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Connecting with Personal Artifacts: a teaching idea from Traci Gardner

Written by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
July 27, 2012

Traci Gardner, who has blogged her and blogs at Bedford Bits, has been working through ways to explore connected learning within the confines of an academic writing course. She’s working out an idea over there; here’s a taste:

Connecting with Personal ArtifactsBedford Bits: Ideas for Teaching Composition

I found a writing activity last week when I read Steve Bernhardt’s postSummer Reading: 100 Objects — and what really excited me was that it could make a wonderful connected learning activity. Bernhardt reflected on reading  A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor (Viking, 2011), a text about the artistic, cultural, and historical stories that explain and connect a group of 100 objects chosen from the British Museum.

Each chapter in the 100 Objects text is like a stop during a personal tour of the museum, conducted by a curator who describes to you the history and significance of each treasured artifact from the collection (e.g., the Rosetta Stone).

Bernhardt’s description of A History of the World in 100 Objects inspired me to consider how students might take on the role of curator by collecting and exploring personal artifacts. Asking students to compile a collection of 100 objects would be too much for a semester, but they could create a small collection with shorter explanations of the significance behind their choices. A class might also collaborate on a collection, with each student contributing two or three pieces.

Read the rest at Bedford Bits.