Artifact Boxes are a great interactive strategy that you can use to engage your students. Basically you collect a whole lot of artifacts that are related to a particular book, and put them in a box. Simple, right. This takes quite while and I’ve just started my collection so it’s not nearly as impressive as some I’ve seen. Perhaps TL or teacher networks could get together and share their collections to ease the burden of collecting and storing them.
Bring out the artifacts and let the kids have a play with them when you are introducing a new book. Let them have a think about how the artifacts will pop up in the story – just like you predict from the cover.
You can do writing activities in which students must justify which artifact is the most important in the story, or for the younger kids even describe one and the rest of the class has to guess which object/artifact they’re talking about.
It’s also fun to get together a totally random set of artifacts and have the kids create their own stories based on all or a few of the things in the box.
Here are a couple of sets I have started. See if you can guess which book each are from before you mouse over the picture. All are already mentioned on this blog.