Museum Exhibits & The Imagination

Museum Exhibits & The Imagination

Lakota Exhibit Exploration


View the exhibit on the Lakota and consider the idea of a hook artifact. A hook artifact is a particularly interesting object that draws an audience into an exhibit.

The creators of the exhibit use the winter counts as a way of connecting the audience to the history that the rest of the exhibit discusses.

Since the winter counts were part of the Lakota’s own way of tracking their history, they become an ideal object for a museum to introduce Lakota history to non-Lakota people.

In your Notebook, complete a Quick Write on this question.

  • Why do you think the creators of the exhibit decided to start with an explanation of the winter count instead of beginning with an overview of the Lakota people?

Open Notebook

Then share your ideas with the class.

Winter Counts Exploration

Work Time

In your museum teams, explore the exhibit and judge whether the winter counts work as a hook to draw in an audience so they’ll be engaged with the rest of the story.

Discuss these important issues and make notes on your ideas before moving on to the individual work time.

  • How well do you think the hook worked?
    • Did it help you get engaged with the exhibit?
  • If you felt it worked well, how did it accomplish that?
  • If you felt it didn’t work well, what can you do to make sure your exhibit has a better hook?
  • How can one key artifact be used to create engagement with the story of the exhibit?

Open Notebook

American Stories Exhibit

Work Time

Staying in your museum teams, turn your attention to the American Stories exhibit. Instead of using a single hook artifact for its exhibit, it uses a series of hook artifacts to bring the audience into a particular period of history.

For example, the exhibit of an original Kermit the Frog puppet is used in order to discuss the way that television changed popular culture after 1945.

It also uses Benjamin Franklin’s walking stick as a hook to connect the audience to the revolutionary era of 1776–1801.

Now jot down your group’s ideas on the following questions.

  • How can physical artifacts such as these help an audience connect to a separate period of history?
  • What kinds of objects in use today could be used as hook artifacts for future generations?

Open Notebook

Work Plan 2

Work Time

Before you begin work, take 5 minutes to glance at the options in the next task and 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

Share your plan with your teacher.

Group Exhibit Work

Exhibit Status Update 2


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

  • Whom did you work with?
  • 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.

Independent Exhibit Work


  • Work on any part of your exhibit that is best accomplished outside of class, such as taking photos, conducting interviews, or creating artwork.

You will submit one of your two annotated articles in the next lesson.