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Singer, Judith Y, and Alan J. Singer. “Creating a Museum of Family Artifacts.” Social Studies and the Young Learner 17(1) (2004): 5-10.


Students at all levels need to have opportunities to represent themselves in their work in ways that are meaningful to them. The Family Artifact Museum Project provides an opportunity for students to accomplish this as they bring their family stories into the classroom and see how the lives of ordinary people are part of history. This project came about as a creative way to address New York's social studies and literacy learning standards and national social studies thematic strands. This article gives several examples of these types of projects, from pre-school up to fifth grade, and describes how students of different ages were able to participate in a developmentally appropriate way. Teachers can use this type of project to introduce social studies themes and to build a sense of community in the classroom. It was found that the Family Artifact Museum can support multicultural and culturally-relevant pedagogy, transform social studies classrooms into "laboratories of culture," promote literacy, and introduce children to what it means to be an historian.