curriculum and how to get the most out of a field trip experience to Object Project if you are able to visit the museum.

Learning apps & interactive websites

We are creating online and app versions of many of the in-gallery activities to help students in grades 5-12 learn and practice historical inquiry, simple research, argumentation, and writing skills. 

A hands-on activity about refrigeration and packaged foods in Object Project

A hands-on activity about refrigeration and packaged foods in Object Project

Other exciting connections:

Want to learn more about how to teach inquiry-based history using objects and primary sources? Sign up for our free six-week online course.

Bring Smithsonian educators to your school district to run a free, highly interactive two-day teacher professional development workshop in your home town.

Browse and download hundreds of free, standards-aligned resources from Smithsonian’s History Explorer.