To use the Pair Finder, select a literary Movement and a Discipline. The Pair Finder will provide an artifact paired with appropriate literary texts, and tips for using them together in the classroom. |
The use of artifacts is a particularly effective approach for engaging students, who find that literature comes alive when they can relate it to what actual persons did, made, or thoughtsomething you'll see happen in the video classroom footage. Introducing artifacts into the classroom can also serve as a foundation for teaching more multicultural literature because exploring artifacts helps students approach unfamiliar texts with a better understanding of cultures that differ from their own. A carefully chosen artifact can provide information about the historical period or cultural context in which a work of literature was produced or set.
The analysis of literature is similar to the analysis of artifacts because both require students to ask thoughtful questions, explore their own explanatory hypotheses, and draw insightful conclusions. Although the analysis of artifacts is a new activity for many students, when they are taught to do it, they develop close reading skills that enhance their ability to analyze familiar literary forms.
In addition to the Pair Finder, the American Passages Web site can be extremely useful in developing lesson plans built around artifacts. This archive of artifacts is searchable by time period, type of artifact, relevant literary movement, geographical region, ethnic group, or keyword. See the Workshop Overview for additional information about where to locate artifacts and ways to use them in the classroom.