Students show their cultural objects

By: Ms Helen Wheeler, Category: Lifelong Learning, Date: 10 Dec 2009

We went to a school in Sydney to find out what cultural objects are personally significant to Year 5 students. What we found was intriguing and, in some cases, quite moving.


Photographer: Helen Wheeler © Australian Museum

The students and I discussed what a cultural object is and the students created this definition:

A cultural object is an object made by humans for a practical and/or spiritual purpose.

I shared with them some of my own objects and spoke about why they are significant to me. The students then explored some Indigenous Australian objects and discussed them in groups. They reported back to the class their findings and theories.

I then invited the students to bring to school a cultural object with real personal significance to them and to share it on the Museum's website. They had obviously thought very carefully about their selection as I think their objects are fascinating and some are quite moving. They brought in family heirlooms, medals, photos, jewellery, books and things they had made themselves. It was great to learn what's important to an 11 year old in Sydney and I'd really like to visit more schools and hear from students from different cultures and age groups.

Have a look at all the objects the students chose to share.

I'd also love you to share your objects on our site.

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1 comment

Lynda Kelly - 2.12 PM, 10 December 2009

Thanks Helen. What an interesting project. I'm going to try and upload my cultural object coz I need to practice uploading images! It is real though - the glass is a vintage one given to me by a dear friend. It is filled with my very last Grange red wine left over from my cellar and I shared it at a wonderful dinner with my brothers where we had lots of laughs, good food and great music.

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