National Museum of Ireland

Bronze Age Handling Box

Handling Objects as Powerful Learning Tools

Resources for Teachers

Learning about the Past through Handling Objects

The Handling Box is made up of a selection of replica objects and raw material. Students can, through handling these objects, explore and enjoy finding out about the past. Handling objects or documents stimulate students’ interest and curiosity about the past, encouraging them to investigate the objects themselves, the people who used them and the places they were found.

Benefits of Handling Objects

Handling objects encourages social interaction and strengthens students’ ability to make connections to the past using all their senses. This multi-sensory learning experience not only stimulates students’ sense of curiosity but also motivates them to research. Making connections with the past through handling an object deepens historical empathy and creates a sense of a personal and emotional connection with our ancestors. (Ander et al, 2012)

There are many valuable learning outcomes gained from handling objects. Handling objects can facilitate a positive change in students’ values and attitudes and can improve their motivation to engage with the learning environment. Object handling can also encourage exploration and experimentation. (Clutterbuck 2008)

The Bronze Age Handling Box Resource Project was developed by: