Slice of Life Story - The Potential That Lies In Artefacts

I took a bag containing a collection of artefacts into a classroom last week. I invited students to delve into the bag and take out a single item. I then shared the story associated with each item. In my mystery bag of goodies students lifted out a ticket to the Sydney Olympics, an old camera originally owned by my father, a Turkish coin, a photograph of my grandson, a badge designed by Author and illustrator, Terry Denton and an antique Balinese bamboo spice container. The students listened respectfully as I told the stories quickly and enthusiastically. They had questions, their curiosity aroused by the various items I shared. My aim was to show them that we all have stories to tell. Sometimes those stories surround the keepsakes, treasures and artefacts we hold close. I challenged them to think about some of their personal artefacts as a potential source for writing ideas. They resolved to go home and sketch or photograph some of these treasures and place them into their respective notebooks and write about them. I suspect that previously these things had been overlooked. They now had a fresh lens through which to view their world. I am filled with anticipation as to what their investigations might uncover.

Unlocking the ideas that reside in things is always energizing. One student told me as I was leaving, ‘I can’t wait to write about some of my special artefects’ That comment made my heart sing.


  1. How wonderful that you were able to make your students see the value in their own lives. Once they can do that, they realize that their stories have value and are worth telling. Bravo!

  2. Love the artifacts in the bag! I am going to borrow that idea for next year's students as we work on building fluency, community, and stories within the community.

  3. What a wonderful idea to help everyone remember that we are surrounded by stories big and small!



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