Lesson Two: Creating a Museum Display

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


Using visual thinking strategies and a quick writing prompt, students will activate and/or develop background knowledge prior to researching further information about the UDHR. While watching videos and doing independent research, students will look for inspiration and artifacts that they could use to create a physical museum display highlighting their group’s UDHR theme.

Lesson Outline 


As with Lesson One, begin this lesson by showing the image below (or another relevant image of your choice) and by using the visual thinking strategies to prompt reflection about museums and their artifacts.

Sutton Hoo helmet (circa 6th-7th Century) at the British Museum. Photo by Leah Judd, 2021.

Project the image and invite students to spend some time (about a minute or so) looking at it.

Then, consider and discuss the questions associated with visual thinking strategies, such as:

As follow-up questions, invite students to consider the following, either in small groups or as a class:

Quick Write

A quick write is like a free write directed by a specific prompt. The teacher provides a topic of a question (or students can provide them!), and the class writes for 3-5 minutes on that topic. During this time, students should aspire to:

Ask students to quick write for 3-5 minutes (in a notebook, on loose paper, etcc) on the following topic:

Tell me about a memorable artifact you’ve seen in a museum, at home, in a community space, or even at school. Do you have an old clock, a special framed photo, or an inherited rocking chair? Describe the object. What about it sticks out to you as important? What connection does it have to history (this could be the personal history of your family or the larger history of a group or time period).

As differentiation, students could also sketch their response, write in the form of a list, or answer the question verbally in quiet conversation with the teacher.

Group Work

Students gather with their group members (from the end of Lesson One). Invite students to share their quick writes with their group members—they can read them word for word, read an excerpt, or just summarize the salient points.

Hand back the chart paper that groups were using to record their thoughts during the previous class (or, if students were using Google Slides, ask them to pull up their documents on their laptops).

Remind students that at the end of the last class, you asked them to reflect on how their theme could be rephrased as an inquiry question. Invite students to take time in their group to share any ideas they have, and to spend some brief time brainstorming and writing those ideas down. They do not need to reach a consensus or decide in this exact moment what the question will be—it’s just an early discussion.

Hand out the worksheet included below. This worksheet invites students to engage in further research and to begin thinking about the artifacts they might include to create a museum display.

While students work, the teacher should circulate to check in with each group about their theme and question, and help guide and hone each group’s approach. The students might also need teacher support with where to find additional resources that are specific to their theme.

Group Worksheet—Museum Display Artifact Ideas
Closing Thoughts

In closing the lesson, remind groups that they should confirm which members will be doing outreach outside of class time to confirm the borrowing of any materials from friends, family, or other adults in the school community. If students will be emailing their requests, invite them to CC the teacher as well.

If there is time at the end of the period, the teacher can invite groups to share any reflections they have about how the class period went today. How was the research, the brainstorming, the conversation? Anything stand out, surprise, etc? Any thoughts going into the next class period?