Skip Navigation

Centennial: This I Value...Hidden Treasures


by Mari Domanski. Treasures can be found everywhere.


  • Teacher collected box of various objects including pictures, jewelry, toys, clothes, letters, postcards, tools, technology, genealogical records etc. from or about Utah and the local community.
  • A valued object from personal possessions for sharing at school.
  • Selections of quotes, poems or stories about treasures.

Background for Teachers

As the diversity of students' backgrounds increase and communities continue to grow, activities which provide a common ground for students to understand each other can be helpful. This lesson may also serve as a springboard into any area of Utah study.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Students will classify items based on value.
  • Students will determine what makes them valuable to individuals, groups, communities, etc.
  • Students will defend or expand the treasures of their community.

Instructional Procedures


See preface material for the Utah Centennial Lesson Plans book.

Share a literary selection about treasures with the students at the opening of each class. Ask students to bring a personal possession from home.

Consider in small groups what makes your treasured item valuable: the cost, the giver, the age, the size, the years of ownership, etc.

Bring out the treasure box. Discuss why most treasures are kept in a safe place.

Distribute or allow the students to sort through the treasures. Have several students record comments from the class 'I have one of these...,' 'What is this?' 'Hey this is old...,' etc.

Ask students to group or classify the items using a criteria on which they can agree.

NOTE- - This can be done with actual objects, or if this is not advisable use paper markers to represent the objects.

Discuss the classifications and their criteria. Which of the items is most valuable? How would the items be regrouped if value was the criteria? Discuss how things, places or people become valued by people and communities.

Debate whether things, places or people are treasures because they are valued or valued because they are treasures.

List what is valued in the community. Consider people, places, events, ideas, things, etc.


Using lists of what is valued in the community, brainstorm what else should be valued in our community. From this discussion make a community treasure box for display at an appropriate location. From the previous lessons find a 'new' treasure in your community, organize and implement a plan to get others in the community to value this treasure.

Develop a campaign to reintroduce folks to the value of local treasures, perhaps to repair, preserve, or save them from being lost.

Organize and participate in a district or county wide 'treasures of our community' display for the centennial.

Create a State of Utah treasure box.

Create a Who's Who of the living treasures of the community. 'Living Treasures' is a Japanese concept honoring those who keep alive ancient cultural practices.

In your journal reflect: How has working on your product helped you be a better citizen of your community? How has it helped your community?

Created: 02/13/1997
Updated: 02/03/2018