Object Monologues

Are you looking for a way to teach history with objects.  Here is a great post, from The New York Times Learning Network, about how to let objects speak in your history classroom. 

Here is a taste:

Students create and present a monologue (an extended speech spoken by one person usually addressed to someone, either the reader, spectators, or an imagined second character) as if from the point of view of an object they have read about in a newspaper article, work of literature or historical account.

Ask students: What would this object say if it could talk and wanted to tell us about its history? Where has it been? What it has done? What events it has witnessed? Tell them that the object should tell about its past and present, but also about its hopes for the future.

Each monologue should have a clear beginning, middle and end, and should be written and delivered in the first person (“I” and “me”).

Once students have finished writing, have each practice delivering his or her monologue in pairs or small groups until they have a dramatic presentation they feel befits the object and its story. For example, how would this object “speak” differently than this one? (Images from, respectively, “New Fossils Indicate Early Branching of Human Family Tree” and “A Lou Gehrig Treasure Trove.”)