The Mystery Box: Museum Edition

As librarians we LOVE primary source documents! A few years back, we converted a spare room into a museum and work with local organizations to help history come to life. We’ve been lucky enough to build a strong relationship with our local historical society.


I love my Exploratorium, but I HATE making labels for the items. I realized, I could turn this into a great chance for students to explore on their own. Hence: “The Mystery Box!”

mystery box

The mystery box has 14 items from our historical society. Students are given a sheet to see what they can observe, what they can infer, and what they think the item is.

Due to space constraints, we can only fit half a class in the museum, so we offset that with an essay question about what museums exhibits say about the culture of our area.

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Can you figure out what the items in our mystery box are?


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