Enter the "Broken Relic"
What I do:
I take a picture of whatever it is I want to serve as the relic. I love to take a primary source that I'm going to have the students analyze like a poster or photograph. I print off the picture, turn it over and then start creating my puzzle.
I send the puzzle (still together) to be laminated. This helps preserve the pieces if you plan on burying them.
Once they return all nice and shiny, I cut up the puzzle pieces. I keep them in envelopes labeled until I am ready to use it. I can use it as bell work to hook students, as a clue in a Breakout EDU activity, or as a station in order to get the kids moving and working together. However, my favorite way to use it is...
Bury that baby! I LOVE to bury the pieces in sand. Make the students have to uncover the artifacts. This is a very inexpensive way to add a little "archaeology" into your classroom. Kids love having to uncover them. You can get a 50 1b. bag of sand at Lowes for $2.00 and a plastic tub at Walmart for less than $2.00. Cheap and easy way to make an activity a little more engaging.
After students put the puzzles together, have them analyze the document. I LOVE to use this evidence overlay (purchase here) with dry-erase markers. Just another way to up the engagement of your students.
Tips for organization and management:
- If kids have to tape this together and you're planning on using it for more than one class (talking mostly to secondary teachers here) label the pieces on the back a different letter or number for each class. This way you can keep track of which pieces belong to what class.
- Anytime you can have a volunteer help you label and cut out the puzzles. Especially if you have many class periods and you're trying to sort it all out.
- Reverse the idea and have kids have to locate a primary source photo to turn into a puzzle for their classmates. Rotate puzzles throughout the classroom so that each group gets to analyze another team's primary source. All the prep work is on them and they get to analyze a variety of sources!
By creating your own broken relics the possibilities are endless!