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The Artifact Box
[based on the Boston and Massachusetts environment]
I became involved in an artifact box project when Deb Connerly placed a project announcement on the Internet. I responded that I felt the project would be beneficial to my class. After a long distance telephone conversation one evening, a snail mail packet, and a series of electronic mail exchanges, the project officially began. The plan was to have both classes discovering the contents of each other's mystery, artifact box the first week of December. When the activity was over, each class would return the original artifact boxes. To complement the project, I created this webpage so that others might learn more about Massachusetts and Boston.
Background: (Something about us)
- Massachusetts - The Commonwealth Communities
- Nickname - The Bay State or the Old Bay State is the nickname most commonly attached to Massachusetts. She is also occasionally referred to as the Old Colony State, the Puritan State, and the Baked Bean State.
Artifact Box Clues:
Clue 1 - Weather for Massachusetts cities and to search for other cities. (We included laminated maps of seasonal weather.)[Suggested reference: the local newspaper weather maps]
Clue 2 - Local map of Massachusetts and Boston. [Suggested reference: Geographical Dictionary]
- Massachusetts regional and geographic literacy connections :
- rivers - Yolen, Jane. Letting Swift River Go. (Quabbin Reservoir) Boston: Little, Brown, 1992. (unpaged)[Quabbin Reservoir]
- rivers - Cherry, Lynne. A River Ran Wild. 1992. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992. (Nashua River)
- forests - Applebaum, Diana. Giants in the Land. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.(1700s logging)
- ponds - Lowe, Steve. Walden. 1990. NY: Philomel Books, 1990. (unpaged)[ The life of Thoreau at Walden Pond, Concord ]
- cape - Shortsleeve, Kevin. The Story of Cape Cod. Cataumet, MA: Cape Cod Life, 1993. (63 ps.)
- cape - Weller, Frances Ward. (Robert J. Blake, illus.) Riptide. NY: Philomel Books, 1990. (32 ps.) [Nauset Beach, Cape Cod]
- island - Spooner, J.B. (Terre Lamb Seeley, illus.) The Story of the Little Black Dog. NY: Arcade Pub., 1994. (unpaged)[Martha's Vineyard]
- island - Weller, Frances Ward. (Marcia Sewall, illus.) Madaket Millie. NY: Philomel Books, 1996. (32 ps.) [Nantucket]
- island - Turkle, Brinton. The Adventures of Obadiah. NY: Viking Press, 1974. (39 ps.)[Nantucket Quakers]
- island - Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie. The Wild Horses of Sweetbriar. NY: Cobblehill Books, 1990. (32 ps.) [Nantucket area]
- places - Johnson, Donald B. Henry Hikes to Fitchburg. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. (32 ps.)
- places - Krensky, Stephen. Witch Hunt: It Happened in Salem Village. NY: Random House, 1989. (48 ps.) [Salem]
- places - Waters, Kate. Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl. 1989. (32 ps.) [Plimoth]
- places - Waters, Kate. Samuel Eatons' Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy. NY: Scholastic, 1993. (40 ps.) [Plimoth]
- places - George, Jean Craighead. The First Thanksgiving. NY: Philomel Books, 1993. [Plimoth]
- places - Sewall, Marcia. The Pilgrims of Plimoth. NY: Atheneum, 1986. (48 ps.) [Plimoth]
- Poetry-related genre: The Pilgrims and the Puritans by Benet ( text) and Miles Standish ( text )
- Technology activity: Create a map of Massachusetts using KidPix
Clue 3 - Non-edible vegetation (We did not anticipate the frost.)
Clue 4 - Trees - Eastern White Pine (We included the needles and a branch. We placed a pine cone in a bottle with a screwable top so that the fragrance of pine could be smelled.) [Tree Guide Book]
- Literacy connection :
- Applebaum, Diana. Giants in the Land. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.(1700s logging)
Clue 5 - Agriculture and food products of Massachusetts
- Cape Cod Potato Chips. We included a bag of Cape Cod potato chips for the class to enjoy. [Suggested reference: Geographical Dictionary for location of Cape Cod.]
