ALEX Learning Activity


Artifact Analysis: Observe, Reflect, Question

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

You may save this Learning Activity to your hard drive as an .html file by selecting “File”,then “Save As” from your browser’s pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.
  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Cherise Albright
System:Huntsville City
School:Huntsville City Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1772
Artifact Analysis: Observe, Reflect, Question
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:
Not Applicable

Students apply the observation and critique skills of a visual arts student to analyze ancient artifacts in world history. They share reflections and questions to encourage deeper thinking among each other. Students write their analysis in paragraph form, meeting grade-level or higher organization and content expectations. Students share their observations.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 8
10 ) Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RI.8.1]

NAEP Framework
Anchor Standard::
Anchor Standard 1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Cognitive Target::
  • Identify textually explicit information and make simple inference with and across texts, such as: definitions, facts, supporting details.
  • Make complex inferences within and across texts to describe problems and solution or cause and effect, determine unstated assumptions in and argument. Draw conclusions and provide supporting details.
  • Determine fact from opinion.
  • Identify textually explicit information within and across text, such as locating specific information in text or graphics. Make complex references within and across texts, such as draw conclusions and provide supporting information.

NAEP Descriptor::
Using understanding of an article to explain the title. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Use examples from article to explain interpretation. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize the main question answered by article. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Explain differences using information from the article. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize implicit message of a paragraph in a persuasive essay. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize the reason for an action based on explicit details in an expository text. (Locate and Recall)

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.8.10- Answer who, what, when, where, and why questions to analyze informational text, using textual evidence and inferences as support.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 8
20 ) Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. [W.8.1]

a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. [W.8.1a]

b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. [W.8.1b]

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. [W.8.1c]

d. Establish and maintain a formal style. [W.8.1d]

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. [W.8.1e]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.8.20- Compose an argument to support a claim by stating a claim, providing facts or reasons supporting the claim, and providing an appropriate conclusion related to the stated argument.

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 8
World History to 1500
4 ) Identify cultural contributions of Classical Greece, including politics, intellectual life, arts, literature, architecture, and science.

Unpacked Content
Strand: History, Civics and Government
Course Title: World History to 1500
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Analyze and compare cultural contributions of Classical Greece, including politics, intellectual life, arts, architecture, and science
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • cultural contributions
  • Classical Greece
  • politics
  • intellectual life
  • oligarchy
  • democracy
  • representative democracy
  • direct democracy
  • philosophy
Students know:
  • The cultural contributions of Classical Greece, including the areas of politics, intellectual life, arts, literature, architecture, and science.
  • The social and political structures of various city-states throughout Greece's Classical Era.
  • The contribution of Greek democracy to the American system of government.
Students are able to:
  • Analyze textual evidence of primary and secondary sources.
  • Locate places on a map.
  • Describe how geography influenced Greek culture.
Students understand that:
  • There were many cultural contributions of Classical Greece, in government, politics, arts, history, philosophy, drama, literature, architecture, math, and science.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.8.4- Locate the ancient Greek peninsula on a map; identify at least one significant contribution from ancient Greece in the fields of politics, intellectual life, arts, literature, architecture, or science.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 8
Visual Arts
15) Differentiate the ways art is used to reflect, represent, and establish group identity.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Connecting
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
Process Components: Synthesize
Essential Questions:
EU: People develop ideas and understandings of society, culture, and history through their interactions with and analysis of art.
EQ: How does art help us understand the lives of people of different times, places, and cultures? How is art used to impact the views of a society? How does art preserve aspects of life?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Creative Processes
  • Organize and develop ideas
  • Traditional Media
  • Contemporary Media
  • Fair Use
  • Open Source
  • Creative Commons
  • Develop artistic ideas
  • Plagiarizing
  • Graffiti
  • Defacing
  • Criteria
  • Refine and complete artistic work
  • Archival
  • Criteria
  • Cultural Context
  • Body of Artwork
  • Collaborate
  • Medium/ Media
  • Genre
Skill Examples:
  • Work collaboratively to plan and create a work of art to express or represent individual or group identity.
  • Create a group portrait that shows students personal interests.
  • Compare the styles and/or themes of artworks from various artists, cultures, and times.
  • Create group artwork about a current world event.
  • Research and explain how companies or sports teams utilize icons and logos, then create a logo of one's own.
  • Create tributes to family members, school and/or community heritage.
  • Work collaboratively to plan and create visual works of art in a variety of media to communicate a specific message or for a specific purpose.
  • Analyze and compare the aesthetic, stylistic, thematic, and or technical content of works of art.
  • Identify the original contexts and purposes of works of art, and explain how each work of art reflects and is influenced by a particular culture or community.
Learning Objectives:

Learning Targets:

I can describe how art is used in different ways to reveal a group's identity.
I can analyze artifacts to draw conclusions about early people and civilizations.
I can write a well-organized paragraph to justify my opinion, using specific details.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Students observe the artifact projected for the whole class to see (an example is located in the Advanced Preparation section). 
Students write at least three observations they make of the artifact.
Using Think, Pair, Share, students only write unique observations--not repeating observations.
Students reflect on the artifact and write one sentence that answers the reflection question based on their observations.
Students list two questions that they still have about the artifact.
Using Think, Pair, Share, students only write unique questions--no repeating questions.

Students share responses and listen to additional information from the teacher.

Students write a paragraph to show proof of their analysis. 
Students use their reflection as a topic sentence, and their observations as the concrete evidence to support their reflections.
Students write a conclusion sentence that uses either 1) Cause and Effect or 2) Compare and Contrast to synthesize and conclude their paragraphs.

Students trade papers and use the Artifact Rubric to give feedback to one another.

Assessment Strategies:

Use the Artifact Analysis Rubric to assess each student's final paragraph. 

Advanced Preparation:

Prepare Power Point slide with Art / Architecture from Ancient Greece

Print Artifact Rubrics for each student or prepare slide for projection.

Variation Tips (optional):

Student paragraphs can be collected and scored as an assessment or as a writing sample.
Student leader can lead Observe, Reflect, Question.
Students can work as a small group or with a partner to write the analysis.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: