Objects are materials things. Artifacts, ecofacts, and manuports are all interesting primary source objects for use in scrapbook projects. For some, artifacts are those things that distinguish scrapbooks from other types of books such as photo albums.
Sometimes the object itself is used. In other cases, a photograph represents the object. The photograph on the right shows a fossil from Arkansas.
Artifacts are objects produced by humans. Tools, furnishings, clothing, jewelry, and even sports equipment are all artifacts. Museums and attics are filled with interesting artifacts that reflect the lives of individuals.
- Advertisements: banners, buttons, pins, ribbons, patches, clubs, flags (i.e., sales, elections, campaigns, name badges)
- Artwork: painting, collage, sculpture, murals, pottery, tombstones
- Awards: badge, ribbons, pins, plaques, buttons, banners (i.e., school, fairs)
- Clothing: shirts, pants, hats, shoes, ties, uniforms, fashion
- Commemorative Items: banners, mugs, plates, T-shirts, programs, souvenirs, insignia
- Equipment and Invention : computers, automobiles, telephones, technology
- Household Items: glasses, plates, utensils, crystal, baskets, jars, bottles, furnishings
- Jewelry: pins, necklaces, broach, rings
- Signs, Markers and Monuments: grave markers, historical markers, signs
- Paper/Plastic Items: tickets, identification badges, credit cards
- Personal Items: personal hygiene, eye glasses, contacts, braces, crutches, wheelchair
- Tools: art, drafting, writing, sports, food preparation, gardening, weapons
- Toys: wagons, stuffed animals, games
- Weapons: knives, guns, cannons, spears
Ecofacts or biofacts are objects made by other organisms such as nests, feathers, seeds, or animal bones. These words are often used by archaeologists focusing on materials found at archaeological sites.
- Animals: feathers, fur, eggs, animal bones, shells, pearls, insects
- Plants: seeds, branches, leaves, flowers
Manuports are natural objects not changed by humans such as river rocks, geodes, or other ideas.
- Geological: rocks, minerals, gems, dirt, sand
Context and Connection
When working with objects, consider the context and connections that make the article meaningful.
Context. In want context do you envision use or enjoyment of the artifact? Ask yourself:
- Why is this object interesting or memorable?
- When you think of the object, what's the setting you envision?
- Where did it come from, who used it, and why?
Connection. What's your connection to artifacts? Ask yourself:
- What objects in your home reflect your life?
- What objects bring back specific memories?
- What special events are associated with this item?
- What smells, thoughts, or emotions are connected to this item?
- What objects couldn't be replaced if they were destroyed?
It's impossible to share the artifacts themselves electronically. Consider ways that they can be digitally reproduced.
A scanner can be used to create a digital copy of ticket stubs, paintings, book covers, and other flat objects.
A digital camera can be used to create a photograph of three-dimensional objects such as kitchen utensils, bicycles, and stuffed animals.
A digital video camera is used when audio or video are important. Consider using a digital video camera if there is sound or movement associated with the object. For example, you might record yourself riding your bike, demonstrate how your music box opens and plays music, or show how a piece of equipment is used. You might add an audio description or narrative related to the object such as memories of using the item or the origin of the object.
Photographs of Objects
It's easiest if you have items in your personal collection you can photograph. If you can't take your own picture, you may be able to find one online.
Keep in mind if you use photographs from the Internet, you need to get permission if you plan to repost them. If you can't make contact with the web master, consider linking to the website containing the artifact.
Websites. Look for the website of the manufacturer of the artifact or resellers. They may have a history area with historical photographs. Consider using some of the following shopping websites for items:
Virtual Museums. Seek out topical museums such as toy museums or fashion museums for particular types of artifacts.
Artifacts Gallery from Kids Dig Reed
Artifacts including Civil War, household, farm, personal, and guess items.
Many artifacts from Egypt.
Find a Grave
Search graves by name, location, claim to fame, and date.
History Wired from Smithsonian
Thousands of artifacts
Object of the Month Archive
Rocks from ScienceNetLinks
Photos and descriptions of well known types of rocks.
Artifacts from the Holocaust.
Teaching and Learning through Artifacts
George Mason University
Science NetLinks Lessons
- Artifacts 1: What Can We Learn From Artifacts? (Grades 3-5)
- Artifacts 2: Artifacts in Context (Grades 3-5)
US National Archives Lesson Resources