Learn with Hanford Mills

Creating a Museum Exhibit




Understand the effectiveness of museum exhibits as forms of conveying information.


Students will discuss their visit to Hanford Mills Museum and will create their own exhibit in class to share with their classmates and teachers.


  • Digital Camera (optional)
  • Access to Computer (optional)
  • Paper
  • Crayons, Colored Pencils
  • An object from home (each student)


  • Preparation Time: : 10 minutes
  • Class Time: approximately 45 minutes


  • Before the exhibit exercise ask students to bring in an object (picture, toy, book, letter, anything) that they would like to share with the class. Ask them to pick an object that means something to them and that they could share information about with their classmates.
  • Before class, number each piece of wood and mark it with a paper tag. Count the growth rings in each piece of wood and record its number and age on a piece of paper. (Note: If all your sections are from the same tree trunk, they should all have the same number of growth rings).
  • At the beginning of class, explain that the people can determine the age of a tree by counting its growth rings. Demonstrate using the larger piece of wood.
  • Break the students into groups of two or three. Give each group a piece of wood.
  • Ask students to count the growth rings on their piece of wood to determine the wood’s age.
  • Ask students to use the Diagram of Tree Anatomy to draw their own tree and label its parts, including xylem, phloem, stem, leaves, etc.
    • At the beginning of class, discuss your visit to the Museum.

    • What kind of a museum is Hanford Mills Museum?
    • What is the Museum about?
    • What ways does it use to tell us about the past?
    • What were the exhibits like?
    • What was in the exhibits?
  • Explain that they will create their own exhibit during the rest of class.
    • Ask students to get their objects and to brainstorm for a few minutes about how they could present information about their topic to the class in the form of an exhibit.

      • Optional Technology Component:

      • You may opt to ask students to take digital photos of their objects to use instead of the actual objects, and download and print them from the computer.
      • You may also choose to ask students to create text labels, if using a word processing program.
  • Ask students to spend the rest of class creating their exhibit
  • Place or hang the exhibits around the classroom or, if photographic exhibits, in the hallway outside the room.
  • Ask students to present their exhibit to their classmates.


  • Participation in class discussion (listening and speaking).
  • Completed exhibit.
  • Presentation of exhibit.

NYS Learning Standards:

  • ELA Standard 1
  • ELA Standard 3

Vocabulary & Spelling Words:

Exhibit – v. to show or display something to people, n. a group of things you have out for people to see.

Museum – n. a place where collections of objects that are important to history, art, or science are kept and shown to the public.

Object – n. anything that has shape or form and can be seen or touched.