At the Museum

Have each student choose one or more objects to write about.
Explain to the students that they'll again be writing dialogues using objects, only this time they can choose to create a conversation either between two different objects or between themselves and an object. Then lead the students through the museum and tell them to be thinking about which object or objects they'd like to choose for their dialogue. To help them decide, suggest that they choose objects that they think might have something interesting to say if the objects could talk.

Give students time to write their dialogues.
After walking through the museum, have the students locate the objects they want to work with and give them twenty or thirty minutes to write their dialogues. Encourage them to use their imaginations in their conversations, but tell them they must also include some factual information about the objects themselves. Suggest that their dialogues address two or more of the following bits of information:

  • what the object is
  • how the object is (or was) used, if appropriate
  • the object's age
  • who made the object, if appropriate
  • where the object originated
  • a description and explanation of at least one of the object's features

Students can use the information provided in the display as a source of facts about their objects or they can ask a museum docent or other staff person that you've asked to be on hand for the lesson.

If students seem to be having a hard time getting started, you might want to suggest some questions they could ask in their dialogues, such as

  • How do the objects feel about living in a museum and being in the public eye day after day?
  • Who are some of the people or things in the objects' existence (e.g., previous owners, other objects that the object spent time with, other items nearby)?
  • Do the objects have a secret existence that people don't know about? For example, do they carry on conversations with one another when all the people lock up the museum and go home?

Last Modified September 19, 1997