A supplementary science and social studies curriculum unit for grades 3 through 5


Teaches enduring understandings and all learning is guided by essential questions. The unit supports Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in literacy and mathematics, especially through modeling the investigation process. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of archaeology, students can seamlessly integrate science (STEM) with literacy, mathematics, social studies, and history.

The password is the first word on page 79 of the Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter curriculum guide.

The Investigating Shelter booklet consists of nine comprehensive lessons guiding students through the archaeological study of shelter including a toolkit of archaeological and scientific concepts and a final performance of understanding. Below is a sample of lessons and activities. CLICK HERE TO BUY THE FULL PRODUCT

Investigating an Archaic Basin House

Learn about Archaic basin houses and the people who used them approximately 5,000 years ago in Colorado.

Investigating a Colonial Earthfast

Learn about the lives of early colonists of Maryland by investigating an earthfast house occupied from 1690 to 1711 on what was once a tobacco plantation.

Investigating a Fremont Pithouse

In this investigation, students will use geography, history, and archaeology to learn about the shelter type called a pithouse, and the Fremont People who lived in them.

Investigating a Great Basin Wickiup

Learn about wickiups and the people who used them approximately 1,400 years ago in Oregon.

Investigating an Historic Farmhouse

Students learn about the lives of the Tinsley family, early western settlers, in Montana.

Investigating a Kentucky Shotgun House

Use geography, history, and archaeology to learn about a Kentucky shotgun house and the people who lived in it.

Investigating a Light Station

Students learn about the use and importance of the St. Augustine station to lighthouse keepers and their families.

Investigating a Midwestern Wickiup

Study the wickiup, a type of shelter used by the Meskwaki and other Native American people living throughout the upper Midwest

Investigating a Neolithic Dwelling

Learn about a Neolithic dwelling in Iraq and the lives of people in ancient Mesopotamia

Investigating a North Slope Ivrulik

Study the semi-subterranean sod house used by the Iñupiat (northern Eskimos) of the North Slope of Alaska

Investigating a Northwest Plank House

History and significance of a Tsimshian Plank House through oral histories, historic photographs, and archaeological research.

Investigating a Pawnee Earthlodge

This investigation teaches students about a Pawnee shelter called an Earthlodge, the history of their ancestors, and about the Pawnee tribe today.

Investigating a Plains Tipi

Use authentic archaeological and historical research paired with oral histories to teach students about the use and importance of the Tipi to Plains Indians.

Investigating a Poplar Forest Slave Cabin

Investigating a Slave Cabin teaches students about the past lives of enslaved Africans at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest Plantation in Virginia.

Investigating a Puzzle House Pueblo

Teach students about the use and importance of the Pueblo in the past and present lives of Hopi people.

Investigating a Rock Shelter

Students learn about early life in Northwestern Colorado through authentic archaeological research conducted on the Red Army Rock Shelter Site.

Investigating a Tabby Slave Cabin

Learn about a cabin at Kingsley Plantation in northeastern Florida used by enslaved people in the early 1800s and about the descendants of the people who lived there.

Investigating a Wintu Roundhouse

In this investigation, students will use geography, history, and archaeology to learn about roundhouses in northern California and the Wintu people who used them.