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Pre-Visit lan Lesson P

Classroom Archaeology
Students participating in the Dig-It! program. Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Autry National Center

Introduction

This pre-visit lesson plan introduces concepts that will be reinforced during the Dig It! Program.
Objectives
Students will: Work in cooperative learning groups Develop a basic understanding of archaeology Be familiar with the different jobs performed by archaeologists Analyze items found on a dig and make an educated guess regarding their usage

Learners
This lesson is designed for upperelementarygrade students with a focus on fourth and fifth grades. The main themes are anchored in science and English-language, but it also involves math.

Materials
Archaeology Data Sheet Vocabulary worksheet 20 to 30 items from the classroom or home Five boxes or large bags - Place four to five items (above) together in one of five boxes. Some of the items should have a relationship to each other such as a stapler with staples.

Teaching Time
This lesson will take approximately 45 minutes to one hour of classroom time depending on the use of the discussion questions. Using the recommended extension activities will lengthen the teaching and classroom time.

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology

Content Standards Science


Grade 4 Investigation and Experimentation 6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will: a. Differentiate observation from inference (interpretation) and know scientists' explanations come partly from what they observe and partly from how they interpret their observations. b. Measure and estimate the weight, length, or volume of objects.

English-Language Arts
Grade 4 Writing 2.1 Write narratives Relate ideas, observations, or recollections of an event or experience. Provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience. Use concrete sensory details.

Listening and Speaking Skills 1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies Students listen critically and respond appropriately to oral communication. They speak in a manner that guides the listener to understand important ideas by using proper phrasing, pitch, and modulation.

Comprehension 1.1 Ask thoughtful questions and respond to relevant questions with appropriate elaboration in oral settings.

Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication 2.1 Make narrative presentations Relate ideas, observations, or recollections about an event or experience. Provide a context that enables the listener to imagine the circumstances of the event or experience. Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable.

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology

Science
Grade 5 Investigation and Experimentation 6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Draw conclusions from scientific evidence and indicate whether further information is needed to support a specific conclusion.

English-Language Arts
Grade 5 Listening and Speaking 1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication. 2.2 Deliver informative presentations about an important idea, issue, or event by the following means Frame questions to direct the investigation. Establish a controlling idea or topic. Develop the topic with simple facts, details, examples, and explanations.

Mathematics
Mathematical Reasoning 1.0 Students make decisions about how to approach problems 2.0 Students use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology

Procedures
1. Discuss with students the terms; archaeology, archaeologists, artifacts, and material remains. Explain some of the jobs performed by archaeologists other than excavating a site. 2. Divide students into five cooperative learning groups. Give each group a box of artifacts, ruler, and Archaeology Data Sheets. 3. Have the students take out each item and use the Archaeology Data Sheet to draw, classify, measure, and record the artifacts. 4. Give the groups about 15 to 20 minutes to look at the objects and record their findings. 5. At the end of the observation time, ask the groups to analyze the objects and make educated guess about; the importance of the items and what the items have anything in common. 6. Bring the groups together to discuss their findings. The discussion questions below may be used at this time.

Discussion Questions
Object Discussion What do these items reveal about the culture that used them? What can we tell about their technologies? Do these objects tell the whole story of a culture? What is left out? Archaeology Discussion What are your observations regarding the work of an archaeologist? Is this similar to any other jobs or professions? If so, what are they? (detectives) What would archaeologists have to study or learn to make educated guesses
about the artifacts they discover?

Extensions
1. Ask each team to imagine that they are archaeologists from the future and have found the items in their box/bag on an excavation. This was a significant find and there is tremendous interest in this new culture. They have been asked to speak to fellow archaeologists at a conference about their discovery. Based on their objects, each team will create and write a story about the people and culture that owned or used the objects. The group will then present their paper in front of their fellow colleagues. 2. Escort students to a play ground area or cafeteria. Divide the students into teams and have each team grid the space and document what they find by conducting an archaeological survey. They should include tables, paper wrappers, anything above ground. Once back in the classroom have them exchange information with another team. Based on the information they receive, the new team will try to determine the location and the purpose of the area.

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology

Evaluation
Students should be able to discuss archaeology and the work of archaeologists. To determine if students understood the concepts and to assess whether the objectives were met, ask students to write an essay on one of the following topics: (1) why archaeology is important, or (2) why we need archaeologists.

Credits & References


Books Anderson, Joan, From Map to Museum: Uncovering Mysteries of the Past. New York: William Morrow, 1988. Avi-Yonah, Micheal, Dig This! Archaeologists Uncover Our Past. Minneapolis: Runestone Press, 1994. Branigan, Keith, Prehistory. New York: Warwick, 1984. Dunrea, Olivier, Skara Brae: The Story of a Prehistoric Village. Holiday House, 1986. Fradin, Dennis B., Archaeology. Chicago: Childrens, 1983. Hackwell, W. John, Digging to the Past: Excavation in Ancient Lands. New York: Macmillian, 1986. Hicks, Peter, The Hidden Past. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 1997. Higginson, Mel, Scientists: Ancient Temples and Tombs. Vero Beach: Florida Rourke Corp., 1994. McIntosh, Jane, Eye Witness Books: Archaeology. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, 1994. Porell, Bruce, Digging the Past: Archaeology in Your Own Backyard. Reading: AddisonWesley, 1979. Unsolved Mysteries. Minkato: Creative Education, 1997.

Websites www.publicarchaeology.com www.archaeologychannel.org www.mtsu.edu/then/Archaeology

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology

Vocabulary
Archaeology The study of past people and cultures through material remains Material Remains Objects made or used by humans. It includes artifacts and objects such food or shells Artifact An object made and used by humans that provides information about human behavior in the past Culture A way of life that includes learned behavior, beliefs, customs and technologies Classify To arrange or organize by different types Record Write down specific information on a person, place, thing, or event

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology

Vocabulary
Archaeology
The study of past people and cultures through material remains

Material Remains
Objects made or used by humans including artifacts and objects such food or shells

Artifact
An object made and used by humans that provides information about human behavior in the past

Culture
A way of life that includes learned behavior, beliefs, customs and technologies

Classify
To arrange or organize by different types

Record
Write down specific information on a person, place, thing, or event

From: www.archaeologychannel.org www.mtsu.edu/then/Archaeology

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology

Archaeology
Record your observations of the artifacts on this data sheet.

Measure
Width, Length, Height How was this used? Of what is it made? Is it whole or a part of something?

Items

Classify

Record

Draw
Draw or trace the artifact. (use additional sheets)

Artifact #1

Artifact #2

Artifact #3

Artifact #4

Artifact #5

Autry National Center | Classroom Archaeology