3) HOW: Place Based Heritage Education Lesson Plan:


Suggested Curriculums:

            Social Studies/History

            Language Arts/Reading/English/Writing


            Computer Class



Suggested Vocabulary:












Suggested Objectives:

-In the classroom students will be introduced to vocabulary which will help them learn the concepts of this unit

-The students will research facts about their community, its founding, history, commerce,

citizens, faith and important events unique to their community

-Students will then research about their individual family lineages…how their families came to be living in their community

-Students will trace as far back as possible where their families originated and the history of their families

-They will interview their ancestors for stories about earlier days in their community


Students will take a field trip, adequately supervised, to a Family Heritage Home in Lake Arthur, LA. This home was built in 1904. A single family lived there for 47 years, is owned by two descendants and utilized to this day.  The home holds artifacts and memorabilia about the family and the community.  It has on display and labeled the history of both the paternal and maternal sides of the family dating back to 1694 and heritage/lineage data dating back to the beginning in the tracing of the families. The home holds years of history of the community of Lake Arthur.


-The students and adults will tour the home. 



At the completion of the field trip, the students will be asked to complete for ‘homework’ several assignments:


-They will be asked to tour their individual homes for memorabilia that demonstrates how their families are involved in their community.


-The will bring to school for ‘show and tell’ items which demonstrate facts, history, or specific information about their family’s ancestors.


-They will write a paper/essay on items related to their field trip and those topics covered in their school units.


-Students will be encouraged to start their own ‘family walls’ in their homes displaying what they have learned and collected about their family’s history.


-They will be asked to interview an elder in their family and present Power Point presentation on the stories learned.


-They will create a Family Tree tracing their family lineage



            AARP NRTA (National Retired Teachers Association) ‘Live and Learn’ Vol. 6 No. 1 Spring 2007  David Sobel

            Placed-Based Education:  Connecting Classrooms and Communities





 May 2011

To be facilitated by the librarian at the Jefferson Davis Public Library across the boulevard from The Heritage Home Tour…

My Piece of History:



What is the oldest object in your home? How did it get there and why is your family saving it? Finding the answer to these questions can put students in touch with family history and help them discover how much of our past lies hidden in "old things." 

Guiding Questions:

What can old things teach us about our past? Why do we keep them? Why are some old things important to us? Why do some grow in value as they get older?

Learning Objectives:

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Provide a historical context for objects from the past.
  • Characterize the historical significance of objects from the past.
  • Learn about family heritage through their research.


Lesson 1:  A Piece of the Past
The Presenter/Teacher will share with the students a memento of their own from either a family keepsake that has personal significance or an everyday object that can give students a glimpse into the decades before they were born---for example a tool or kitchen object used in years past to accomplish a task or job, a typewriter, a 45 RPM record, 8-Track tape...  Tell students that objects like this one are pieces of history that can help us find out how people lived in the past.  NOW tell the story behind your object.
Answer these questions while presenting your object to the students:
What is it? Identify the object.


How was it used? Explain the object's function.


When did people use it? Place the object in its historical context, telling something about the period when it was new.


Why is it significant? Share memories associated with the object or explain how it illustrates a facet of life in the past.



Lesson 2:  
A. Your Piece of History...


The Students Will Come to the Library with the NAME of their object they have identified in class the week before, not with the object itself.  TODAY, they will complete Activity Sheet 1 by answering the questions below and tell about their object.


B. How Things Tell a Story


The students will create a museum label for their object using Activity Sheet 2.  (They saw/will see museum labels on items on their Heritage Tour.)

Talk about the information found on museum labels. Point out that, in addition to describing the object, a museum label can often tell a story of the family or person who owned the object.

It can identify where the object was obtained, its age and even about the importance of its use to the owner.

What are some things we can learn from objects of the past?




What is your object? Draw a picture of it.



What is the object used for?



When did people use it? What was happening back then?



What does it tells us about the past? What kind of memories does it bring to mind?


         Activity Sheet 2:


Create a Museum Label for your Object

Include on your label:

1) Identify the Object

2) Who owned it...date when they receive it?

3) How old was the person when he/she received the object?

4) Where did the object come from?

5) Anything unique about the object







LESSON 3: Historical Detectives
(To be completed by students at school the week after the Heritage Tour.)

Students are now ready to search for pieces of history in their own homes. Explain that their task is to find the oldest object in their homes and learn the story behind it. Ask students to draw a picture of the object (or take a photograph), since family keepsakes may be too precious to bring to school.

Ask students how they could find out the real story behind these mystery objects -- whom might they talk to and what questions would they ask? Help them realize that parents, grandparents, and other older family members can provide them with firsthand information about the past.

Using their illustrations, the students can create a mini-museum/classroom display in their classrooms for other students.  Have them work together to organize their individual exhibits by chronological order, historical use, or by similar objects.  They will each create a museum label for their objects as well. When they have completed their display, invite other classes to visit for a guided tour, or put their historical detective work on your school’s website.

…see below…