Museum in the Classroom

Students will look at objects from a Peace Corps country and both answer and develop their own questions regarding the uses, importance, and background of each object.

Students use mortar and pestle that a returned Volunteer used during service
Students use mortar and pestle that a returned Peace Corps Volunteer used during service.

This version of "show and tell" puts 6th-8th grade students in the position to use creative and critical thinking skills as they are introduced to objects from a culture other than their own. Students will have the opportunity to think outside of the box while working towards the answering the big question: "What is that?"


After completing this activity, students should be able to

  • Explain the uses of each object.
  • Describe the importance of each object in its related host country.
  • Provide a basic background of each object.


  • Objects from Peace Corps country of service.


  1. Place 8-10 objects or pictures from your Peace Corps country and experience around the room (e.g., book in another language, eating utensil, clothing, photos of your service site).
  2. Write a question to place next to each object (e.g., What do you think this is used for? What do you think this is made out of? Why do you think I needed this every day?)
  3. Split students into groups of 2-3. Have each group examine each object for 2 minutes, then write down answers to the questions next to each object.
  4. Come back together as a whole group to discuss the objects and their significance. This is also a great time to answer questions while incorporating stories about your life in your host country and your service.


  • Have students come up with a list of objects they would use if they were conducting this activity for students in the host country related to this activity. Have them explain why they chose the items they did, and write down questions to ask for each object.