TBH Lesson Plan

Lesson Title:
Bottles, Pins, and Horseshoes: Analyzing Artifacts from the Ransom Williams Farmstead Using Bloom’s Taxonomy

Subjects: Texas, American, or World History

Grade level: TEKS are provided for 7th grade but can easily be adapted for grades 8, 10, or 11.

Material objects found at historical sites can be both intriguing and informative, especially when examined carefully in the classroom with students. A thorough discussion of any given artifact can be based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, a classifying device used to illustrate the  hierarchy of thinking levels, from simple and concrete to complex and abstract. Analyzing artifacts from the Ransom Williams farmstead using Bloom's Taxonomy allows students on all levels to exercise the complete range of critical thinking skills while appreciating the cultural significance of historical objects.


In this lesson, students will analyze several of the more than 25,000 artifacts discovered by archeologists on the historic Ransom Williams farmstead in central Texas. These artifacts help document the story of an African American family’s transition from slavery to freedom and give a cultural snapshot of life on their farm between about 1871 and 1905.


Lesson Duration: One 45-50 minute class period



Modification for Special Learning Needs: Instead of having students work independently in groups, call on individuals to fill in answers to the Student Handout. Fill in correct answers on displayed student handout and have students copy them onto their handouts.

Extension Activities:

Correct completion of Student Handouts.

Related Websites:
Artifact collecting in Texas

Analyzing cultural artifacts

KLRU-TV documentary on Ransom Williams



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