Chris Adcock
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Exhibits
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Museums
  • Storytelling
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Museum Exhibit Team Review

    Museum Exhibit Team Review


    In this lesson, students will work independently with their museum exhibit teams. Their challenge will be to use this time efficiently so they get the maximum possible benefit.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Find the Viking Voyage online exhibit on the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History website ( ) and share it with your students. If you do not have Internet access in the classroom, you can print and distribute the exhibit.
    • Examine the Viking Voyage exhibit and consider if there are any aspects of it you wish to highlight other than those covered in the opening mini-lesson.

    Viking Voyage Exploration

    • Briefly show the online exhibit to the students and highlight a couple of the key efforts the creators made to give the exhibit a clear central theme.
    • Give students time to explore the exhibit in their groups.


    View the exhibit on the Viking Voyage and examine some of the methods they use to give the exhibit a clear theme.

    With your team, find two or three examples of efforts the creators made to state a clear theme for their exhibit. Make notes on the questions below.

    • What is the theme and purpose of this online exhibit?
    • How did the creators of this exhibit make that theme clear?
    • How will you develop a clear theme and purpose in your own exhibit?
    • How will you make that theme clear as early as possible in your audience’s experience with your exhibit?

    Open Notebook

    Remember to add any notes that could be helpful for your exhibit into the document you created in Lesson 3.

    Work Plan 1

    • Let students know if you want them to share their work plans with you when they finish.
      • ELL: If you have ELLs who would benefit from extra support, you can work with them at the beginning of this task to help them identify research goals and the steps they can take to get there.

    Work Time

    Before you begin work, glance at the next task and then take 5 minutes to write a plan about what you will do during the work session in this lesson.

    As you did in previous lessons, make notes on the following questions.

    • Will you work together with other students? Who?
    • What do you plan to accomplish in the work session?
    • What do you think will be the hardest element of the tasks you’re setting for yourself? Why?
    • What do you think will be the easiest element of the tasks you’re setting for yourself? Why?

    Open Notebook

    Group Exhibit Work

    • Do your best to support independent work, even if students make mistakes and wander down dead ends. There is time built in for students to abandon ideas that don't work out and start over on them.
      • ELL: It is sometimes hard to read and conduct research when using a language other than our own. Be sure students' pace is adequate, and provide ample wait time to allow for students to process the information. You can also ask classmates to offer support to ELLs in their group during the research process, as appropriate.
      • Set clear deadlines with students as to when they should share their progress on their articles, their artifacts, and their placards with you.

    Work Time

    You have several options for this independent work time.

    • Look at more articles that can help you expand your understanding of what it means to be a Digital Native.
    • Explore more museum exhibits that can help expand your understanding of how a good museum exhibit fits together.
    • Develop artifacts for your exhibit, to plan your exhibit’s structure, write placards for artifacts, or engage in other activities to develop an excellent exhibit.

    Open Notebook

    Make sure to coordinate with your group, and remember that you will have to submit your annotated articles on specific dates and also share your progress on your artifact and placard with your teacher.

    Exhibit Status Report 1

    • These reflections offer students an opportunity to consider their progress thus far, and they also offer you daily opportunities to assess and influence student progress.
      • SWD: Monitor the ability of SWDs to reflect throughout this unit to note progression. If they struggle with this task, give them additional questions to promote deep and meaningful thinking.
    • Try to make sure all students are participating fully and contributing to their groups.
    • You can encourage good group work habits such as mixing up tasks and subgroups from day to day.
    • The unit sets dates for the students to turn in annotated articles and descriptions of their parts of the exhibit, but you can set more frequent points to check in if you feel it's appropriate.


    Before the lesson ends, assess your work for the day by answering these questions.

    • With whom did you work?
    • What did you accomplish during the work session?
    • How accurate was your plan?
      • If you had to adapt and do something other than what you planned, why did you change your plans?
    • What turned out to be the easiest part? Why?
    • What turned out to be the hardest part? Why?
    • What is your top priority for the next work session?

    Open Notebook

    When you finish, share your answers with your teacher.

    Individual Exhibit Work

    • You have had ample opportunity to identify students who are struggling with the independent aspects of this work. Be sure to develop plans with these students and groups so they don't fall behind in developing their work.
      • SWD: Check in with students to assess their progress; provide them specific feedback about what they have accomplished and what needs to be completed for homework. If you have students who have modified deadlines or expectations, be sure to review those now.
    • Emphasize the idea of breaking up work in to manageable pieces between each lesson instead of saving too much work for the last night before an article or artifact is due.


    Some work is best accomplished outside of class. For example, are there…

    • Photos that you can take of people using technology in public places?
    • Interviews you want to record or film with Digital Immigrants?
    • Stories or allegories you want to write about being a Digital Native?
    • Pieces of artwork you want to create at home or in art class?
    • Historical issues you want to research?
    • Choose the work that is most useful to your exhibit and start on it for homework. You will be submitting work on your articles, your artifacts, and your placards to your teacher in the upcoming lessons.