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.

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"I feel it is very useful and important to educate community youth on the importance of preserving and protecting the cultural and environmental resources that are in their area. Probably it was a group of teenagers that vandalized the Fourmile Petroglyph, perhaps if even one of the people in the group had had a lesson such as this the damage would not have occurred." Fred Manar, fourth grade teacher, Colorado

“Preserving the past and understanding why it’s important to do so is beneficial for the kids! [It] facilitates great discussions based on reading and writing.” Brianna Rambadt, third grade teacher, Colorado

“The lesson pulls in a variety of resources and information to create a wide array of concepts students can learn. Building awareness of cultures and their impacts on landscapes is a plus!” Matt Ryan, high school teacher, Colorado

Colorado Academic Standards   GRADE 3    GRADE 4    GRADE 5


When you buy Investigating Fourmile Petroglyph you will also receive the essential companion product. Project Archaeology: Investigating Rock Art provides teachers and students with three fundamental lessons on rock art and archaeology.

Project Archaeology: Investigating Rock Art provides teachers and students with seven fundamental lessons on shelter and archaeology. With this prerequisite, students are ready for Lesson Four, an investigation of rock art from a different part of the United States, such as Fourmile Petroglyph in Colorado. Finally, in Lesson Five of Investigating Rock Art students learn the enduring understanding that stewardship of archaeological sites and artifacts is everyone's responsibility. Taught together, Investigating Rock Art and Investigating Fourmile Petroglyph is a complete, comprehensive unit that truly allows for a deep understanding of culture, archaeology, and rock art.