Discover the past through evidence from an archaeological site at the St. Augustine Light Station in Florida!
In this investigation, students will use geography, history, and archaeology to learn about a Florida light station and the people who lived in it. Examine historic photographs, primary source documents, artifacts, and maps of a light station. Students meet Mrs. Wilma Daniels, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper who grew up at the light station. Then they will “uncover” a real archaeological site, classify artifacts, and infer how the geographic area of Florida shaped light stations. Explore the history of light stations in the United States and engage students in a debate on a current civic dilemma involving archaeology and preservation.  This guide incorporates authentic archaeological and historical research paired with oral histories to teach students about the use and importance of the station to lighthouse keepers and their families.




The teacher’s document is 50 pages, consisting of background information and four sections corresponding with the student archaeology notebook. It includes a brief history of the light station and a timeline activity for the St. Augustine Light Station. Quadrant maps of the light station site are provided for students to study how the grounds were used by people who lived there.


When you buy Investigating a Light Station you will also receive the essential companion products: Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter and access to online introductory videos.

Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter provides teachers and students with seven fundamental lessons on shelter and archaeology. With this pre-requisite, students are ready for Lesson Eight, an investigation of a shelter from the past, such as the Crow Plains Tipi. Finally, in Lesson Nine of Investigating Shelter students learn the enduring understanding that stewardship of archaeological sites and artifacts is everyone’s responsibility. Taught together, Investigating Shelter and Investigating a Light Station is a complete, comprehensive unit that truly allows for a deep understanding of shelter and archaeology. More information

Investigating Shelter videos are a professional development experience for educators in lieu of attending a Project Archaeology workshop. Watch Project Archaeology lessons in action! See a professional development workshop and a teacher guiding a 4th grade class through Investigating Shelter. Instructors model Understanding by Design and archaeological inquiry. Plus, see interviews with teachers and students! The videos are also available on our Teacher Page.

    1. Introduction – Why archaeology matters
    2. Investigating Shelter and Understanding by Design
    3. Lesson Two: By Our Houses You Will Know Us
    4. Lesson Four: Observation, Inference, and Evidence
    5. Lesson Six: Context Game
    6. Lesson Eight: Being an Archaeologist