Newtown History Center staff will present the program at your school wearing period costume representing what common people wore in the early 1800s. They will bring a variety of local historical objects from the museum’s collection for students to examine.
These artifacts will be used by the students to compare and contrast historical events, draw conclusions, and make accurate generalizations, as well as to interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. This program is designed to assist teachers in their instructional efforts with students who are beginning to develop the skills outlined in section VS.1 as well as the United States History, 1865 to the Present (section USII.1, a., b., and d.) of the Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning.
As indicated, the main focus is to help students learn how to identify and interpret artifacts as primary source “documents.” This exercise will also help them understand the general differences between primary and secondary sources in the study of history.
In the end, students will have a better understanding of how museum curators “read” artifacts to learn the stories about the people behind them.