What is a Museum All About?

Grades K&1

Pre-Visit Activities   |   Post-Visit Activities  |  Program Explanation & Notes (pdf)  |  Key Terms & Concepts (pdf)

Hands-on, minds-on activities help children realize that a museum is a fun place to learn new things.
Learning standards will be met as students:
  • Experience the multiple uses of numbers including measurement and estimation
  • Sort common objects into categories, or collections, and explain their reasoning
  • Observe properties of various objects including size, shape, color and texture
  • Explore the art of scrimshaw and have the opportunity to create their own on paper
  • Put events in their own and their families’ lives in temporal order and give examples of different kinds of work that people do
Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, Spring 2012
•    Math: K.CC.4-6: When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object (counting objects in the collection together, i.e. model ships or arrowheads in Portraits). Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects. Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.
Experience the multiple uses of numbers including measurement and estimation
•    ELA: SL.MA.1-6: …Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion). Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges. Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly. (Students raise their hands for a turn to speak, listen while docent or classmate is speaking, stay on task, etc.)
•    ELA: L.MA.5a: sort common objects into categories to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent
•    History: Students will put events in their own and their families’ lives in temporal order; give examples of different kinds of jobs that people do, including the work they do at home
•    Science (PreK-2): observable properties of objects include size, shape, color, weight, and texture
•    Arts: 2.2: For line, explore the use of line in 2D and 3D works. Identify a wide variety of types of lines in the environment and in artwork. For example, students take a walk around the scrimshaw exhibit and note jagged, straight, curved, thick, and thin lines.
•    Arts: 2.3: For texture, explore the use of textures in 2D and 3D works. Identify a wide variety of types of textures, for example, smooth, rough, and bumpy, in the environment and in artwork. Create representations of textures in drawings, paintings, rubbings, or relief

Suggested Pre-Visit Activities

Review vocabulary students will hear during their visit: collection, object, sequence (pattern), skeleton, model.

(Grade K) Draw a picture to show that a collection is a group of items that have something in common. Count the number of items. Draw a picture of another collection with fewer/more items. Review shapes (square, triangle, circle…)

(Grade 1) Discuss how objects can change over time. Consider examples of things children used in school long ago – chalk and slate to pencil and paper; book strap to backpack. Create a poster, a bulletin board or individual pictures of other examples of how things change over time.

(Grades K&1) Use different media to create art – markers, pencils, crayons, clay (or Play-Doh), etc. Students will discover that art can be flat (2-dimensional) or curved/rough (3-dimensional) as they do this. This exercise will help them understand how whalemen created artwork from sperm whale teeth (scrimshaw).

(Grade 1) Explain patterns (sequences) to students. Have students work together to sort different objects into repeating patterns by color, shape, size, or purpose.

Suggested Post-Visit Activities

Invite students to bring their collections to school and “exhibit” them for their classmates to enjoy (stamps, rocks, baseball cards, etc.)

Have students write notes and/or draw pictures to thank the docents (museum volunteers) for showing them around the Museum. Use vocabulary words such as museum, object, and collection.