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Virtual Field Trip: New Hampshire Historical Society

The New Hampshire Historical Society saves, preserves, and shares the Granite State's heritage, dating back thousands of years and right up to the present day. Its museum is located in Concord, the state capital, but its collections include objects from all over New Hampshire.

This virtual field trip introduces students to five icons of New Hampshire history that can be found at the New Hampshire Historical Society, including several objects that are not currently on display. It also takes students behind-the-scenes to areas of the historical society that are not normally open to the public.

A graphic organizer helps students record what they learn from the video, which, when combined with the activity, tackles the question: How do you decide what goes in a museum?

The video is 19 minutes.

The Big Question

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    How do you decide what goes in a museum?

Before You Take Your Virtual Field Trip . . .


Define a museum

Ask the students to come up with a definition of what a museum is. Present the official definition as “an institution that displays and preserves objects of significance.” Ask them to share examples of museums that they have visited. Ask them who should decide what is significant and important enough to be in a museum.

Discuss the big question

Ask students how they decide what objects are significant to them. Ask them to each think of one event from their school year so far that should be remembered. Record student thinking. Revisit the ideas after the virtual field trip based on knowledge gained during the trip.

During Your Virtual Field Trip . . .

Organize facts and ideas

An optional graphic organizer is provided to help students identify and expand upon the three key ideas addressed during the trip. As they listen and watch, students can check off the key idea as they hear it mentioned. The chart below provides space for students to note supporting facts that relate to each idea. This graphic organizer could be used as part of a preview to the trip. It also works well as a review exercise after the trip and can be completed as a whole group or independently.

Travel Log

This graphic organizer helps students organize the information they learn in the virtual field trip.

After Your Virtual Field Trip . . .


The Museum of the Future

In this activity, students imagine that they are a museum curator for the Museum of New Hampshire History in the year 2150. Have the students make a list of five objects that they think would tell people in the future of about life in your town today. The students will then pick one object and create a museum tag for that object. When the students have completed their tags, cut them out and assemble them for a class exhibit. Then, discuss with the class what picture they would get of life in their town from that exhibit. Is it accurate? Is it complete? What is missing or overrepresented?

Museum of the Future

Want To Do More?


Go further with these extension activities

Give a museum tour. Students work in groups to create a video tour of a “mini-museum.” Each group picks three objects to discuss. These objects can come from the classroom or can be brought from home. Students write a one-minute description of each object’s importance, including a question they would ask students to make them think. All students should take an active role in creating the tour, but not all of them need to be on-camera. If recording devices are unavailable, this can be done in-class as a presentation.

Museum evaluation. Have the students pick either a physical museum exhibit in the community or an online museum exhibit to evaluate. Using the knowledge gained from the virtual field trip and the class discussion, have them evaluate the quality of the exhibit. What is in the exhibit? What types of information does it tell you? How easy is it to understand? What are the curators trying to make you understand? What is controversial or complicated about the topic? What is missing? What questions does it leave you with?