Object Lesson

Type of strategy: Brainstorming and DiscussionMetaphors, Analogies, and SimilesOpeners & Get to Know YouProcessing

Intended Audience: StudentsTeachers

Learning styles: EN: Extraversion and IntuitionES: Extraversion and SensingIN: Introversion and IntuitionIS: Introversion and Sensing

Object lessons serve as a practical example of a principle or an abstract idea. Senses of sight and hearing are the first to develop.


Time: 5-15 minutes

Materials: Objects such as onions, playdough, combs, tech tools, cords, fruit, kitchen utensils, etc. 


  1. Determine the content or topic with a moral, value or story. 
  2. Take any common household item and tell how it is used. Does this relate to any value or moral you want your participants to learn? If yes, then it will work.
  3. State to the participants, "Select an object from the table and complete this sentence."Put the sentence on a slide or handout.  "[content, topic you are hoping to teach] is like [object], because...".  For example, Teaching with iPads is like an onion [object on table], because there are so many different layers to what the device can do.
  4. Give participants 3 minutes to create their sentence.
  5. Have them share with their table groups.
  6. If time, float some sentences to the whole group. Use a prompt to select a table leader to share out their favorite.



If the object lesson is more of a get to know you, the participants can select their own objects from their bags, or purse.  If the lesson is targeted and specific, be meaningful about the objects you choose for them.  Some items that work well are onions, playdough, combs, fruit, kitchen utensils, etc. 


Object Lessons on a Budget: The Bob Pike Group: Priscilla Shumway

Submitted by: Jennifer Arns