A CIESE Primary Source and
Archived Collections Project

A Social Studies and Language Arts Activity

Extension Activity

"Make Your Own "Treasure Chest"



Look through your and your family's belongings for primary source materials that tell your own story. Photographs, diaries, letters, childhood drawings all give important information about you to someone who takes the time to look closely. Create a treasure chest of sources that represent you.  Put 5-10 pieces of primary source materials in the box. Exchange your treasure chest with another student and see how they interpret your materials.  What can you learn about a person from studying what he or she has chosen to put in the box?

  • Write an essay telling why you chose those particular items for your personal treasure chest; explain the significance of each piece.
  • Create a class exhibit of all the treasure chests in an appropriate place in the school.
  • Make a timeline of your life from birth to the present day. Mark, and perhaps illustrate,  what you consider to have been the five most important events in your life. Exhibit the timeline with your treasure chest.
  • Ask your teacher to send your work to the Student Gallery.