Curator Challenge: You Decide!

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

Middle School, High School

Author Info

Eric Langhorst, Rebecca Winslow

Type of Lesson


Type of Project (Individual/Group/Both)



120-150 minutes

Challenge Question

You are the curator of a museum. Create an exhibit about the contributions to the idea of liberty of one of the following founding fathers: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, or Benjamin Franklin. What will your exhibit include?


This challenge will engage students in evaluating the historical importance of objects and artifacts and their impact on the formation of American liberty. The student will need to explain not only what the item is but how it demonstrates or exemplifies liberty.

The project can be modified. A student or group of students may design an exhibit for each individual or each student or group of students can be assigned a specific individual. Once the museum is completed, students can then visit the museum “galleries” and comment on specific objects or choices. An extension exercise could include asking a student to choose just one object for each individual for a traveling exhibit.


  1. Go to Explore. Find five to seven items (at least two documents/quotes and three images) for your founding father and save to your My Collection drawer. The items you select should help explain this person’s role in contributing to the idea of liberty. Use the source analysis questions to learn more about the sources you selected.
  2. Go to Create. Use a combination of the tools to design a layout for your exhibit. Be sure your museum includes images, quotations, and labels that explain how the sources demonstrate this person’s contribution to the idea of liberty.