Curate and Assemble the Museum

This is the last step in the family history museum process. Now that students have learned about oral history and conducted their own interviews, they will set up a physical museum in order to showcase their learning with each other and the community. Be as creative as time will allow you in this step. This is a great opportunity to bring the community together and for students to connect what they are doing in class to their lives.

To prepare for this activity:

  1. Think ahead about who to invite to your class’ &ldqou;museum.” Contact members of your community and allow them time to reserve the date of the exhibition.
  2. Students will need to have prepared a report of what they learned in their interview and their own reflections on the stories they heard.

Activity Plan

  1. Begin by having students share about the process of doing oral history.
    1. What was the hardest thing about this project? Why?
    2. What was the most interesting or exciting thing about this project? Why?
  2. Have students brainstorm and decide on a name for their museum.
    1. Some students may want to make a sign to hang on the door of the classroom as a welcome to the museum.
    2. Meanwhile, other students can write a brief description of what the museum is, what visitors will find in the museum, and how the students made the museum.
  3. After you’ve decided on a name, have the students split into their exhibit groups and curate their exhibits around the classroom. You can do this on desks, hanging pictures and written pieces on the walls, or by having each group assemble its materials on a piece of butcher paper.
    1. Students should include the exhibit title and description from the previous class session as they arrange all of the objects and descriptions.
    2. Be sure that each student’s individual writing and object are included in the exhibit.
  4. If you have invited others to attend your museum, you are now ready to open for business!
    1. Allow the students to go around and view all of the objects in the museum.
    2. Encourage students and visitors to ask questions about the exhibits.
  5. Closing Discussion (For more ideas relating to this, see “Extending the Activity”)
    1. Have the students (or all of the visitors) assemble as a group. Discuss the following questions:
      1. Which is your favorite object? Why?
      2. Is there anything you saw that surprised you?
      3. If you were going to add your own object to the museum, what would you choose?
      4. Are these objects different from the artifacts we might see in other museums? Why or why not?
      5. Are these objects important? Why or why not? Who are they important for?
      6. Do you think the bar/bat mitzvah is an important time to learn about history? Why or why not?
      7. Do any of these objects feel relevant or important to you as you take the next step into your adult Jewish life? If so, which one(s)?

    Make sure you take pictures of your museum and share them with students, families, your congregation, and the Jewish Women’s Archive!

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Curate and Assemble the Museum." (Viewed on August 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/node/22148>.

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