Lesson Five: Visiting the Museum

By: Leah Judd

Leah Judd

Education Collaborator

Leah Judd has a passion for teaching Social Studies.  Working in Sechelt, BC, Leah has been lucky to work with students who embrace inquiry learning and created locker museum displays during the pandemic to share their curated stories with the school community.  Leah shares her enthusiasm for Social Studies as editor of Salon, an online quarterly publication from the Social Studies Educators Network of Canada @ssencressc

Suggested Subject Areas

Social Studies

Grade Level

Adaptable across 9-12 / Sec I-V


60-75 minutes


Students (and any other invited guests!) get a chance to learn from other groups’ exhibits.  Using a single point rubric, students choose to visit all the museum displays apart from their own and assess at least two (2) other displays.  

Lesson Outline 

Before Visiting

The teacher provides each student with two (2) assessment rubrics, as per lesson four (included again below). The class should revisit the expectations together briefly. The empty columns on the left (emerging) and the right (extending) are to add in notes to explain how and why students felt the museum displays either did not meet expectations or how and why they exceeded them. These additional notes can be point form. If students feel the display meets expectations, they can highlight or circle that central section and do not need to add any extra notes.

Rubric explanation for students: 

Please provide a check mark in the “meets” category if the group display has met the requirements of the assignment.  If the group has surpassed the requirements, please place a check mark in “extending” and write a brief example of the additional information provided by the group.  If the group has partially met the requirements or met them in a limited way, place a check mark in “emerging” and provide information on what is missing.  Finally, add a comment at the bottom of the rubric of something new you learned from the group’s display of artifacts.

To ensure each display is assessed by an equal (or nearly equal) number of students, the teacher should assign peer assessors to each display. This could be done on the board or in another visual place so that students can come back to see what they are assessing if they forget. For example, a simple table with columns for each display and rows listing each of the assessors would work.

The teacher should collect the rubrics at the end of the lesson to gain an understanding of what students learned from each other and how they responded to the displays.

The teacher will not use the same rubric to provide summative (assessment of learning) results to students, as it does not recognize the work of individual students. The teacher could provide formative (assessment for learning) feedback using this rubric or through another form (written or verbal comments). At the end of this lesson, students will also use this rubric (or could use another format) to self-assess their museum display overall (assessment as learning).

Visiting the Museum

This should feel exciting and celebratory! Depending on the nature of the displays, your class may prefer for all students to mill about simultaneously, or to select one or two students to stand alongside the display to provide support and explanation if necessary.

The class can decide ahead of time if they also want to invite other classes or adults in the school community to see their museum. This could happen during this same period or at a specific time set for external visitors not from the class.

The teacher should also make their way through the museum displays and choose a way to draft some formative feedback notes for groups. Ideally, the teacher might also get a photo of each group standing alongside their display.

After Visiting

If there is time at the end of the period, invite students to fill out one of the rubrics as a self-assessment of their own display. The teacher should collect theses. If time does not allow this, the teacher should begin the next period with this reflection.

The teacher should also invite discussion at the beginning of the next period about the experience of seeing the museum displays. The teacher might ask questions like: What was it like to know an audience was engaging with your display? What was it like to be a visitor at other groups’ displays? Were there especially interesting artifacts or learnings that stood out? Is there anything you would change if you had to do it again? What is something you are especially proud of?

To support students learning about their work in the displays, the teacher can also review the students’ peer assessments and provide salient points or summaries of the feedback to the groups. Given the complexity of social relationships, teachers should avoid providing the actual peer assessment sheets to the groups that were assessed.

If the teacher does want to complete individual student assessments, they can look to the suggestions included in Lesson Four, such as: