Visit the museum and decide which area or exhibit will lend itself best to the activity.
The museum portion of this activity can work particularly well when tied in with a specific curriculum area or theme. For example, if your students have been studying insects, you could take them to a natural history museum's insect display. There they could use what they've been learning, in addition to any information in the display, to create interesting dialogues between different insect specimens or between themselves and a specimen. Similarly, if your class has been learning about a particular period in art history, a visit to an art museum containing paintings from this period could provide plenty of material for students to write about. They could, among other things, write a dialogue between the characters in a particular painting.

If possible, arrange to have a curator, museum educator, or docent work with your group when you get to the museum.
Such a person can be on hand during your field trip to help answer questions students may have about the objects they've chosen to work with.

Gather together at least a dozen objects.
You will be using these objects in steps 2 through 4 of the In the Classroom portion of the activity, which models the museum portion. Just about any familiar objects will do, especially those with a clear function, such as kitchen utensils, household tools, and office supplies. Other possibilities include objects that students have an affinity for (CDs, radios, jewelry, rollerblades, soda cans) and objects that were once part of a living thing (seashells, feathers, leaves, bones).

Last Modified September 19, 1997