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Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
Student Activity Sheet for Personal Artifacts

SECTION 1: History Today

1. Bring in an object that is important to you.

2. Share with a partner what you find important about this object.

3. What could someone learn about you from this artifact?

4. Does this artifact suggest anything about you that is not accurate?

SECTION 2: Brainstorming

1. Write down everything you notice about the artifact your teacher gave you.

2. What does this artifact reveal about the person who owned it?

3. What other information do you need to know to appreciate this object’s full historic significance?

4. What did this object reveal about women, Jews, and America in the time period when it was created or used?

SECTION 3: Now that you know…

1. How does knowing the historical context affect your understanding of this artifact?

2. Most historical artifacts do not survive. Why do you think this one did?

3. What personal biases affected your first impression of this artifact?

4. Would you have saved this object? Why or why not?

5. Does this object teach you only about the individual who owned it or about many people? How does the artifact convey a more general sense of its time?

6. How did this object change or add to your knowledge of this time period and/or topic?

SECTION 4: Follow-up Activities

1. Select another type of primary source on this topic/theme. Compare what each reveals as an historical source.

2. Have a friend or family member give you an artifact that is special to him or her. Write a brief biography of the person based on this object.

Document Study Sheets

Certificate of indenture, 1837

Junior High School Report Card, 1930

Entrance exam, Smith College, 1897

Program, Federal Theater Project, 1937

Israeli Five Lira Note, 1976

Trading Card, Famous Scientists, c. 1990


How to Cite This Page
Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Personal Artifacts - Student Activity Sheet for Personal Artifacts." <>.