- Cranberries - State Beverage - Cranberry juice was named the beverage of the Commonwealth on May 4, 1970. This was a tribute to the great Massachusetts cranberry industry, which grows the largest crop in the world. Ocean Spray Cranberries bottling is done in Lakeville, MA. (We included a bottle of cranberry juice for the class to taste.) [Suggested reference: World Book Encyclopedia for cranberry regions.] (Read "Cranberries" by William Jaspersohn for additional information about cranberries.)
- Literacy connection: Jaspersohn, William. Cranberries. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. (32 ps.)
Clue 6 - Manufacturing
- Gillette Safety Razors based on the innovation of King Gillette in 1901. King Gillette attributed his safety-razor fortune to a few words from his first boss, William Painter who said, "Create a disposable product." Painter was earning $350,000 a year in royalties on the bottle-cap. The Gillette Company has its corporate headquarters in Boston. ( razor images ) (We placed an advertisement from Gillette in a container along with a disposable razor.) [Suggested reference: World Almanac - Business Directory]
- Raytheon Electronics is located in Lexington, MA [Suggested reference: World Almanac - Business Dictionary]
- Polaroid Corporation is located in Cambridge, MA
- Have you ever eaten Valentine's Day heart conversation candies? Established in 1847, the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) is the oldest continuously operating candy company in the United States.
Clue 7 - Population [Suggested reference: World Almanac]
- Boston (1990 census) - 574,283 total population
- Population of Massachusetts (2000 census) - 6,349,097 total population
- Massachusetts facts including Boston and Massachusetts census information
Clue 8 - Typical seasonal dress [Suggested reference: Observe photos of our class in activities throughout the school year.]
Clue 9 - Soil sample (The ground was frozen.)(Massachusetts soils)
- Soil of the Commonwealth - The Paxton Soil Series was adopted by the Legislature on July 10, 1990.
- Roxbury Puddingstone
Clue 10 - Class picture (Us on field trips around our local area.)
Clue 11 - Telephone book sample (Included sightseeing ads. Tourism is big business here.) [Suggested reference: Geographical Dictionary]
Clue 13 - Boston local ads for help wanted (Included ads from Raytheon, local hospitals, computer networking-related jobs) [Suggested reference: Geographical Dictionary and World Almanac - Business Directory]
- Literacy connection:
- fisherman - - Cohen, Caron Lee. Crook Jaw. NY: Holt, 1997.
- deep-water man - - McCloskey, Robert. Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man: A Tale of the Sea in the Classic Tradition. NY: Viking, 1963.
- textile worker - McCully, Emily Arnold. The Bobbin Girl. NY: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1996. (Lowell mills)
- molasses factory - Lent, Blair. Molasses Flood. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
Clue 14 - Rocks and minerals [Suggested reference: Rocks and Minerals Guide Book]
- Granite - igneous rock and schoolyard geology
- State Rock or Rock Emblem - The Roxbury Puddingstone, sometimes called Roxbury Conglomerate, became the state rock in 1983.
- State Building Rock and Monument Stone - Granite was made the building rock of the State in 1983. The last Ice Age did leave Massachusetts with exceptionally fine samples of this rock; granite from Quincy was used to build the Washington Monument.
Clue 15A - Unique Dorchester homes include triple-deckers (three families); typical Dorchester homes include Victorian houses, single family homes, multiple dwellings, apartment buildings [Suggested reference: Local newspaper ads]
Clue 15B - Included a paper model of the Paul Revere House. [Suggested reference: Biographical Dictionary]
Clue 16 - Local recipes include items with apples - refer to stories about
John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed). [Suggested reference: Geographical Dictionary]
- Literacy connection: Genre study: tall tales
- Aliki. The Story of Johnny Appleseed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ., Prentice-Hall, 1963.
- Kellogg, Steven. Johnny Appleseed. NY: Morrow Junior Books, 1988.
- York, Carol Beach. Johnny Appleseed. Mahwah, NJ.: Troll, 1980.
