Educators Smithsonian Education

Object Observer
An Observation Guide for Students

Choose one object, specimen or art work and try to answer these questions about it:


What do I already know about it?

How do I feel about it?

What would I like to know about it?


What do I observe? (For example, color, texture, background, materials, patterns, odor, sound, structure, shape, form, size)


Is it the same or different from the things around it?

Based on what I have observed, why do I think it has these characteristics?


Why should I care about it?

Why do I think it is in a museum?

What sources outside of the museum could I use to answer my questions about it?

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