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Preserving the Treasures of Afghanistan (lesson)

One Pair of Pendants Showing the "Dragon Master"

One Pair of Pendants Showing the "Dragon Master"


Students will gain an appreciation of the great lengths the people of Afghanistan took to prevent theft and destruction of their national treasures while the country was under siege by the Soviets and by the Taliban.

40–45 min. The lesson can take 15 min. for the teacher to summarize and read the exhibition introduction and to give the worksheet for a homework assignment; or 40–45 min. of classroom discussion and group work.
Keyword Results: 

From the reading of the exhibition introduction, students will learn how steps were taken from 1978 to the present to preserve art treasures in Afghanistan. They also identify what treasures from their own family, community, and nation they would consider worthy of preserving.

Materials and Preparation:
1.) Introduction to Afghanistan Exhibition; 2.) Student worksheet: Preservation Assignment (make a copy for each student)


  1. Read aloud the Introduction to Afghanistan Exhibition.
  2. Distribute to students copies of the Preservation Assignment.
  3. Students write responses to Question 1.
  4. Students share their responses with members of a group of 3–5 students.
  5. Each group makes a summary of their members’ responses and reports to the class.5.

As a homework assignment, students interview a parent or guardian.

This lesson was created by Agnes Brenneman, Curriculum Consultant and retired 6th Grade Teacher, Park Day School, Oakland, CA, in conjunction with the exhibition, Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul.