Getting a hold of the past

Students will learn about the importance of analyzing multiple perspectives as they are introduced to the culture of this early Maryland settlement. Students use primary source objects from the Colonial Maryland Trunk to learn about the culture distinct to this early settlement in St. Mary’s City.

Lesson Objective

Students will learn about the life, times and technology people of Colonial Maryland by using sourcing, close reading, and contextualization skills during observations of replicas of objects used daily during that time. Students will complete a graphic organizer demonstrating what they have learned.


  • Web worksheet graphic organizer
  • Objects from Maryland Historical Society Colonial Maryland Trunk* including, but not limited to: delft plate pieces, pottery plate pieces, candle holder, wooden spoon, flint kit, ax head, tobacco, mouth harp, and wooden games
  • *note – this lesson was created using artifacts from a traveling trunk that was developed and rented from the Maryland Historical Society.


  1. Stations set up with one replica object at each.
  2. Students will be divided into small groups.
  3. Review what definition of ‘replica’ and ground rules for handling objects.
  4. Object Web capture sheets provided to guide student investigations.
  5. Students will be directed to different Replica Object Stations.
  6. Students will observe the objects.
  7. Students will work cooperatively to analyze the object using the Object Web as their guide.
  8. Students will share their objects and their findings with the whole group.


Circulate and observe; provide questions to guide students if necessary; groups will share their observations and conclusions; collect and review collection graphic organizers.


The Maryland Historical Society. (accessed October 7, 2011).

“Traveling Trunks.” The Maryland Historical Society. (accessed August 28, 2011).