Skip to content

Talking Points cards

These cards challenge students to find seven amazing objects in the Who am I? gallery at the Science Museum, London.

A collection of glass eyes made by Muller of Liverpool

The cards pose thought-provoking questions around the following themes:

  • Rebuilding the body
  • Genetics and physical appearance
  • Brain imaging and consciousness
  • Faces and communication
  • Human development and personality
  • Fears and phobias
  • Ageing and health

The objects and themes featured on the Talking Points cards are:

  • Victorian false eyes – Rebuilding the body
  • White peacock – Genetics and physical appearance
  • MRI helmet – Brain imaging and consciousness
  • Six basic human emotions – Faces and communication
  • Twelve-week human fetus model – Human development and personality
  • Tarantula – Fears and phobia
  • Botox – Ageing and health

Use the cards to orientate students in Who am I? and build their knowledge about the themes explored in the displays:

  • Before the visit print off several sets of the cards in colour on A4 paper or card. Use double-sided printing so that the questions are on the reverse of the corresponding image.
  • In the gallery allocate students into groups of four or five and give each group a card.
  • Ask them to find the object in the gallery and spend a few minutes discussing one of the questions on the back. Challenge them to:
    • Find out something new (e.g. a surprising fact about the theme, or about the object itself).
    • Find two more objects related to that question or theme.
  • After 10 minutes, bring the groups back together. Get each group to share a quick summary of their discussions and feed back what they have found.
  • Swap the cards around so that students can repeat the exercise with a different object.

Extend the learning from the visit by making your own Talking Points cards:

  • While they are exploring the gallery, get students to choose an object that interests them and take a photograph of it.
  • Back at school research and create questions around the theme or the object.
  • Groups can share their cards with each other to discuss the new questions.

Alternatively, you could use the cards as a pre-visit activity to familiarise students with some of the objects and themes they will encounter in Who am I?:

  • Give a card to a group of three or four students, image side up.
  • Ask students to look closely at the image and discuss it. Help focus their observations by telling them to describe what they see and asking:
    • How does it make you feel? What does it make you think about?
    • Can you guess what it is?
    • Can you tell how it relates to human identity?
  • After five minutes ask students to turn the cards over and read the information about the objects.
  • Give groups five minutes to reflect on and discuss the questions on the cards, making a note of any further questions their discussions have raised. Allow students to explore as many cards as you have time for.
  • Bring the whole class together to share their group discussions.

What further questions were raised? Challenge students to find the answers to those questions when they visit the gallery, or for homework.

Learning outcomes

  • Provide students with the opportunity to express informed opinions on scientific issues.
  • Familiarise students with some of the objects and themes of the Who am I? gallery.

Downloadable resources

Who Am I? Talking points cards KS4 (PDF Document)