Clue 17 - The Chickadee (Penthestes atricapillus) was adopted as the official State Bird by the
Massachusetts Legislature on March 21, 1941. It is also known as the titmouse, tomtit, and the dickybird, and it is one of the most familiar of the North American birds. It is from four to five inches in size, its tail accounting for nearly half its length. The general coloring is ashy-grey, the back having a brownish tinge; the crown, nape, chin, and throat are black, and the cheeks white. It nests in a stump, tree, or fence post close to the ground, and broods twice a year. It is a cheerful bird and has a pleasing call: "Chick-adee-dee-dee". ( narrative ) [Suggested reference: Bird Field Guide]
Clue 18 - Regional animals and fish include cod, white-tailed deer, beavers, racoons. We cut out pictures and configured their shapes as a jigsaw puzzle. We placed the pictures in a plastic bag ready to put together as a puzzle. [Suggested reference: Mammals Field Guide]
Clue 19 - Historic landmark [Suggested reference: Famous First Facts]
- The rise of urbanism led to the creation of the Park Street Station, the first subway in America - 1897 (We included a timeline of subway events and pictures in a spiral bound booklet.)
- "Charlie on the MTA" - lyrics for the song popularized by the Kingston Trio. (We included an audio tape and sing along words for use after discovery of our city.)
Clue 20 - Famous persons
- Clue 20A -1600s - John Foster, a well known Boston printer, remembered through his self-cut gravestone (1681) - which shows typical gravestone motifs of the time (Mother Goose's Grave located in the Granary Burying Ground ) [Internet search: John Foster, printer]
- Clue 20B - 1600s - plaque for the house of Richard Fairbanks on the Old Post Road - first post office in America [Suggested reference: Famous First Facts]
- Clue 20C - 1700s - George Middleton - horse trainer - colonel in Revolutionary War serving with the Bucks of America. [Suggested reference: Biographical Dictionary for John Hancock]
- Clue 20D - Paul Revere - Paul Revere's Ride (We included Paul Revere's family tree; a picture of Paul Revere from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts; the Paul Revere versions of the Boston Massacre.) [Suggested references: Biographical Dictionary; World Book Encyclopedia] (Read "And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?" by Jean Fritz for additional information)
- Clue 20E - 1700s -
Phillis Wheatley, black poetess. (We included a picture of Phillis as well as the letter confirming that Phillis actually wrote the poetry.) [Suggested reference: Biographical Dictionary]
- Clue 20F - 1800s - famous people - Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment ) (Civil War) [Suggested reference: Biographical Dictionary; World Book Encyclopedia] (View the video "Glory" for additional information.)
- Robert Gould Shaw Memorial - Robert Gould Shaw
- Sergeant William H. Carney, Civil War Hero
- 54th Massachusetts Casualty List
- Clue 20G - 1900s - James Naismith - originator of the game of basketball in Springfield, MA. (We included a mini-basketball and a James Naismith commemorative postage stamp.)[Suggested reference: Famous First Facts]
- Clue 20H - 1900s - Arthur Fiedler postage stamp - conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. (Included a recording of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops playing well known marches) [Suggested reference: Biographical Dictionary]
Clue 21 - Newspaper headline. (Included the tour of the Rolling Stones beginning at Foxboro. [Suggested reference: Geographical Dictionary]
Clue 22 - Letter/postcard - (We included a postcard hand-stamped from our local post office as well as a picture of our local post office. We affixed a stamp of Arthur Fiedler to the postcard. [Suggested reference: World Alamanac - Zip codes]
Clue 23 - Recreational activities (We included newspaper pictures and text of local pro and college sports activities as well as pre-Broadway and touring dramatic offerings. We included a Jacob's Ladder toy from the 1700s. We all signed what our favorite pastimes were.) [Suggested reference: World Almanac - College sports]
- Did you know that Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts is major league baseball's oldest ballpark?
Clue 24 - Native American contributions (We included a picture of Kiing Philip (Metacomet) as well as a small, handmade birch basket.) [Suggested reference: World Book Encyclopedia; Biographical Dictionary]
- Literacy connections :
- Peters, Russell M. Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1992.
- Manitonquat. The Children of the Morning Light. NY: Macmillan, 1994. (72 ps.)
- Waters, Kate. Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times. NY: Scholastic, 1996. (39 ps.)
- Sewall, Marcia. People of the Breaking Day. NY: Atheneum, 1990. (48 ps.)
- A Background
text and images of King Philip's War.
Clue 25 - Seashore life [Suggested reference: Seashores Guide Book]
- Mussels , razor clams, surf clams, periwinkles, crabs.
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Created in 1998. Last modified: August 30, 2014
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