SAMPLE LESSON: Fourmile Petroglyph

SAMPLE LESSON: Fourmile Petroglyph

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Front FourmileInvestigating Fourmile Petroglyph

Discover the past through evidence from an archaeological site in Colorado!

In this curriculum, students examine the past through ancient images ancestors of the Pawnee people created and left on a boulder near Fourmile Creek. You will create rock art from authentic images using two different hands-on techniques! Explore how archaeologists study rock art to understand past cultures. Using archaeological inquiry, students observe an authentic rock art panel called Fourmile Petroglyph and make inferences. Cultural background on the Pawnee and an interpretation is provided by Matt Reed, a citizen of the Pawnee tribe. In a short research project, students employ primary sources such as authentic archaeological data and oral history to demonstrate their knowledge.


The investigation is comprehensive and uses the most authentic data sources available. It is longer than the other lessons in this unit and is organized into three instructional parts and an assessment, each of which can be separated and taught over a few days.
PART ONE introduces the image of the Fourmile Rock Art Panel for students to observe and create two different types of rock art: a carving and a painting of one image from the panel using hands-on materials
PART TWO focuses on the context of the panel by reading about the Pawnee tribe and analyzing the information. Then students draw the panel and analyze the images.
PART THREE compares the interpretation of Mr. Matt Reed, a citizen of the Pawnee tribe, with the perspective of an archaeologist using a T-chart.
The ASSESSMENT asks students to write an explanatory text describing what they learned in the investigation with the option of creating a painting or a carving of the panel with a caption explaining rock art and the information it communicates.