DT Roadshow

Students explain an object that they have never seen.

Photo of chris fancher
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DT Roadshow

This activity is modeled upon the Antiques Roadshow where people bring in objects to find out what they are and how much they would be worth today.


Students are given an object or an image of a unique or unusual object. They are instructed to write the story of the object to include:

- The name of the object

- What it was used for

- What time period was it used in

- What current day object replaced it

-  Why did it fall out of use

- How much did it cost to buy originally and how much is it worth today.

Teachers may give as little or as much information about the object as they desire. The goal is for students to explore reasons something, like the object, might have been designed.

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Students explore ways the object might have been used. They then must decide which way makes the most sense. Finally they have to decide the cost of the item originally and what it would be worth today.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • Middle School (5-8)

Evaluation results

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Garreth Heidt

This is a great idea.  I did this once with students and an avocado-half slicer.  Our purpose was a bit different, though, as we wanted students to discover through use the intent of the object.  However, telling stories as you suggest here is another way to such an end.

It also reminds me of an old American Folk game called "The Liars Club" where an object of unknown intent (usually an antique of some sort, as you note) was brought in and three people who didn't know what it was were asked to create a story and demonstration of its use.  (Of course, before the "game" one of those three was actually made aware of what it was.)

Lots of potential fun here.

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