Library Digital Content Access

What's That Relic?

Created By: Chris Bohne, Adlai E Stevenson II Elementary School (Bloomington, IL)
Grade Level: 5th
Content Area: Social Studies/Language Arts
Database Integration: For this project students will use the TDC database to access photos of little known artifacts.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

STATE GOAL 1 C: Comprehend a broad range of reading materials Students will search the internet and the TDC database to access information about some little known artifact.
STATE GOAL 3.B: Students will determine what questions have to be asked to compose well-organized and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences. Students will generate a list of yes/no questions that will help them understand what a given artifact is.
STATE GOAL 5.A: Students will locate, organize, and use information from various sources to answer questions, solve problems and communicate ideas. Students will use the TDC database as well as other sources to research the uses and function of given artifacts.
STATE GOAL 5 B: Students will analyze and evaluate information acquired from a variety of sources. Students will work to check a variety of sources to check accuracy of information.
STATE GOAL 16 A: Apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation. Students will work to identify the functions of given artifacts and extrapolate intended uses.



  1. Teacher will share the book Motel of the Mysteries by David McCauley to introduce the concept of examining artifacts.
  2. Students will be shown an artifact and asked to work in groups to discuss what the object may be used for.
  3. The class will generate a list of possible ways to find out what the object is.
  4. Students will be introduced to the TDC site and search the TDC database for other unfamiliar objects.
  5. Students will create three phony possible uses for the unfamiliar object.
  6. The class will play "What's that Relic?" by showing the image of their object and listing the three phonies and one genuine use for the object. The class tries to determine which is the actual use for the object.


Student will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. Objects chosen should show students have done extended search of thedatabase
  2. Creativity of phony uses for object
  3. Accuracy of genuine use for object