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Teaching Guide

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Guide Index

Introduction to
Writing History

Handout 1
Handout 2
Handout 3
Handout 4
Handout 5
Handout 6

Writing History with Objects and Documents

Teacher's Note
Student's Guide

Handout 5:
Artifacts in Historical Context

Read the essay Looking at Artifacts, Thinking about History. Then study one or more of the artifacts by answering the following questions.

How did the artifact connect people?
What relationship between people does the artifact represent?
How could it have united people?
How could it have divided people?
Ditd it give a voice to a particular group of people? How?

How does the artifact reflect the values of Americans at the time it was made?
What values does the artifact reflect?
What does the artifact say about American tastes?
What statement does it make about technology?

How did the artifact's meaning change over time?
What was the artifact's original meaning?
Has the meaning of the artifact changed over time?
What developments caused the change?
Did the artifact play a role in causing the change?

How does the artifact expand your knowledge about the period?
What does the artifact tell you about the social conditions of the era?
What cultural issues does it raise?
Has the artifact affected your opinion of the era?


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