helping students understand the place they live  
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Please return your partner's Artifact Box by May 10.


The Artifact Box Exchange is a project to help students learn more about their city, state, and region in the context of a simulation that focuses on developing creativity and research skills.

Each participating classroom spends several weeks in the fall or spring working with all available references to create a mystery box of artifacts representative of their city, state, and region based on 25 suggestions from the Artifact Box Teacher's Guide. Each class becomes expert on the history and nature of their towns and regions. They must also engage their creativity to display the clues to their area. The receiving classroom must solve the mystery box and identify the location of the sending classroom using research and reference skills.


For schools adopting the Common Core State Standards, the Artifact Box process provides an opportunity to use reading, writing, listening and speaking skills to do research on local history that requires communication and creativity skills to develop clues. For example:

The students use a variety of books, materials, community resources, and local experts to identify the immigration patterns of the local area (Clue 25). This requires learning informational text skills to identify and comprehend materials and resources (in the local school and community library and on the Internet). Examples of CCSS inherent in this activity (example is grade 4):

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3 Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.5 Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.


Identify the location....

The prior locations have been identified (see below), so we are searching for a new photo

If you have a picture of some outstanding statue, historical marker, manmade attraction, natural structure, or another recognizable landmark that identifies a city or town, send it to me. If we use it, you will get a free registration.





OLD Photos

Jana Shay of Grand Forks, ND identified this photo as Man O' War in Lexington KY.


Jennifer Bailiff correctly placed this statue in Great Barrington MA


Carol Micke (Webb City, MO) correctly placed this statue in Ashmore, IL

Karen Grantham (Keller, TX) correctly placed this statue of Vulcan in Birmingham, AL

Leigh Stovall (Birmingham, AL) correctly placed these statues in Indianapolis






last revised 3/12/11