Investigating Archaeology – Intrigue of the Past
Intrigue of the Past: A Teacher’s Activity Guide for 4th-7th Grade. Twenty-eight classroom tested lessons use archaeology to teach science, math, history, social studies, art, literacy, and higher level thinking skills such as problem solving, synthesis, and evaluation. Students have the opportunity to classify artifacts, make cordage, investigate a rock art site, date based on tree-rings, and excavate garbage.
The guide is divided into three sections:
1. Fundamental Concepts – a series of lessons covering the basic concepts of archaeology.
2. The Processes of Archaeology – explains how archaeologists do their work and interpret their results.
3. Issues in Archaeology – relates archaeology to personal ethics, stewardship of our heritage resources, citizenship, and cultural understanding.
Why Teach Archaeology? Archaeology connects people to their past through discovery. Archaeological sites offer a way to travel in time: to explore an abandoned ghost town; to imagine what it might have been like to hunt mammoths on the High Plains, build the historic fort at Jamestown, or live in a slave cabin; and to contemplate the meaning of drawings etched in rock a millennia ago. Everyone can touch the past, but sadly our opportunities are dwindling. Many sites are victims of looting, vandalism, and destruction. Through Project Archaeology, educators can help the schoolchildren of today know and experience America’s rich cultural heritage as the adults of tomorrow.
Archaeology is an excellent way to teach students both scientific inquiry and cultural understanding. Our materials are aligned to Common Core State Standards. By discovering our past we can shape the future and save the world!
What does Project Archaeology Teach?
Project Archaeology teaches four enduring understandings:
- Understanding the past is essential for understanding the present and shaping the future.
- Learning about cultures, past and present, is essential for living in a pluralistic society and world.
- Archaeology is a systematic way to learn about past cultures.
- Stewardship of archaeological sites and artifacts is everyone’s responsibility.
Project Archaeology received a U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation award in 2011 for achieving exemplary conservation results with community engagement and local partnerships.