Objects in History and in Our Lives (LS -HU-698)

What makes an object a museum item

We are flooded with objects. Most of them are insignificant and disposable. Our lives have become so comfortable that we take most of our objects for granted and getting rid of them has become a more virtuous action than keeping them for our descendants. What makes an object important or precious for us and what for others? These were the questions for which I tried to elicit the answers from my ESL students through a series of games and activities by providing culture related input for them and a meaningful topic for conversations through which all of their four language skills could develop. 

Commode, Science Museum, London, Wellcome Collection, CC BY 4.0

Project implementation

Photos taken by Zsuzsanna Miskolczy during the project activities in the classroom

In the first part of the project, the students had the opportunity to peek into the work of museum curators and create an awareness of the importance of those institutions. In the second part of the project, children could learn how the significance of personal objects can abruptly change when one is forced to leave their homes through a reading activity. In the last, third part of the project, they could have a look at each other’s family heirloom or their beloved objects.

In addition, looking through all those photos of museum items, many different topics were brought up related to history, art and cultural history which certainly broadened students’ overall knowledge of the world and roused their interest in cultural history.

Tea Doll, Magyar Kereskedelmi és Vendéglátóipari Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary, CC BY-NC-ND.


As a conclusion, one can safely state that cross-curricular sessions and projects should be provided for students often as they provide a valuable source of linguistic input and they largely contribute to second-language acquisition. 

Material Used for the Project:

Objects from the Past – Presentation

Project Gallery

Stories of Objects

Kahoot Game

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the The Hunt Museum.

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