Post-visit Activities

Post-Visit Activities:

Suggested Activity One:
Teacher preparation:
Review instructions below prior to lesson
Time Required: 40–50 minutes
Materials/Web Resources: paper, pencils; for research, access to a library and computers with an internet connection


  1. Review or introduce the term personification.

  2. Some good examples of personification can be found at
  3. After sharing and discussing the poems, have the students think of a colonial object that they saw in the museum (beaver pelt, beaver hat, tankard, fireback, lantern, flax, foot warmer, ice skate, trade tokens, diary, journal, storage jar, etc.), studied in school, or saw in a book, on a website, or in the collections database.

  4. Research the object using these suggested guidelines:
    1. What am I?
    2. What color, shape, and size am I?
    3. When was I made?
    4. Who made me?
    5. How was I made?
    6. Why was I created?
    7. Who uses me?

  5. Draw a sketch of the object.

  6. Create a first-person narrative/poem about the object using the information above.


I am a beaver skin, thick and brown. I come from the land called America. Natives trapped me in the winter.
My fur is worth more since it is so dense.
They sold me to the Dutch for tools and weapons.
I am lonely and scared.
Where will they take me?
What will they do to me?
I am placed on a ship and sent across a vast ocean to a land called Europe.
There my fur is made into felt, which is used for men’s hats.
My life has changed.
I no longer run free in the woods, but I see foreign places and go to fancy restaurants.
I keep a man’s head warm.
Today, I am seen by hundreds of people in a museum.
I live on in a different form.

Rhyming Example:

Living in America, the “New World”
Where frigid winter winds gusted and swirled
I am a beaver skin, dense, thick, and brown
Natives trapped me and traveled to Dutch towns.
My fur is traded for weapons and tools
Cast off in a space dark and miniscule
I am loaded on a ship with three masts
Takes two months to cross the ocean so vast
I am scared and wonder what they will do
Blue waters I will no longer swim through
My fur is made into felt for men’s hats
I sit on the heads of aristocrats!
Years later, I return to Albany
Where I am touched and seen by many!

Suggested Activity 2:
Teacher Preparation:
Review the lesson plan. Collect materials to be used for making models of colonial objects students researched.
Time Required: 40–50 minutes
Materials/resources: collect materials such as cardboard, string, paper, craft sticks, paper, paint


  1. After the research and narrative are complete, have each student create a model of the object he or she chose.
  2. Students may present their findings to their classmates or teach younger students.