Connecting to the Past Through Artifacts

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10295

In this lesson, think about what items you own that you would take to a new country. Compare that to what your ancestors brought or might have brought to America when they immigrated long ago!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What is the oldest object in your house? Where is it from? Who does it belong to? What does it tell you about the owner? What if you found something in the dirt? What would it tell you?

Did you find the oldest thing in your house?

  • Do you see it every day?
  • Can it teach you anything about the past?

Sure it can! Ask your parents about the item. The object can teach you about a grandparent or whoever owned it. Depending on the object, you can learn about what that person liked, what they played with, what they did for work, or even what your family was like long ago!

That object is most likely an artifact. An artifact is something made by a human being, and is usually of cultural or historical interest.

Check out artifacts from Ancient Egypt at the Birmingham Museums for Kids. On this website, you can also see artifacts from Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Victorians, and World War II.

  • What is your favorite artifact from Ancient Egypt?
  • What was it used for?

Looking at the old object you found in your house, would you call it an artifact? Why or why not? Share your answers with your parent or teacher.

There are people whose job it is to dig into the ground and find artifacts that teach us about the past. They are called archaeologists. Here is a SciShow Kids video about archaeologists and artifacts, called Solving Mysteries with Archaeologists! *


This video from, Archeologists - Career Spotlight, also talks about what archaeologists do:


When you are done, continue on to the Got It? section to hear the story of an immigrant to America!

* NOTE: Solving Mysteries with Archaeologists references humans being around for hundreds of thousands of years. Investigate Suggested Lessons in the right-hand sidebar for a scientific view of evolution and creationism.

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