March 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Excitement Building for 2016 #AskaCurator Twitter Initiative


Your students have questions.

They’ve got answers.

Dozens of museum curators worldwide are taking to Twitter on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, with the hashtag #AskaCurator to field as many questions as they can. It’s an opportunity that comes only once a year. The tradition was started by Mar Dixon, an American museum consultant and blogger who lives in England.

Aside from the inherent fun it is for kids to try to stump experts, the effort has other perks as well. It’s a chance to connect language students to cultural institutions in the country they are studying, as well as an education in what the job of a curator entails. As an extension to the day itself, students can email museums that interest them but aren’t participating, to encourage them to join in next year.

Western Albemarle High School in Crozet, VA, took part in the fun for the first time last year.

The French teacher had the students write (and correct) Tweets in French on paper, and another group of students in the library typed them into Twitter. The teacher had them add their own hashtag, in addition to #AskaCurator. That way, the teacher could search for results of the class’s work easily.

“One of our students, who was in the school production of The Diary of Anne Frank, was thrilled to get an answer from the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam,” recalls Melissa Techman, school librarian at Western Albemarle.

Techman is helping out time-strapped classroom teachers who’d like to participate by delivering prepared templates. “Some teachers may give extra credit to their students who come to the library during lunch and participate, either on their own Twitter account or the library’s account at a walk-up laptop station.”


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Christina Vercelletto About Christina Vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is School Library Journal’s former news editor. An award-winning writer and editor, Vercelletto has held staff positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, and

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